Bioregioning: Ed Tyler

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Ed Tyler’s Bioregional Food Mapping Session at the National Permaculture Diploma Gathering November 2011

Permaculturalist Ed Tyler has been exploring bioregional action and thought up on his own peninsula in Kintyre. With the name of his blog he has coined a new word for the re-inhabitation lexicon: bioregioning.

He goes on to define the word on the blog About page.

Bioregioning: from verb “to bioregion”; act of bringing your bioregion into existence through:-

 grounding, connecting, celebrating, belonging

This usefully re-positions what can easily become a philosophic exercise in just thinking about bioregions into an action focussed process in manifesting bioregions.

He continues by inviting us to engage with some activities he associated with bioregioning, which I clumsily summarise as:

  • Wander
  • Garden
  • Make connections with nature
  • Make connections with neighbours
  • Celebrate

But it’s really worth reading Tyler’s longer form descriptions. Similarly he lists what Bioregioning involves:

  • slowing down, looking and feeling inward and outward to the land, water, creatures and people around you
  • making music, clothes, buildings, sculptures, relationships, furniture, poems, paintings and other necessities from locally available materials
  • cycling and sharing resources, money and energy within your region
  • growing and eating locally sourced, seasonally abundant, food
  • networking and collaborating with each other to build diverse communities and ecologies

I think that his simple rendering of bioregioning provides a good pointer towards ‘next steps’ after I complete the Bioregional Quiz questions (that’s right, I’ve not forgotten about these!)

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Some of Ed Tyler’s bioregional mapping

 

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The Wild East

English Activities

‘The landward farms produced not only corn, cattle and sheep but great herds of half-wild horses and ponies with a sprinkling of donkeys. They roamed free as the wind over the wide rough grass marshes bordering the sea-wall. When the day came for them to be rounded up and sent to market at Wickford and elsewhere, the scene was like something out of the Wild West. Rough riders on horseback, with cracking whips and yelling in broad Essex, hustled the horses, with flying manes, flourishing their tails like banners, into wooden corrals where they could be sorted out, branded and taken quietly up the lane to the farm on the way to market.’

– James Wentworth Day, A Garland of Hops (1978) Continue reading “The Wild East”

Azimuthal Projections, RetroSuburbia & Solarpunk

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Azimuthal Projections is not a progressive rock album but ‘a map projection in which a region of the earth is projected on to a plane tangential to the surface, usually at a pole or the equator.’ I just came across (via Transit Maps) this azimuthal equidistant projection of Columbus, Ohio, USA which is catchily titled:   Continue reading “Azimuthal Projections, RetroSuburbia & Solarpunk”

Where You At Q5: When was the last time a fire burned in your area?

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The fifth question in the Where You At? bioregional quiz is:

When was the last time a fire burned in your area?

This is one of the quiz questions that reveals its Cascadian/West Coast USA origins. As Carolyn Merchant has noted in Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World (1992) the quiz is ‘culture-bound’. I write that because the whole concept of a fire burning ‘in your area’ seems to reflect the spread of wildfire over large parts of a landscape, something that happens regularly enough to note in California, but is much less familiar in northern Europe.

The widespread deforestation of the Atlantic Archipelago has left the UK without a lot of standing trees to burn and the climate here means that we have rarely experienced the hot, dry conditions that catalyse these types of conflagration. Continue reading “Where You At Q5: When was the last time a fire burned in your area?”

Where You At Q4: What was the total rainfall in your area last year?

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Rubber duck in a rainwater butt

The fourth question in the Where You At? bioregional quiz is:

What was the total rainfall in your area last year?

I think that annual average rainfall in Essex is about 600mm, but I don’t know how recent years have compared to that. The nearest Met Office ‘climate stations’ to me are at Writtle (c.29km away) and Shoeburyness (c.10.5 km away) – checking the Met Office site I see that for the period 1980-2010: Continue reading “Where You At Q4: What was the total rainfall in your area last year?”

Where You At Q3: What soil series are you standing on?

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Claire and students of the 2015 Design 4 ACTION Permaculture Design Course observing a London soil sample

The third question in the Where You At? bioregional quiz is:

What soil series are you standing on?

A question to which my first response is ‘soil what?’ An alternate version of the bioregional quiz frames this question as ‘Describe the type of soil around your house.’ which is a bit more approachable. Another version asks ‘Describe the basic geology of the place you are living. What type of natural ground is there?”, which is also useful – but starts to move in on the territory of a later question (#16).

So I’m not familiar with the term ‘soil series’ – but I do know something about the soil here. Continue reading “Where You At Q3: What soil series are you standing on?”

Where You At Q2: How many days til the moon is full?

 

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The supermoon of March 19th, 2011

 

The second question in the Where You At? bioregional quiz is:

How many days til the moon is full?

I’m not sure how good I would be at this calculation generally. I can’t remember seeing the moon lately but then I can’t remember looking at the night sky recently either. Today, Wednesday 11th April 2018, I’m pretty sure the last full moon was Easter Saturday – which was 31st March – which I think means that we are a few days off new moon – so perhaps it’s not surprising I haven’t seen the moon lately. The moon has a 28-day cycle, so the next full moon should be in about 17 days time – 28th April.

Ok, let’s check. Continue reading “Where You At Q2: How many days til the moon is full?”