Agro-Ecological Research


"When a decision is made to cope with the symptoms of a problem, it is generally assumed that the corrective measures will solve the problem itself. They seldom do. Engineers cannot seem to get this through their heads. These countermeasures are all based on too narrow a definition of what is wrong. Human measures and countermeasures proceed from limited scientific truth and judgment. A true solution can never come about in this way." ~ Masanobu Fukuoka

 The Thrivability Institute will focus much of our attention on exploring how we can produce locally-grown food that fully honors our integrative ecosystem.  Known as "Agroecology" and "Agroforestry", sustainable agriculture is defined by Professor Stephen R. Gliessman of UC Santa Barbara as:

"A whole-systems approach to food, feed, and fiber production that balances environmental soundness, social equity, and economic viability among all sectors of the public, including international and intergenerational peoples. Inherent in this definition is the idea that sustainability must be extended not only globally but indefinitely in time, and to all living organisms including humans."


In that context, the Thrivability Institute will explore how we can create whole-system sustainable agriculture that allows for the thrivability of all involved.  We will test multiple methodologies for use in our specific Bioregion, including the following:

Thriv'In will step beyond testing various individual methodologies to designing entire integrated systems, each feeding the other in highly efficient closed-loop systems.  So we might find crops grown for multi-use such as biofuel integreted with crops for feed and human consumption.  Our irrigation systems might be powered by the sun, but they could just as easily be assisted by the gravity flow of captured rainwater, or the kinetic energy of kids using playground equipment.  In fact, we intend to apply the same high level of design, currently enjoyed mainly by the wealthy, on every aspect of our integrated systems designs.

To better understand the complexity and scope of Agroecology, please peruse some Agroecology Principles as illustrated in these case studies.


To ensure the quality of the soil, we will frequently monitor the soil content through organizations like Soil Foodweb Oregon.

Data for this page came from the following sources:


 Bill Mollison’s publication from Tasmania

 David Holmgren’s website

 The International Permaculture Conference

 In the USA ,





MASANOBU FUKUOKA  also  Along with no-till farming, Fukuoka recommends using the ancient Japanese technique of seed balls, which consist of mixing the seed for next season's crop with clay and compost, formed into tiny balls. This results in using less seed and fewer plants.  However each plant is healthier and produces a higher yield.


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