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Hello from nature-friendly farmer

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Selvanuova, 20 Apr 2018.

  1. Selvanuova

    Selvanuova New Member

    Joined:
    19 Mar 2018
    Posts:
    3
    Location:
    Ruvo di Puglia, Italy
    I joined this forum because I am a strong wildlife enthusiast.
    I manage a farm, mainly olive groves, in the south-east of Italy, Puglia region, partly within the Alta Murgia National Park.
    In my farm I apply organic agriculture, and I undertake tangible actions for biodiversity, for instance by planting native trees or installing nest boxes or bat boxes. I try to do my best in conserving nature in a productive farm, and I hope to set an inspiring model for other farms.
    I would be very keen to share with you thoughts and experiences on wildlife conservation and related issues.

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  2. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Welcome to Zoochat!
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    South Gloucestershire, UK
    Hello, welcome to zoochat. I'd be interested to hear more about the wildlife on your farm.
     
  4. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Welcome!
     
  5. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Zaragoza, Spain
    Welcome! So great to know a member that applies the permaculture for a sustainable way of food production! Lovely grape hyacinths, I can almost smell it's fragance from here :)
     
  6. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

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    Welcome and well done on your work!
     
  7. Selvanuova

    Selvanuova New Member

    Joined:
    19 Mar 2018
    Posts:
    3
    Location:
    Ruvo di Puglia, Italy
    Hi Ned, thanks for your interest in our farm, I will give you just few examples of wildlife in our organic olive groves.

    The first issue I would like to point out is soil management, as it is a crucial element to create a favourable habitat for wildlife. The natural green soil cover includes a wide range of plant species belonging to the local flora.This biodiversity is the result of the specific soil management practices that we are applying at Selvanuova:

    - we don't apply herbicides, as these would annihilate biodiversity and select only few tolerant or resistant species;

    - we don't till the soil, as this would jeopardise many soil organisms and expose soil organic matter to rapid degradation, but we control the growth of wild plants by trimming them;

    - we don't apply chemical fertilisers, that would release high amounts of nutrients (in particular, nitrogen compounds) in a short time lapse, thus favouring few plant species at the expense of biodiversity. In contrast, we apply organic fertilisers, which tend to increase soil organic matter and release nutrients gradually;

    - we do not burn prunings, but we trim them, thus increasing soil organic matter.

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    Dry stone features contribute to increasing ecological stability of our organically managed olive groves, for instance by creating microhabitats for wildlife, in particular reptiles such as the Italian wall lizard (Podarcis sicula), which feeds on a wide range of insects, including olive tree pests.
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    Over the winter we have installed several nest boxes, targeting different bird species: small nest boxes with entrance hole fit for tits and sparrows, and large nest boxes with entrance hole fit for the scops owl, the European roller and the hoopoe. Nest boxes have been installed both on trees and on an electricity pylon located in one of our olive groves. In order to avoid disturbance, we will monitor them later in June.
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    In early summer, a cicada larva, after spending years underground, emerges from the soil, climbs up a tree. After resting for a few hours, the adult breaks through its shell, dries out at the sunshine, and eventually flies away to spend a few weeks of adulthood. The shells can be found on the trees throughout summer.
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    Last edited: 5 May 2018
  8. Selvanuova

    Selvanuova New Member

    Joined:
    19 Mar 2018
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    3
    Location:
    Ruvo di Puglia, Italy
    ... and last but not least, some mammals: red fox and wild boar (snowtracks).
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  9. Terry Thomas

    Terry Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    NSW
    Sounds and looks really good. Well done and welcome.
     
  10. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

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    That is really inspiring and refreshing, congratulations!
     
  11. animal_expert01

    animal_expert01 Well-Known Member

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    13 Sep 2015
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    Location:
    QLD Australia
    Welcome to Zoochat!