Last week, Quinta do Vale da Lama was the stage for an Ecosystem Regeneration Camp, that welcomed around 30 greatly motivated and skilled participants for a hands-on applied land-based learning venture around the implementation of a Water-Wise Dryland Regeneration Strategy co-designed by the Land Owner and OrlaDesign for the North upper slope of the farm.
We are deeply grateful and inspired by all that joined together with their dedication and enthusiasm for the co-creation of this regenerative culture so abundant in joy and skill sharing. The Trees are smiling today with the so longed waited rain, and thanking all of you for the care and dedication given to each one of them.
During the week around 325 trees and 200 cuttings were carefully planted and inoculated with biofertilizer (Indigenous Microorganisms), and a denuded slope was reforested. Two main strategies were implemented:
1. On the top of the hill the native regeneration was encouraged by adding to the shrub layer a canopy layer of Holm Oaks, Carobs, Portuguese Oaks, occasional Cypresses and sacrificial Casuarinas. Planted using a half-moon berm to harvest rainwater, caring for each seedling with a bit of woody mulch to finalize the process;
2. By the belly of the hill a less sloped area was divided into sub-paddocks of Agrosilvopastoral systems of Carobs, edged by fodder-banks planted on contour organic swales. Carobs were spaced to allow the regeneration of the grasslands aligned with the holistic planned grazing for the sheep of the farm.
For more information on the Design synthesis for the Water-Wise Dryland Regeneration Strategy for the rainfed systems of the farm and the detailed plant list see the images below.
The week had great inspirational sharing from diverse experienced facilitators such as Hugo Oliveira from OrlaDesign holding the overall facilitation of the week as well as the design brief for the North Slope and plantation of fodder banks, Bonggi R. Ibarrondo from Reforest-Acción Network facilitating skilled tree planting and active inspirational reforestation; Yorgos Sorriso activating the soil micro-organisms with abundant biofertilizer from origin to application and Peter Zinn sharing his tree maintenance wisdom and charismatic presence.
Our aim for such camp was also to create ripples of regenerative eddies that participants would be inspired to activate in their areas, and as mycelium networks, contribute to a wider movement of regenerative action. Quinta do Vale da Lama wishes to also act on example and will commit to hold two Ecosystem Regeneration Camps next year, as follow up regenerative action. One in Spring (April 9-13) and another in Fall.