GROW Place Canary Islands : where water, soil and climate converge in the Atlantic
Michal Mos from the Canary Islands is a plant and soil scientist leading the GROW place in the archipelago, situated as it is west of Morocco in the Atlantic. He is well established as a commercial expert on the development of miscanthus for bioenergy, and he’s a passionate activist for the climate. After years of working in farming and the biotech industry he moved to the Canary Island to start a more sustainable life.
“Together with my partner Miriam we bought a small 1 ha farm and we started our regenerative/permaculture project in December 2018. Giving back to the island’s agriculture community is one of my priorities. I want to help in increasing knowledge and transferring it, as well as giving awareness about climate change’s implication in agriculture,” Michal said.
“GROW allows me to back up my scientific experience and bring 21st century science to this small island in the Atlantic ocean. As a community, we depend on climate and respond to its changes. Water resource is the limiting factor and the right use of it is key. Soil erosion in the Canary Island is a big problem so understanding soil moisture is critical,” he added.
El Hierro, the smallest, most southerly and westerly of the Canaries, is a very specific island with three distinguished climate zones: tropic orchards subtropic forest, and continental pine forest. Irrigation plays a crucial role in delivering plant yield. Understanding the nature of soil moisture, evapotranspiration and soil-plant interaction is important for the local farmers, permaculture growers and for the whole environment of the island.
Michal wants to build a community around the GROW project which can have a real impact on what’s happening in their island in terms of climate change and agriculture. He also wants to create a project on soil quality in relation to moisture and build a moisture map of the island. Most importantly, he wants to build community knowledge and translate his learnings to day by day agricultural practices.