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Pedro Franco 's Profile
Pedro Franco
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Almodôvar, Portugal
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Key-line making a Bridge

Posted by Pedro Franco about 11 years ago

FFor some Year I have try to present permaculture tactics to agricultural decision makers in Portugal. It was a slow and patient process that now gains a complete different new level with the last presentation of the Yeoman’s plow

I work for more than 3 years with an ONGD, with the most amazing professionals working hard for the issues of one of the poorest, desertified and soil depleted areas of Portugal - Alentejo.


Alentejo during the Second World War was concern to produce all the cereal crops to feed all the Portuguese population. Although that effort has spared Portugal of the major starvation, the soils are depleted because heavy mechanization and years of bad practices.


During my work I always try to present some permaculture design techniques to my colleagues and coworkers, but a major setback had happened some years in the past before I start working here: A more opened mind coworker went to take a Permaculture Course, in a place where the teachings were more to do with a life philosophy them permaculture. And no matter all the good things she learned in that course, the more engraved moment in her memory was when everybody took their closes and went to work in the land naked to "feel the land"


So, since then, permaculture for my coworkers was a bunch of naked guys with plows on their hands, and more some interesting tips that I give now and them.

But permaculture provided so many good information and techniques to stop the soil erosion process, also regenerative agriculture and holistic management that I had to study a way of introducing this concepts to my coworkers in a more professional and assertive way.

So with some funds from some projects we were able to organize a Key-line system workshop with the person responsible for natural engineering in the team, and since the workshop also had production of bio fertilizers with the soil natural mycelium, also invited the person responsible for the mycology.

Now I had already two good professionals in the field making the 3 day workshop with me, I only had to expect that in these 3 days, the convivial make the "magic" happen.

By magic I mean that point, somewhere in the courses, where we related with the people beliefs and we gain a sensation of teamwork an empowerment in our beliefs

But gaining the trust of my coworkers was not enough, I still had to more barriers to overcome, the academic barrier, and the institutional barrier.

The academic barrier was easy to overcome because, lucky, we found a most interesting university professor on soil sciences that was trying to study this Key-line system for ages, so she was very glad to participate and see the yeoman’s plow in action

For the institutional barrier we asked to make the rehearsal in the experimental field of the regional public agricultural entity in Alentejo, that where rather curios with the yeoman’s plow.

This Key-line workshop was just a spark, in the beginning of a new project where we plan to have a demo field, with Key-line patterns, in the regional public entity, with the universities measuring productivity and soil erosion indicator.

But that I'll tell you later 

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Comments (2)

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Ute Bohnsack
Ute Bohnsack : Great to see that your persistence has resulted in multiple barriers being overcome and regenerative practices taking hold. Keep up the good work.
Posted about 11 years ago

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João Gonçalves
João Gonçalves : Congratulations Pedro! Have you or or will you create a photo album and/or videos of this 3 day workshop?
Posted about 11 years ago

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My Badges
Consultant Pdc teacher
My Permaculture Qualifications
Permaculture Design Course
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Teacher: Lesley Anne Martin
Location: Monchique
Date: Jan 2010
Other course verified
Type: Other
Teacher: Darren J. Doherty
Location: Vale da Lama
Date: Nov 2011
Other course unverified
Permaculture Teacher's Training
Type: Teacher Training
Verifying teacher: Rosemary Morrow
Other Teachers: Helder Valente
Location: PRI Portugal - Vale da Lama
Date: Apr 2012
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