Welcome to curvedflatlands
From December 2016, these web pages will look at issues in food security, environment and sustainable agriculture. There will be little of secondhand opinion. Direct experience will inform the content – measurements, analysis and modelling of agro-ecosystems in Britain, Europe and the tropics.
Most agroecosystems are under threat, subject to too much ‘take’, lack of understanding and poor management. Yet the principles underlying stability and degradation are the same whether moist tropical, semi-arid, cold boreal or temperate. Here, the maritime Atlantic-zone croplands of northern Britain, the subject of much recent study, will provide anchorage, a base from which to understand complex ecological nets and cascades.
At present, ‘posts’ and general content are all accessible from the right hand menu. ‘This site’ gives more on the origins and background. New content including latest posts is shown below.
- Soil: healing the skin – presentation at the Centre for Human Ecology’s event on 23 January 2020 on the subject of Invading the Skin of the Earth: Soil with supporting material on Lessons from the US Dust Bowl and timely exhibitions of Da Vinci and Blake (more to follow).
- Form line, form square! …. naargh just mix it! – strategies for mixed cropping in Scotland’s Atlantic agriculture.
- Annular ciphers, keys and decision trees – start of a series of posts on circular devices used to simplify and sometimes hide information.
- The 2018 Summer drought: comparison of 2018 and past dry-year rainfall patterns and analysis of the small depression of yield in arable Scotland.
- Scottish Parliament Citizens’ Jury, March 2019 – updated source material, including direct links to the five Hutton Institute reports on CAP Greening.
- NASSTEC project publishes Native Seed Restoration Manual September 2019, links at latest.
- Arable trends – positive, negative and neutral – the author’s assessment of systematic change over the last few decades.
- Grass mix diversity a century past looks at mixtures for hay and grazing promoted from the early 1800s by Stephens, Elliot and then Findlay, surely a lesson for today – continuing a series of articles on crop-grass diversification.
- Resilience in a three-grain production system – a historical survey of the shifts in oats, barley and wheat in response to societal change, rare weather and economic forces.
- Landscape mosaic defines pesticide loading – especially the balance of grass and arable – methodology by combining EU IACS data with pesticide survey at Mapping pesticide loading in Scotland’s maritime arable-grass.
- The contribution of EU funding to supporting Agroecology at the James Hutton Institute is explored at How … next … for Agroecology at Hutton and an earlier survey of EU grants at Contribution of European funding.
Geoff Squire worked at the James Hutton Institute, Dundee UK (previously the Scottish Crop Research Institute) for a quarter century ending September 2018. He continues as a formal honorary associate of the Institute, maintaining close working links with staff, students and current projects.
Twitter : https://twitter.com/curvedflatlands
The Living Field outreach project www.livingfield.co.uk shares the aims and some of the images of this site.