It's been a while since our last update, and a few things have happened we'd like to catch you up on. Basically, things are coming along, slow and steady. And though it all takes time, I'm starting to like how long growth takes. Working with forests and culture is generational work after all, and Nature seems to teach that things that grow quickly are more likely to leave quickly. And things that grow slowly are more likely to persist.
With that in mind, in the same way, that you can imagine how a forest might look a generation from now, a project can grow the same way. Even when it feels like things aren't moving, past work matures and cycles complete.
When it comes to cycles, the design cycle I like to work with when designing forests starts with observation, analysis, and reflection. Then it moves on to design, implementation, and celebration. The final step in the process, however, is also the first. It's cycling back into observation and starting the process over again.
And I think that's where we currently find ourselves: at the start of another design cycle. One in which we're reevaluating that initial design of our project by evaluating where we’ve gotten, and wondering where we’d like to go from here.
A Renewed Focus on Network
A few years ago we set out to help the regenerative network in the region. However, we got side-tracked by personal projects and never quite got to providing the type of help we set out to provide. However, at the start of this new cycle, we're looking to renew our focus on helping to grow the regenerative network.
So, over the coming year, we'll be developing our ability to help not only the network as a whole but the individual projects which make it up. In our pursuit of lowering the threshold of what it takes to implement regenerative projects, we believe that a stronger connection between projects and easier access to certain resources will result in more trees in the ground, and a greater number of complex ecosystems capable of sustaining us.
So, we'll be sitting down and properly fleshing out our collaborative ecosystem. We want to co-create an infrastructure that helps regenerative projects thrive. Towards that goal, we'll be looking at:
1. Identifying the ways in which we can help.
2. Understanding the actual help regenerative projects might need.
3. Prioritizing our time, energy, and resources based on the overlap between them.
As a bit of background, over the last decade, I've seen a few attempts at creating networks that unite regenerative projects throughout the region. And I've seen them fail. I can’t say for sure why they failed, but I think it was because these attempts have been net takers. That is to say that they didn’t provide enough of a benefit for the projects and individuals donating their time to become sustainable. We hope we can learn from them, and solve that problem by creating a symbiotic ecosystem in which individual projects find a network not only capable of responding to their needs and providing concrete and viable help, but also one that is strengthened by their presence.
Currently, we're working with a few other projects to facilitate their regenerative efforts, and we're identifying potential partners, co-creators and collaborators to create a pilot network. If you know of any regenerative projects that might be interested, feel free to put us in contact!
Grant – Quinta Maravilha – Tiny Forest, Big Hearts.
In wonderful news, after a few months of getting the word out and receiving a few strong applications, we've selected the winner of our first-ever public grant: Quinta Maravilha!
Quinta Maravilha is a CSA (community supported agriculture) from Palmela, southern Portugal. Currently, they use about a quarter of their land to grow crops for sale, and they're converting the majority of their land into a productive Mediterranean forest system that borrows ideas from agroforestry, syntropic agriculture, forest gardening, and the miyawaki method.
In Quinta Maravilha we've found a strong group of people who seem equally excited to learn from the process, teach their many volunteers and collaborators about ecology, and live in balance and reciprocity with their productive and biodiverse forest.
We're incredibly excited to welcome them to our network of friends, watch this project develop, and we wish them the absolute best. If you want to learn more about Quinta Maravilha you can follow them on social media, or watch this short documentary about their project.
After some soul searching, our Co-founder Mathijs de Bruin has stepped down as a board member of Sol, and will be focusing more on his project in Ecoaldeia Silverto. We wish him and his project the best. Especially as they'll be staying on as a strong member of our network that remains committed to planting beautiful and regenerative forests!
Our friend Laida Alberdi will be stepping up as a member of the board. Laida is an educator who is settling in Galicia along with her partner to establish a regenerative forest of her own. We're super happy to have her on board. Welcome to the journey!
The blog has, and will continue to have, new posts. If you're interested in taking a deep dive into eucalyptus, you can find it here.
Thanks, as always, for following along. And If you like what we're doing, and would like to see it continue, feel free to donate!