A Mediterraneanordic Story of Togetherness


^ Gathering in Sweden

Luckiest Generation Ever

Here at the end of the year, the dawn of winter sets in. I’m in Northern Sweden, together with my “comrades” from Nordic Hub of Savory Institute. This place is special to me for several reasons, it’s dry chill reminds me that I’m alive, its white blanket over green-in-summer pastures calms my thoughts, but mostly because I met Holistic Management on this very farm of Fjallbete. The hub leader Jorgen Andersson has been one of those folks who made me believe in my dreams. Four years ago, he inspired me and has continually helped me in the process of forming the Turkey Anatolian Savory Network Hub – Anadolu Meralari.

I repeat to myself, over and over, we’re the luckiest generations ever in human history because never before has it been so urgent that things like climate change, desertification, economic collapse, etc. must all be simultaneously addressed. Thankfully though, there are tangible solutions through Holistic Management and the miraculous network of fellow Savory Hub folks. It’s an exciting time, and the work is so fun to do to as, in a way, we’re re-founding the basis of civilization and the way human’s interact with each other, money and our environment.

The Savory Network Nordic Hub is in a great process of blossoming at the moment. New farms are getting involved and the Hub human resources, which is the most valuable resource you ever have (especially in the mission of a hands-on paradigm shift) are solidifying. It’s unique “local capital” program is ready to be launched country-wide very soon. I was called in to help that process based on my experiences and tools we have developed at the Anatolian Hub. At the moment I’m helping a key farm get fully immersed in what it means to manage holistically, and I’m also developing a whole living community-type school, inspired by our OPMIWOHA – Open Minds and Working Hands in Anatolian Hub, for young people to eventually become new managers in Nordic Hub.

Is the Impossible Possible?

So we live to help each other- that’s what the Savory family is to me. To have people, a huge network to rely on, to be in true unity with. It puts a smile on your face… That’s priceless.

Four years after my first visit here as a student working on my Masters degree studying local economy dynamics, I see how the algorithm of Holistic Management has made real measurable changes here in Fjallbete. One example of that is that the sheep enterprise now has slightly less than half of its initial feed costs with healthier animals and increased performance.

Brussels ELO Holistic ManagementAs the Anatolian, Iberian and Nordic Hubs, unite in what we call “European togetherness”, we do our best to influence the rest of Europe towards Holistic Management. I was in Brussels a couple of weeks ago to give a speech at ELO (European Land Owners) Conference on Agriculture and climate change. The success of Holistic Management in mitigating and adapting to climate change had an impressive impact. I left Brussels with a substantially increased number of key people extremely interested in Holistic Management.

Now, I have one sadness in this smiling (despite tired) time, that I’m actually missing the most exciting part of the year in our Anatolian Hub – lambing! The size of our learning site in Turkey is relatively small-scale, mimicking what most of the local villagers have to work with. So we turn this into an advantage by aiming to show expertise in micro-management through a firm implementation of Holistic Management. The reflection of this context in land and livestock was that we aimed for 365 days of grazing, meaning zero supplemental feed, in a stock rate of 275 kg-liveweight/ha on non-irrigated, slightly non-brittle tending land with 500 mm/year precipitation, and 24/7/365 outdoor living, or in another words, no man-made shelter for the livestock. That’s equivalent to around 350% of suggested figures of the authorities in the area. And the soil regeneration process is occurring much faster than even we anticipated.

“I cannot save the world alone. It will take at least three of us.” – Bill Mollison

So I was deeply saddened to miss lambing back in Turkey, but this is the sheer bliss of being “more than 1” on this journey. Especially, I am thankful for my my life-long partner and co-founder of Anadolu Meralari, Volkan Buyukgungor and our 1 year intern – Else Kettel Jacobsen (from Denmark) who are together with the rest of the team are holding the fort and preparing for the projects we’re due to start in brittle highlands of Central Anatolia in spring, while I’m out scouting the horizon and helping our Scandinavian neighbors.

And here what I think of in this very moment – to complain, blame or smile on life, that is ultimately up to us – it’s our choice. And if you’re someone who chose to smile rather than complain and blame, you may like this family of ours here.

Make this 2015 a year of action, of change, of memories to be told to grand-grand-kids. Join our adventure and make it yours.

Savory Institute

Savory Institute

The Savory Institute is on a mission to regenerate the grasslands of the world and the livelihoods of their inhabitants, through Holistic Management. Since 2009, Savory Institute has been leading the regenerative agriculture movement by equipping farmers, ranchers, and pastoralist communities to regenerate land within culturally-relevant and ecologically-appropriate contexts.
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