By Durukan Dudu – Co-Founder of Anadolu Meraları (Savory Hub Turkey)
When I first put my step on Savory Institute’s first International Hub Gathering and Conference in 2013, I was one of the two quite young co-founders of Anadolu Meraları Hub. We were a team of young “forward”-to-rural folks in Turkey with almost non-existent experience on soil or animals or cropping, empty wallets and no land. What we had was a will to make things happen no matter what it takes, open and strong communication amongst the group, and a bunch of people who were cautiously watching us, ready to jump on the train if we seemed to be succeeding in realizing our dreams.
Over the last 3 years, Holistic Management had and has a great role on making this true. Extreme social complexity in our context and non-existence of resources in our wholes dictates an ultimate level of management efficiency, and Holistic Management provides this.
We define Holistic Management as an algorithm: It is a simple yet very deep step-by-step procedure set that enables us to plan, implement, monitor and replan the best leverage point at any moment based on what we got and towards what we know we want to get. We try to be as well-defined and clear as possible with the context and its daily implications. The magic lays on its capacity to very quickly zoom-in and zoom-out without losing the focus and data (farmers would know how great that is!), its context-based structure that enables implementation in “any” social, cultural, climatic or whatsoever settings and its “flowing” and open-source structure that permits you to modify or add some extra definitions that your context seems to be in need.
Its genuinly regenerative impact on land and soil and agriculture, that’s for sure another story that is so visible all around the world, including our Hub’s learning site.
Learning site after 4 months of Planned Grazing (October)
Learning site after 1 year of Planned Grazing (May)
As a first-round Hub of Savory Institute, we try to make best of this very well working algorithm called Holistic Management to facilitate people reach their hard-to-dare dreams.
Our philosophy can be watched in this very recent TEDx talk I have given in Istanbul. The english subtitles are available soon!
We give trainings to a hand-picked number of applicants every year with a strong and continuous support mechanism and yearly meetings afterwards. This week, we just finished our yearly 12 days “Holistic Management school” for almost 30 people that this time also included an english course with participants from Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and UAE.
We provide short and long term internships embedded into our youth collective (Ormanevi Collective) that hosts more than 800 volunteer/days a year and has its own unique whole and context (the collective is managed by its members by Holistic Management). We so far had five mid-term and one long-term intern specially focused on HM. Four of these interns are from abroad, coming to our Hub to have a hands-on and deep training in HM. These mechanisms and our special entreprise-based volunteer program (that people jokingly define as “Fight Club” to describe its level of on-groundness and selective process) enables us to provide essential base for willing young people to start regenerative farms, communities and lives in rural.
Anadolu Meraları intern and team member Else (Denmark) and Renald (France)
We see these as means to basically create new managers that are going to spread around and kick the Regenerative Paradigm.
Our context-based management seems to be working efficiently so far: We have continuous consultancy and support agreements with a quickly growing number of farms and start-ups. We prioritize on-site and continuous “farm manager” models in which our students and interns become (after a selective and hard process, ofcourse) farm managers on idle or poorly-managed land and help new folks through internships up to become “new managers”.
This way, we can ensure a good flow of data flow for monitoring&replanning, beside academicians wanting to have different research projects in our projects.
Local shepherds that are grazing in Sarayönü common grasslands under Holistic Management with the help of Anadolu Meraları
As of 2015 Spring, we also started a pilot project in quite brittle Central Anatolia common grasslands. Our team member (and last year’s student) Mustafa has been our local coordinator in collaboration with Sarayönü County Agricultural Department for 6 shepherd who previously never planned their grazing operation, which has led the land into quick deterioration. The project’s outcome in short term can be described by a quote from a very old shepherd: “Go tell the shepherds who are laying dead in the graveyard- This land never seen so much green before”.
Running a multi-herd Holisticly Planned Grazing in Sarayönü Commons. There has been trials of “grazing systems” before but none has worked since they were not context-based of social dynamics