Skills Training for Wise Livelihood
Traditional forestry practice is the place to begin. It is one area where we are able to start very small scale with few assets and resources. It is possible to get access to neglected woods and hedgerows. It does not require large amounts of capital to invest in tools and resources. It is respected and will be supported by some in the farming community.
Sustainable small scale local forestry has been neglected but offers a way in to teach key rural skills and leads directly to skills of immediate value, some like hedgelaying are commercially valuable now. Coppice practice and craft along with hedgelaying and restoration need to be the key focus. This offers grounding in edge tool use and maintenance plus developing hand eye coordination, sharpening and tool care. These are all key skills.
Traditional coppice with standard trees produced fuels and materials in great abundance year in year out for many centuries. Understanding and working in a natural long term system is of great benefit. There is also the opportunity to learn working alongside horses carrying out basic transport and extraction. This is another key skill that can be developed further.
Additional skills of value can then be added such as: Willow Basket making and growing the materials. Bee keeping has great scope for development of skill and excellence in practice. Orchard skills and practice along with blacksmith work and tool making can follow. There is great scope for other rural skills and crafts that will become progressively more economic.
The aim is to grow and develop into teaching mixed, rotation, organic farming. This of course needs larger scale assets and developed key skills in a teacher group.