I also went to a workshop with Allan's son Roger back in 2013. He is based in Queensland now and has a company called Savory Grassland Management. Anyway, it was a one day workshop and really gave me a lot to think about, and since then I had been planning on getting the book (Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making), but never quite got around to it until Fiona from Life at Arbordale Farm texted me last year to say she had found TWO copies at the Lifeline book sale for $7 each. And so I finally got the book and that is a very long introduction to this post, which I intend to be a series reviewing each section of the book, which goes into more detail about the concepts covered in the course I attended.
Holistic management began as a technique for management of land, but Allan thinks its useful more broadly as a management tool. Personally I think its more suited to land management specifically and would probably be more useful and less confusing if we just acknowledged that instead of trying to make it fit other situations. I find the framework to be a little over-complicated, and it reminds me of when someone has had such a clever idea that they can't dumb it down enough to explain it to other people. Allan is a smart guy and he's really come up with some important and unique ways of understanding land management in dry ("brittle") climates. The uptake of holistic management is disappointingly low considering how powerful it could be in climates that desperately need it (as I'll explain later).
I am hoping to summarise the key points of each chapter here every few weeks to make sure I understand them, make them more accessible, to get you interested and encourage you to find out more for yourself. The following image from the book is an overview of the holistic management framework. It won't make much sense at the moment, but gives you an idea of the topics that I'll go over in future posts. Holistic Management incorporates very similar ideas to permaculture, Peter Andrews and Joel Salatin, but it is specific to dry climates, which are a challenge to conventional land management practices.
I think this book really deserves to be read in detail, which each section considered carefully and insights discussed. I will do this over the next few months as I finish reading the sections and try applying what I learn. I know my Pete won't read the book, but if I can pick out key points I can get him familiar with the concepts and interested in trying these ideas at Cheslyn Rise.
|The Holistic Management Model (from Holistic Management, Savory, A (1999)|
Have you heard of Allan Savory and Holistic Management? Have you read the book or tried any of the techniques? What do you think?
(I've included some Amazon affiliate links below to the books mentioned in this post - if you're in email or RSS you'll have to click over to my blog to see the links)