Once you have identified, potential productive demonstration sites you have to decide who could be involved in the development of each site. These people could also be brought together to establish a Learning Network.
Ideally, your collaborative group should include a range of people with different backgrounds, interests and responsibilities, with each group probably including farmers, extension officers, and lecturers/trainers
The development of the sites is a vital practical component within any RWH&C curriculum or training programme. The process of productive demonstration site development, from the initial ideas through to the planning and implementation phases and the use of the sites, can be built into any RWH&C education and training process. In this way, the sites, and the collaborative activities in which people become involved, become integral and add value to the teaching and learning
The selection of the practices and the development of the sites should be strongly informed by the information provided in the various WRC materials. The selection of the practices is supported by the use of the WRC Navigation Tool (introduced in Module 1).
As you have seen, this information is now available in different forms – as handouts, case studies and the key materials themselves. There are also the summary ‘postcards’ on most practices, available from the Amanzi for Food website. While not every detail of the development of every practice may be immediately available, there is certainly sufficient information to provide a good starting point.
When planning the development of a productive demonstration site, the most valuable information comes from local knowledge of the area. It is absolutely essential to have a good knowledge of the site in terms of its ownership (or tenure), location, size, aspect (which way it faces), slope, soil type, current use, and the presence of any roads or buildings in the area. In addition there are several tools, such as photographs, maps, and Google earth images which can help greatly in the planning process.
As with all other aspects of learning, the planning process is always best done collaboratively. Developing the site therefore becomes a process of working and learning together (as described in Presentation 2.4) which helps create a strong supportive bond between the people involved. This is essential for the future sustainability of the site and its continued value as a place of teaching and learning.
Presentation 2.5 provides information regarding the collaborative planning and development of productive demonstration sites. It also includes Case Studies of existing demonstration sites (click on box, below).