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  • 433

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Working with nature to build soil health, with Robert Pavlis

After last week’s session with Matt Powers, I want to add a second perspective on soil and the new science behind how we can restore it to health in our own gardens. For that perspective I got back in touch with Robert Pavlis who was first on this show a few seasons ago to talk about building natural ponds. Robert has been an avid gardener for over four decades. He is the owner and developer of Aspen Grove Gardens, a 6-acre botanical garden that features over 3,000 varieties of plants. As a specialist in soil science, he has been an […]

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  • 377

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The fascinating new science of regenerating soil, with Matt Powers, author of “regenerative soil”

Now that I’ve wrapped up the series on waterway regeneration, I wanted to transition into a two episode deep dive into an essential component of water cycle health and how it affects the land by analysing the most elemental component of a healthy ecology, and that of course is soil. There’ve been a ton of new developments and research in this field in a very short time as scientists and agronomists alike are uncovering new insights into mineral cycles, the soil food web, plant and mycological relationships, and so much more.  Now you could sort through a small library of […]

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  • 388

water

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Regenerating lakes and ponds with floating islands, with Bruce Kania of Floating Island International

We’ve covered a ton of angles to this topic already, from fixing broken water cycles on the land with keyline planning and earthworks, to marine ecosystem restoration through conservation and even farming. In today’s episode I got to speak with Bruce Kania of Floating Island International which developed their patented Biohaven floating island technology as a solution to algae-ridden and nutrient impared waterways since 2005. Since then they´ve launched over 9,000 island systems worldwide as solutions to a variety of problems facing contaminated water.  In this interview Bruce breaks down the chemical and biological processes that happen in the water […]

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Waterway regeneration
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  • 667

water

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Reviving urban waterways with floating wetlands, with Galen Fulford from Biomatrix Water

Welcome back friends and family to this ongoing series on waterway regeneration. In the past three episodes I focused on marine regeneration through conservation as well as farming. Today we’re going to take a look at fresh water systems and specifically, how to decontaminate them through biological methods. I’ll be sure to put a link to that interview in the show note on the website in case you missed it.  Some of you may remember an interview I did with Tom Duncan about his floating wetlands and how they can be used to clean up excessive nutrients and pollutants back […]

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Waterway regeneration
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  • 138

water

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Regenerating coral reefs with art and community, with Celia Gregory of the Marine Foundation

Welcome back friends and family to this ongoing series on waterway regeneration. We’ve covered so many approaches to this subject up until now, and over the last two weeks I’ve been exploring regenerative solutions to the environmental degradation of marine ecosystems. Today we’ll be looking closely at some creative ways of protecting and even reseeding coral reefs in my interview with Celia Gregory.  Celia is the founder of the Marine Foundation, an Eco-arts organisation that uses art for change – not only in awareness and education, but also directly on the restoration of coral reef habitats, fish stocks, and associated […]

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  • 83

High Quality Food

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9 steps for overall health and a strong immune system

A quick note before we get into it.  No supplement, diet, or lifestyle modification — aside from physical/social distancing, and practicing proper hygiene ⁠— has been proven to protect you from catching COVID-19. The strategies outlined below may boost your immune health and overall health, but they don’t protect specifically against COVID-19. Also, I’m not a doctor or medical professional. These recommendations are based on research I’ve done and a lot of common sense. While the benefits will vary person to person, none of them come with any associated dangers or risk of side effects. I also don’t endorse or […]

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Waterway regeneration
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  • 516

water

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The massive potential in marine permaculture, with Brian Von Herzen

Continuing today with this ongoing series on waterway regeneration and a deep dive into marine ecosystems, I had the pleasure of speaking with Brian Von Herzen.  Brian is an ocean scientist, engineer and entrepreneur, though much of his career has been in Silicon Valley where he developed innovative technical solutions for companies like Pixar, Dolby and Microsoft. Brian is also the founder and Executive Director of the non-profit The Climate Foundation, an institute working to regenerate life in the world’s oceans and reverse global warming within our lifetimes. Through Brian’s work with the Climate Foundation, he’s been promoting the concept […]

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Waterway regeneration
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  • 421

water

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Diving deep into ocean farming,with Joost Wouters of the Seaweed Company

Over the last month, I’ve been focusing on interviews with people who are pioneering the repair and regeneration of the water cycle as it pertains to landscapes. We’ve explored the installation of ponds and dams, permaculture earthworks and water retention landscapes as well as keyline design and planting the rain in drylands. These are all great interventions at the beginning of the water cycle’s journey, but today I want to start a deeper dive, literally, by going to the furthest point downstream, where water enters the ocean.  Marine ecosystems are much less understood by the general public for a variety […]

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Waterway regeneration
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  • 901

soil building

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How to plant the rain in drylands and beyond, with Brad Lancaster, author of the Rainwater Harvesting books

In the last handful of episodes we’ve explored permaculture earthworks for water harvesting landscapes and keyline design on large scales. As a complement to those topics I got in touch with Brad Lancaster, the author Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, volumes one and two which have recently been re-released as expanded new editions.Brad is an expert in the field of rainwater harvesting and water management whose work I’ve been following for a long time. He is also a permaculture teacher, designer, consultant and co-founder of the non-profit Desert Harvesters, which teaches the public how to identify, harvest, and process […]

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Waterway regeneration
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  • 793

soil building

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Making the most of your water on any farm, with Mark Shepard, Author of “Water for Any Farm”

Since the last two episodes focused on earthworks, specifically water retention and catchment features, I wanted to revisit one of my favorite interviews that really helped me to understand the fundamentals of keyline design and how many different configurations it could take, even on the same piece of land. The keyline system was pioneered of course by PA Yeomans in Australia back in the 1950’s and has been a guide for farmers and land restorationists ever since. Back at the beginning of this season I spoke with Mark Shepard, right after the release of his latest book Water for Any […]

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Waterway regeneration
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  • 650

soil building

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A Permaculture guide to Earth Surgery, with David “Doc Spice” Spicer

Tying in perfectly with last week’s interview with Zach Weiss about building ponds and water harvesting features, I spoke with David Spicer, affectionately known as Doc Spice, an accomplished permaculture designer who has specialized in earthworks installation. Having taught and worked on various projects extensively within Australia and internationally, in places such as Morocco, Jordan, Palestine and New Caledonia, Doc has worked in a broad array of different soil types, topographies and climatic zones. He’s also a valued member of the Permaculture Sustainable Consulting team headed up by Geoff Lawton and is registered Teacher #5 with the Permaculture Research Institute […]

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Waterway regeneration
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  • 1317

water

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How to install ponds, dams, and water retention features, with Zach Weiss from Elemental Ecosystems

Welcome back to the ongoing series on waterway regeneration. Today’s interview is the second conversation I’ve had with Zach Weiss, the Protégé of revolutionary Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer and founder of Elemental Ecosystems, a company that designs and implements water harvesting landscapes and features for clients around the world.  Zach is best known for blending a unique combination of systems thinking, empathy and awareness, in his projects.  In the last interview I did with him, which I’ve linked to in the show notes for this episode on the website, he introduced me to the importance of a healthy water cycle […]

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  • 631

How to

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8 things you should know to successfully save your own seeds

Saving seeds is as essential a skill as humans have ever cultivated. Our ability to adapt the ecology we inhabit to our food and medicine needs is one of the distinct abilities that have propelled our species to such dramatic expansion around the globe. Yet seed saving is a skill that’s being lost. In this article I’ll profile some of the simplest steps and considerations to help you start saving your own seeds right away.  Here are 8 things you should know to successfully save your own seeds and store them for the best chance of good sprouting (germination). Be […]

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Waterway regeneration
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  • 604
  • 2

Interviews

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The Facts And Stories Behind Waterway Restoration, With Judith Schwartz

As we continue into this series on waterway regeneration, I reached out to Judith Schwartz, a wonderful author who tells stories to explore and illuminate scientific concepts and cultural nuance.  Her two most recent books, Water in Plain sight, and The Reindeer Chronicles both feature incredible case studies of the importance of a healthy water cycle, to the health of our ecosystems and global climate regulation.  Judith is known for taking  a clear-eyed look at global environmental, economic, and social challenges, and finds insights and solutions in natural systems. She also writes for numerous publications, including The American Prospect, The […]

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Waterway regeneration
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  • 168

water

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How we can overcome the looming water crisis in our cities with “the Godfather of Green”Jerry Yudelson

Welcome back to the second episode in this series on waterway regeneration. In this series we’ll be looking into the often overlooked role of the water cycle and its effects on the climate crisis. I’ll be speaking with experts and innovators about how repairing the hydrological cycle and the health of our waterways can lead to the restoration of all sorts of ecological services and the health of entire ecosystems as a result.  In this week’s episode I got to chat with Jerry Yudelson, the author of 13 full-length professional and trade books on green buildings, integrated design, green homes, […]

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Waterway regeneration
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  • 400
  • 1

How to

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Why regenerating our oceans makes both public health and economic sense, with Dr. Enric Sala of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas Project

Welcome to the first episode in a brand new series focusing on waterway regeneration. In the last few years of hosting this show it’s become vividly clear to me just how important and yet overlooked an issue that the health of our water cycles are.  While the climate change narrative has mostly focused on the concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution, we’ve ignored the essential role that the water cycle plays in regulating global temperatures. In this series I’ll be speaking to an incredible list of scientists, farmers, and restorationists who are […]

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Regenerative Agriculture for a better world
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  • 392

How to

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Steps to food security: saving seeds, with James Ulager, author of Beginning seed saving for the home gardener

Today’s guest is James Ulager, the author Beginning Seed Saving for the home gardener, and though this certainly isn’t a talk about farm scale seed saving and propagation, I thought it was essential to include in this series. In my opinion, seed saving and selective breeding is one of the best ways that anyone with even a small yard or garden can participate in ensuring the food security of future generations. We live in a time when governments have deemed it possible to patent seeds and own genetic information. This not only threatens the sovereignty of our seeds, but of […]

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  • 1296
  • 1

soil building

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Kill your lawn, to bring life to your yard

Lawns are the most costly agricultural product in the USA, using more fertilizer and chemical treatment than any other major crop including corn and soy. On top of that, they’re the largest consumer of water, especially in arid regions that can’t naturally afford to keep green lawns all year. And all of this for what? Grassy lawns don’t give us any food, they do almost nothing for the soil since their root systems are very shallow and create compaction beneath, and they’ve only been common in our culture for a short time. They originated in the gardens of English and […]

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  • 738

Farming

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Bringing farmland back into the hands of our communities, with Ian McSweeny of The Agrarian Trust

One of the biggest challenges that I’ve heard repeatedly both in the interviews in this series on regenerative agriculture as well as with peers and clients that I’ve collaborated with, is the difficulty for aspiring farmers to get access to land. This is true back in the States as well as in Europe and other parts of the world where I’ve traveled, and it’s part of a much larger problem in the trends of land ownership that reduce land to a commodity. As prices for land soar and the rapidly aging population of farmers struggle to keep their businesses afloat, […]

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  • 309

Farming

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Uniting women in agriculture for a regenerative food future, with Lisa Kivirist

Though this series on regenerative farming has covered a ton of different farming models, land management techniques, food production methods and design methods, one of the glaring absences in the perspectives I’ve included has been that of women, and I’m well aware of it. I did reach out to a lot of women farmers in an attempt to set up interviews, but many of them either didn’t want to be interviewed or were simply too busy to be able to schedule a call. I can imagine that with all of the nonsense and instability around the pandemic it must be […]

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  • 426

Natural Building

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How to start implementing your design before it’s finished

Developing a full regenerative design can be quite a long and involved process. Looking deeply into your holistic context and trying to understand both the nuances of the ecosystem and community you’re working in doesn’t get done overnight.  Many of you are like me however and just want to get started doing something as soon as possible. The problem comes when you realise that if you start to implement big and costly projects too early or before you’ve finished your design, you could end up having to undo them or your design could suffer from them being poorly placed. So […]

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  • 794
  • 1

How to

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Applying syntropic farming methods for dryland regeneration, with Jacob Evans

Over the years I’ve been hearing about a new pedagogy of land management that has been gaining in popularity, especially in agroforestry circles. The trouble for me has been that until recently a lot of the resources have been in portuguese, and so I kept my eye on it from a distance. Syntropic farming is a term first coined by Ernst Gostch, a swizz farmer who emigrated to Brazil in the 80’s and pioneered this new form of farmland management on his land in Bahia. But today, to speak about the principles of syntropic farming and how he’s adapted them […]

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Regenerative Agriculture for a better world
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  • 751

soil building

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Restoring Spain’s degraded farmland with regenerative agroforestry, with Alfonzo Chico de Guzman, president of AlVelAl

As I’m slowly becoming better connected here in Spain in the last year, one of the main projects in regenerative agriculture that keeps coming up in my research and the conversations that I have, is a fairly new project called AlVelAl which is located in Southern Spain, roughly in between the cities of Granada and Murcia. The name AlVelAl relates to the first letters of the comarcas (or counties) where the initiative started: Altiplano de Granada, Los Vélez and Alto ALmanzora. Today, the AlVelAl territory covers more than 1,000,000 hectares of degraded steppe called the Altiplano Estepario.  I first found […]

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  • 1910

Design Criteria

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How to build a digital base map for your design

Recently my partner and I have been looking for a home near where we live that we can transform into a regenerative paradise.  Looking for land anywhere is a long and tricky process, especially because we have very specific criteria for what we want and need.  As we’ve been looking around I’ve been making a ton of maps to get a better understanding of the places we’re looking at.  It used to be that making maps was one of the most time consuming parts about designing a land based project.  Now there are some really powerful and simple tools available […]

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  • 460

soil building

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Regenerating the rainforest by growing cacao with Alejandro Solano of Choco Mashpi

Though I’ve spoken to some great orchardists through this podcast, many of them are growing cold tolerant trees in far northern climates, but I wanted to get a perspective on running a holistically managed orchard in the tropics to explore how the beneficial interactions between some of the most prized tree and perennial products in the world can be grown in a way that fuels the restoration of these incredibly biodiverse and robust ecosystems. I’ve known quite a few orchardists from back in Guatemala where I used to live and work, and I’ll link to those interviews in the show […]

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  • 1302
  • 1

soil building

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What would agriculture look like with zero inputs? with Shane Simonsen, author of zero-input agriculture

Though I’ve been inspired by all the amazing examples of regenerative farming through the people that I’ve interviewed through this series, there’s one glaring commonality between all of them and that’s the fact that the success of their enterprises all rely heavily on the destructive infrastructure that we currently have in place to get the organic and feed inputs for their enterprises, the seeds or young animals that they then raise, and the fossil fuel system that then transports their food products to market. I’m not at all criticizing these people of their work. It would be near impossible to […]

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Regenerative Agriculture for a better world
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  • 662

soil building

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Is permaculture still relevant to small farms and local food security? With Loren Luyendyk of Permaculture Intl.

Permaculture has done an incredible job of raising awareness of natural land management techniques and teaching people to observe and read the patterns of the natural world to inform their interactions with the environment, but it often gets criticized for being impractical when it comes to apply its methods to profitable farming enterprises. There’s a long running line of questioning on this show, especially when I’m speaking with producers and farmers about where they have to compromise their choices for the earth with the needs of their businesses and the efficiency required to turn a profit, so to help me […]

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  • 237

Design Criteria

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5 Ways to shortcut the “year of observation”

You’ll hear it repeated a lot in permaculture circles that the best thing to do before even starting the design for your site is to spend a full year living on the land. In that time you’ll be able to observe and gather information about how things change and transform during the different season and you’ll gain insights that you’d never be able to without this “year of observation.” I agree that it would be great if you were able to do this, but I live in the real world where no-one has a year of time before they can […]

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  • 274

Farming

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Creating the tools, resources, and community for a regenerative future in farming, with Ray Milidoni of Farming Secrets

Though regenerative agriculture has made huge leaps forward in the last decade, it still only accounts for a very small percentage of the farms around the world and even less in over developed countries. While we still have a long way to go make ecological land management practices the norm around the world, there are a lot of people dedicated to accelerating the progress of recent years by creating educational platforms, mentorship programs and creating community collaboration around these important skills.  In this episode I got to speak to one of my favorite new contacts in regenerative farming education, Ray […]

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  • 2096

Design Criteria

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How to create a free topographic map for your regenerative design

One of the most important elements of a regenerative design for a section of land is to understand the contours and shape of the site. With this information you can better understand how water will move on the land, and begin to plan where to put features like water harvesting structures, swales on contour, plantings on contour, check dams, ponds and much more. But it can be tricky for beginners to learn new software for digital mapping or it can be expensive to hire a pro or buy detailed topo maps. Certainly it doesn’t make much sense to do any […]

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  • 272

How to

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Pioneering the urban farm revolution, with Michael Ableman, author of Farm the City

Welcome back to another episode in the ongoing series on Regenerative Agriculture. Up until now I’ve spoken with growers and producers on cutting edge of profitable regenerative landbased enterprises and management techniques in rural areas, but there’s also a growing movement to produce food closer to where the heaviest concentration of people are, and that’s in cities. While the basics of growing food are fairly universal, there are a lot of uniques challenges that farmers in the city face that just aren’t present in rural or even suburban areas. And to get an experienced point of view on urban farming, […]

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  • 756

soil building

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Stewarding the holistic health of a community orchard

In the past I’ve talked to quite a few orchardists and agroforestry practitioners, especially in the series on Reforestation and Agroforestry at the end of last season, but I was really glad to be introduced to Michael Phillips’ work by a great friend of the show, Nick from Minnesota. After speaking late last year with Stephan Sobkowiak, Nick recommended that I look into Michael’s incredible books for an even deeper dive into the soil health and biological spraying mixes that MIchael has developed to promote holistic health as he pioneers the revival of the community orchard. Michael Phillips is a […]

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Regenerative Agriculture for a better world
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  • 282

soil building

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Is hemp the answer to a regenerative future for American agriculture? with Doug Fine, author of American Hemp Farmer

I’ve been meaning to get in touch with someone who could explain to me the nebulous and exploding new farming industry around the ancient yet newly legalized hemp plant, and I found a gold mine of information in Doug Fine, the author of Hemp Bound and American Hemp Farmer. Doug is known as a solar-powered goat herder, comedic investigative journalist, and pioneer voice in cannabis/hemp and regenerative farming. He has grown hemp in four US states, and the genetics he’s developed are in five more. He’s an award-winning culture and climate correspondent for NPR, the New York Times, and the […]

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  • 2476

soil building

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How to restore soil and ecological health on a massive scale with regenerative agriculture, with Gabe Brown, author of from dirt to soil

A lot of the farms that come to mind when I think of regenerative agriculture are smaller, more diverse and quite intensive, with many different crops and animals working in closer proximity with many stacked functions and a niche business model, but what can be done for all those vast fields of monoculture plantings of crops like corn, soy, and wheat that take up so much space in the heartland of the midwestern and western US? Are there regenerative solutions for these massive farms of thousands of acres? Is there hope for farming the plains and savannas through ecological management? [...]

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  • 957

compost

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Essential tools to accelerate agricultural land regeneration, with Rhamis Kent, Co-director of the Permaculture Research Institute

My guest today is someone who has been an inspiration to me since I first began to study permaculture almost a decade ago. Rhamis Kent has been the man behind the scenes for some incredible regeneration projects around the world through his work with the Permaculture Research Institute in the middle east, north and eastern africa, the Iberian peninsula, and many other regions of harsh and challenging climates. Though Rhamis is someone that I could talk to for days about so many different ecological topics, I reached out to him for this session because of a great article and presentation that […]

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  • 701

soil building

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Can we make ecological agriculture mainstream by 2040? With John Kempf, author of Quality Agriculture

Welcome back everyone to another episode in this ongoing series on regenerative agriculture. Before we get started today I want to give a quick shout out. Before starting this series I’ve been in contact with a listener of the show named Nick who has been incredibly generous and helpful in sending me links and information about other practitioners in the field that I should check out. I’ve learned so much from the ideas he’s sent me so I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks to Nick for all his help and guidance.  Today’s interview comes from one […]

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  • 985
  • 1

compost

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Championing a regenerative farming revolution in Europe, with Richard Perkins, author of Regenerative Agriculture

Welcome back everyone to this ongoing series on regenerative agriculture. Last week we kicked off with an interview with Joel Salatin and in this session I’ve got another great interview with one of the most influential regen ag practitioners in Europe. There are a lot of inspiring voices in the regenerative agriculture community, but few have done such a thorough job of documenting and publishing every step of the development of a small profitable farm the way Richard Perkins has done with Ridgedale Permaculture. Especially now that I’ve decided to put down roots in Europe, I’ve been looking for examples […]

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  • 1841

soil building

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Joel Salatin has hope for a post-COVID regenerative agri-culture

My guest today needs little introduction. Joel Salatin has been one of the most prominent voices in regenerative agriculture for many years now and I thought he’d be the perfect person to not only kick off this new series on regenerative agriculture, but also for his optimistic perspective on the future we are collectively heading into as our countries continue to grapple with the social and economic costs of the COVID-19 pandemic and its response.  Though I had always planned to speak with Joel about the future and opportunities in regenerative farming in the US and around the world, I […]

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Homesteading
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  • 960
  • 1

myth busting

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A guide to resilient living wherever you are

Welcome to another special episode! This week we’ll be wrapping up the series on modern homesteading by reviewing some of the most important information from the last 7 interviews. In those episodes we covered a ton of exciting topics from some of the best authorities in their fields from animal husbandry, becoming self-sufficient by living off your land, myth busting, small enterprise planning, making money on your homestead, and much more. I’ll also be giving some advice and observations from my own experience living and working on homesteading projects and starting my own homesteads all over the world in the […]

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Homesteading
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  • 558

Community building

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Building a more resilient life and investing in community, with Nicholas Burtner from The School of Permaculture

Today’s guest, NIcholas Burtner, is a permaculture designer, consultant and educator through his organization The School of Permaculture. I caught Nicholas in a good moment for this interview because like many of us he’s in a period of transition with his family in which they are looking to move to a more resilient and independent homesteading lifestyle. Though he’s been gardening and working on self sufficiency projects from his suburban home for years, he and his family are looking to expand to a larger space where they can provide more of their own needs from the land.  In this interview […]

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Homesteading
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  • 1030

soil building

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How to build resilience in your life in a rapidly changing world, with Ben Falk of Whole Systems Design

My guest today is someone I’ve followed and looked up to since I first began to learn about permaculture and homesteading. Ben Falk is not only a badass homesteader and self-sufficiency pioneer, he’s also an accomplished designer and consultant, primarily through his company Whole Systems Design. For years I’ve even had a video tour of his property in Vermont saved on my computer that I watch from time to time as inspiration for what can be done on a small degraded plot if you take the time to observe the context and patterns of the place and are not afraid […]

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Homesteading
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  • 588

Farming

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Permaculture Homesteading in Nepal: A Story of Community Connection, with Zac Barton of Almost Heaven Farms

Continuing with our ongoing series on homesteading I wanted to talk to someone with a bit more of a similar experience to my own. More than once now I’ve found myself in a new country and starting to build a permaculture inspired, self-sufficient, homestead lifestyle. There are a lot of unique challenges and difficulties when operating in a new place, a different country, or a whole new continent. Zac Barton contacted me a while ago after listening to this podcast to tell me about his own story of settling in a foreign place to pursue the permaculture dream and I […]

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Homesteading
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  • 1164

Farming

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How to produce fresh food year-round, even in cold climates! With Pam Dawling, author of “The Year-Round Hoop House”

In the first half of this interview I spoke with Pam Dawling, the author of “The Year-Round Hoop House” about the most important information about siting, building, irrigating and soil care for extending crop growing in hoop houses. I tap in to Pam’s extensive knowledge of feeding 100 people in the Twin Oaks Intentional Community in Virginia, mostly from her 30’ by 100’ hoop house and the details of that particular setup.  In the second half of the interview we turn to a topic that so many of you listeners have written to me about, and that’s communal living. These […]

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Homesteading
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  • 699

How to

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Creative ideas for building your homestead on a budget, with John Moody

Welcome to another episode in this ongoing series on homesteading. In this session I reached out to John Moody, the author of many books including “DIY Sourdough, The Elderberry Book” and the one we’ll be focusing on today “The Frugal Homesteader.”  John is also the founder of Whole Life Services and Whole Life Buying Club and is the former executive director of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. Like many of the people interviewed in this series, John decided to make a major transition in his lifestyle when he discovered that his diet was literally killing him with duodenal ulcers, seasonal […]

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Homesteading
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Uncategorized

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Is it Realistic to Produce All Your Own Food? with Deborah Niemann, author of “Homegrown and Handmade”

Continuing with this ongoing series on homesteading, I reached out to Deborah Niemann, the author of many books including “Homegrown and Handmade, Eco-thrifty, Just Kidding and Raising Goats Naturally” which is now in its second edition. She also blogs at thriftyhomesteader.com, hosts the podcast “For the love of goats’ ‘ and co owns Antiquity Oaks, a small farm in Cornell, Illinois. Like nearly everyone in this interview series, Deborah didn’t grow up on a farm or a homesteading lifestyle at all. Her transition to a healthier and more earth connected way of living lead her to teach others how to […]

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Homesteading
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reuse and recycle

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Essential things to consider when making the shift to a homesteading lifestyle, with Natalie Bogwalker of Wild Abundance

In the past I’ve done a lot of episodes focusing on specific skills and enterprises that people integrate into a regenerative lifestyle, but in this series I’m going to be speaking with people who’ve put a bunch of those pieces together into a lifestyle centered on positive interactions with nature and a move towards self sustainability.  Homesteading is a general term that originally comes from the homesteading acts in the United States which were a series of laws enacted between 1862 up until the 1930s which allowed an applicant to acquire ownership of government land or otherwise public land for […]

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Reforestation and Agroforestry
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myth busting

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11 Inspiring Examples to Give You Hope That the World’s Forests can be Regenerated

After 11 interviews with experts on native reforestation, holistic orchard management, water retention landscapes, perennial crop agriculture and more, I learned a lot of new things about the state of the world’s forests and the tools and knowledge we have to regenerate them. In this special episode wrapping up the series on reforestation and agroforestry I’ll break down some of the information and statistics that will help you understand the major role that forests play in maintaining a healthy climactic balance on earth. I’ll also break down how both past and current practices have put forests at risk all over […]

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Reforestation and Agroforestry
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how to grow a mature Native forest in just a few years, with afforestt founder Shubhendu Sharma: 146

Welcome to the last interview in the Reforestation and Agroforestry series. We’ve covered so many important aspects of this topic in 10 interviews over 4 months. I’ve spoken to homesteaders regenerating cloud forests in tropical climates, tech companies with more than 20 tree planting initiatives around the world, agroforestry and orchard advocates and everything in between, and this last conversation is the icing on the cake. If you’ve ever wondered how to restore a mature native forest in record time and on a modest budget, this is the episode for you, because today I’ll be speaking with Shubhendu Sharma, a […]

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Reforestation and Agroforestry
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soil building

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Mark Shepard on how to make the most of your water on any farm

Welcome everyone to the first episode of a brand new season of the Abundant Edge podcast. I can’t believe I’m starting the fourth year of this little pet project that I had three years ago after I had just moved to Guatemala and was wrapping up an internship on bamboo building, and now here I am, having moved to north eastern Spain and with more than 50 thousand of you incredible folks tuning in to this show every month from all around the world. I’m so happy to be able to keep this show going and I’m really excited to […]

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Regenerative Round Table

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Checking in with Granja Tz’ikin and the season finale, with Neal Hegarty: 144

Here we are! The end of 2019 and season three of this podcast. For those of you who’ve been following this show for a while you know that I went through a lot of big changes this year, most notably a big move from the permaculture farm startup that I worked on for for about 16 months in Guatemala. From there I took some big trips through southern Mexico and the US and a bit in Canada to where I finally settled down in the Catalonia region of north easthern Spain. Though I live really far away from where I [...]

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How to

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Turn your orchard into a resilient ecosystem with these steps! From Stefan Sobkowiak of Miracle Farms: 143

We’ve covered so many different ways to approach reforestation, both with native species and mixes of natives and orchard trees. In today’s session I wanted to focus on fruit orchards and I got to speak with the wizard behind Miracle Farms and the film, “The Permaculture Orchard” Stefan Sobkowiak. I’ve been a fan of Stefan’s work for a while and have spent a lot of time on his excellent youtube channel where he offers tons of tutorials and solutions to practical aspects of managing a whole ecosystem around his orchard enterprise. In this interview we break it all down from […]

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soil building

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Why forests are key to the future of agriculture, with Darren Doherty, co-author of the Regrarian’s Handbook: 142

The last time I caught up with Darren Doherty for this podcast was back in season two. We talked a lot about his background and entry into ecological agriculture and how that journey informed his development of the Regrarian’s platform and outlook on the potential of regenerative farming. I recently caught up with him again to investigate the new chapter of the Regrarian’s handbook which he and his team just released. Chapter 5 of the 10 in the book which are being relseased one by one in digital format on their website focuses on forests and all the configurations that […]

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soil building

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Even the driest deserts can be regenerated. Here’s how! With Neal Spackman of the Al Baydha project: 141

I had the pleasure of catching up again with Neal Spackman, one of the primary designers and organizers of the Al Baydha project in Saudi Arabia. The Al Baydha project began in 2009 with a long list of lofty ambitions. Among them they aimed to improve the local economy, act as a model for sustainable development in the Arabian Peninsula, reduce dependence on government handouts for the community, and store and harvest rainwater in the landscape through the restoration of the savannah ecosystem which had been desertified in only a few decades. This is the second interview I’ve done with […]

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Farming

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How your web searches can help reforest the world, with Pieter Van Midwoud, lead tree planting officer at Ecosia: 139

Continuing with this series on reforestation and agroforestry, I got the chance to speak with Pieter Van Midwoud, the lead tree planting officer of the search engine company Ecosia. I’ve been using Ecosia as my default search engine for a couple years now because of their claim to plant trees around the world with the profits from ad revenue every time you search, but I wanted to know more about how their tree planting initiatives actually work. In this interview Pieter and I start by talking about how Ecosia as a company functions and how the simple act of searching […]

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Reforestation and Agroforestry
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soil building

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Alley cropping as a remedy for slash and burn agriculture with James Potter from the Indga Foundation: 138

The first three interviews in this ongoing series on reforestation and agroforestry have highlighted small personal projects on private land, each with a different person in south or mesoamerica whose primary motivations are to restore the forests and biodiversity of their land. In all three cases producing a viable agricultural product was an important aspect of the project and one which brought in funds to keep the operation running, but profitable agriculture wasn’t the primary goal for any of them. In this interview I spoke with James Potter with the Inga foundation who talked with me about the work and […]

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Reforestation and Agroforestry
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Natural Building

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Restoring degraded land to agro-cloud-forest with Kristen Krash of Sueño de Vida: 137

I was first introduced to Kristen Krash through Atulya Bingham, the well known author and natural builder who’s been on this show a few time. She told me about this incredible little project in Ecuador focused on regenerating the native cloud forest and off-grid living, and that I had to speak with Kristen about her journey. When I got to chat with Kristen I was amazed at how well she knew her bioregion and the experience she could speak from about getting her dream project off the ground with her partner in the last few years. Three short years ago […]

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Reforestation and Agroforestry
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water

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Regenerating native forests on a large scale with Alex Kronick of Caoba Farms: 136

I’ve been so fortunate to get to speak directly with so many people who have created incredible examples of permaculture abundance and ecological health and resilience through this podcast, and though I’ve also gotten to visit many permaculture projects and practitioners, many of the ones I’ve seen in person are either just in the early stages of getting off the ground, or haven’t quite found their balance between financial and ecological prosperity. The best examples that I’ve seen in person are the projects that Alex Kronick and his team have managed in the area around Antigua Guatemala, namely Caoba Farms […]

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soil building

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Restoring Native cloud forest in southern Mexico, with Jairo Rodriguez of Teyoapa Farms:

Today I’m going to kick off a new series focusing on reforestation and agroforestry. I’ve been motivated to return to this subject as it seems to be unusually pressing these days. The wild fires in the western USA and in the Amazon rainforest are not only destructive to those regions in isolation, they also have major ripple effects across the globe and in our collective resiliency. I’ve been fortunate to work directly with people and organizations through my travels who are working on the front lines of reforestation and in the next few episodes I’ll be sharing interviews with people […]

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Natural Building Essentials
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  • 271

Natural Building

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Voices of natural and alternative building, an Abundant Edge special episode

I haven’t done a special episode in a long time, in fact I haven’t done any at all this season and it’s been a while since I’ve done a Regenerative Round Table since I’ve been transitioning from the farm where I lived with my colleagues in Guatemala until May of this year to where I am now, which is a small town about a half hour north of Barcelona in the beautiful Mediterranean region of Catalunya in Spain. In the last few months I backpacked up through southern Mexico, spent a month visiting family in Spokane Washington, then another month […]

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Natural Building Essentials
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Natural Building

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Meet the team that’s making cob legal, an interview with members of the Cob Research Institute: 133

Today’s episode is very important in that there’s a limited window of time for those of you, especially in the USA who care about natural building and want to see cob and other natural building materials legalized and approved by building authorities to help this happen. An incredible opportunity is coming up in the last week of October, which is just over a week from now when members of the Cob Research Institute, some of whom you’ll hear interviewed in a minute, will present a proposal for cob to be included in the ICC/IRC code (international code council/international residential code, […]

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Natural Building Essentials
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  • 433

Natural Building

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The essential guide to lime. Plasters, paints and cretes, with Aulya Bingham from “The Mud Home”

I’ve talked about many different building materials through this series, but one of my all time favorites often gets overlooked because it isn’t commonly used as a structural element. Lime in all of its various forms as a plaster, paint, mortar, grout, poured floor or even in newer applications like hempcrete, has so many advantages and applications in just about any style of natural or conventional building. That’s why I reached out to the “Mud Witch” Atulya Bingham, who’s been interviewed twice on this podcast before because she just released a new online course covering everything you need to know […]

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Natural Building Essentials
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Natural Building

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Benito Steen of “The Nito Project” on exploring new natural building techniques and teaching around the world: 131

Today’s guest, Benito Steen is one of the people that I’ve most had requested from you listeners to do an interview with, in large part because of the success of his YouTube channel called “The Nito Project” where he works with his younger brother Panther to make beautiful educational videos on natural building techniques, earthen plasters and even the japanese method of making polished clay balls called Dorodango. Benito is the first of my guests who grew up in natural buildings since his childhood rather than coming to the trades later in life. His parents Bill and Athena Steen being […]

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Natural Building Essentials
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Natural Building

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The best options for home scale renewable energy with Dan Chiras, author of “The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy: 130

We’re now well into this on-going series on natural building and design, and we’ve covered bamboo building, rocket stoves, design at the building and community levels, and so much more already. One of the biggest topics that I haven’t yet explored on this podcast and has always interested me is the subject of renewable energy. Renewables have been in the media for a long time both branded as a solution to our collective reliance on fossil fuel energy and also criticized for being too expensive for most people to install or implement at the home scale. Luckily I had the […]

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Natural Building Essentials
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  • 322

Natural Building

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Does aircrete have a place in natural building and regenerative living? With Daniel Allen of Tiny Giant Life: 129

Until getting to know Daniel and his understanding of building design and healthy living, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do an episode on aircrete. I’ve focused only on natural building techniques and materials up until this point because I honestly believe that nature provides all the materials we need to build high quality and healthy structures. But since Daniel comes from the perspective of natural building experience and because I like to remain open to new ideas and not become too much of a purist or a zealot for one way of seeing things, I spoke to him about […]

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Natural Building Essentials
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  • 198

Natural Building

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Limecrete and renovating old homes with natural materials, with April Magill of RootDown Design: 128

I finally had the chance to do a follow up session with one of my favorite natural builders, April Magill. She’s not only an accomplished architect, builder, and educator through her company “Root Down Design” and the American College of the Building Arts, she’s also constantly experimenting with new techniques and materials as you’ll hear in this episode. Back in the first interview that I recorded with April, we dissected rammed earth and how she was working to revive the craft for all its potential benefits for her climate and conditions in Charleston, NC. This time we talk about hempcrete, […]

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Natural Building Essentials
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  • 194

Natural Building

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The architecture of healthy communities and designing for connection, with Mark Lakeman of Communitecture: 127

As I continue to explore the topics of natural building and ecological design in this ongoing series, I had the pleasure of speaking again with Mark Lakeman. Mark has been a big inspiration to me through the architectural work he’s done at the community level, and in exploring what it takes to design neighborhoods and gathering places that help humans to reconnect to their sense of place and overcome the colonial infrastructure that continues to separate us from each other and from lifestyles that include all facets of healthy living. Since I’ve mostly studied design at the building level, learning […]

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Natural Building Essentials
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  • 279

Natural Building

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The most efficient stoves in the world and how to make them, with Kirk “Donkey” Mobert of Sundog School of Natural Building: 126

In this continuation of the series of regenerative building and design, I checked in with a good friend of mine and a hero in the rocket stove and masonry heater sphere. Kirk Mobert, more commonly known as Donkey, is the founder of the Sundog school of natural building in northern California and has literally been on, and in, the ground through the development and maturation of rocket stoves and all of the innovations and advances for the last 20 odd years. This session might be a little heady for people who are new to rocket and masonry stoves, but for […]

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Natural Building Essentials
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  • 448

Natural Building

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The incredible potential of bamboo and building design for the tropics, with Trey Abernethy of “Natural Building Costa Rica:” 125

Continuing with this series of exploring natural building materials, design techniques and traditions, I spoke with my friend Trey Abernethy, a long-time builder and now a bamboo craftsman. For over a decade Trey worked in the industrial building trades before moving to Costa Rica where he took a bamboo building course with Rodolpho Saenz that changed his trajectory. Trey now co-teaches bamboo building techniques with Rodolpho and designs and builds for clients in Costa Rica. In this interview we cover a bit of every part of bamboo as a construction material. From the environmental benefits of planting bamboo culms and […]

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Natural Building Essentials
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  • 154

Natural Building

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Everything you need to know to get your natural building off the ground, with Chris Magwood, founder of the Endeavour Center: 124

I’ve been looking forward to speaking with my next guest for a long time now. Chris Magwood is the founder and director of the Endeavour center, which provides experiential education at the intersection of high-performance and natural building. Chris is a self proclaimed building “omnivore” who experiments with any and all materials and techniques he can get his hands on. He has dedicated his career to making the best, most energy efficient, beautiful and inspiring buildings without wrecking the planet in the attempt. I’ve followed his work and especially his books as I’ve been learning about all sorts of natural […]

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Professional, Profitable, Permaculture
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  • 201

soil building

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Designing regenerative landscapes for wildfire ecologies, with Erik Ohlsen, founder of Permaculture Artisans: 123

Today we’re back with Erik Ohlsen, founder of both Permaculture Artisans, one of the preeminent ecological landscaping companies in the US, and the Permaculture Skills center a vocational training school that offers advanced education in ecological design, landscaping, farming, and land stewardship. Erik is also the author of several books including “The Forest of Fire,” Activate Your Joy,” and most recently “The Ecological Landscape Designer” an essential manual for anyone aspiring to make a living in eco- design. Though it’s long overdue, I spoke with Erik to get to better understand the intensity of the wildfires that have ravaged California […]

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Community building

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regenerating nature in the Arctic circle and the shortcomings of permaculture with Moli “The Permaculture Viking:” 122

Today’s conversation was recorded back in the last few weeks before I left Guatemala when I had a chance to sit down with my good friend and fellow permaculture educator, Mordur G’ott, but we all call him Moli.Mörður or Moli is a permaculture pioneer in Iceland who has been travelling between countries to learn and share what he knows. In Iceland he has hosted multiple events and PDS’s with legendary teachers like Albert Bates and Robyn Francis among others. In this session Moli and I speak about the more problematic aspects of the permaculture pedagogy that we’ve found in practice. […]

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Professional, Profitable, Permaculture
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Design Criteria

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Pioneering ecological design in the tropics with Scott Gallant of Porvenir Design: 121

In the last few episodes I’ve spoken to a number of designers and business advisors who’ve specialized in regenerative business planning and ecological work, and today’s guest many of you may remember from the very early days of this podcast.  In this episode I had the pleasure of talking with my friend Scott Gallant. It’s been almost three years since we spoke on this podcast and he was one of the first 20 interviews that I did back in season one. When we spoke last he was just starting out with his design firm “Porvenir Design.” now almost three years […]

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Professional, Profitable, Permaculture
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How to

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Permaculture business planning for the modern economy with Joe Goerbert, founder of Brainhive: 120

In this session I had the pleasure of sitting down with a good friend of mine from my time living back in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Joe Görbert is a German-born, tech enthusiast and hails from more than a decade as startup and business impact consultant. During his finance and accounting studies he started working as a business writer and he travelled far and wide as a digital nomad, often speaking and holding workshops for retreats and events. In 2007 Joe founded the business planning agency BrainHive, and the BrainHive Ethical Marketing agency. His current project is called the SolReign School […]

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Professional, Profitable, Permaculture
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How to

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Unlocking your true potential in regenerative business with Pete Widin of The Epic Eco Designer: 119

As I continue to explore the myriad options that exist for profitable regenerative work, I keep coming back to the business aspects of impact and integrity entrepreneurship. One of the people that I’ve come to rely on for professional perspectives in this sphere is Pete Widin, Founder of the Epic Eco Designer. I had the chance to catch up with him for today’s session where we explore many aspects of the personal and external challenges of finding holistic success in an ecological business. In this interview with Pete we break down some of the challenges that we both faced in […]

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Professional, Profitable, Permaculture
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  • 217

Community building

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Leveraging the block chain and decentralization for environmental regeneration with Gregory Landua of Regen Network: 118

Building on the theme of profitable ecosystem regeneration, I spoke to Gregory Landua, CEO and co-founder of the Regen Network. Gregory has worked in ecosystem regeneration for a while. Formerly working as the CEO of Terra Genesis, nova chocolate, the Regrarian’s platform and Gaia University. He is also the co-author of the groundbreaking book Regenerative Enterprise: Optimizing for Multi-Capital Abundance, and of The Levels of Regenerative Agriculture, In this interview Gregory gives an overview of what the Regen network is and aims to accomplish. Specifically, we explore the roles of decentralized technology including the emerging potential of the blockchain to […]

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Professional, Profitable, Permaculture
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Design Criteria

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Running a professional ecological design company, with Daniel Halsey of Southwoods Ecosystem Ecological Design: 117

One of the most common concerns I hear from the regenerative community is how someone could make a good living while working directly on projects that regenerate our planet. While there are many different ways to do this, it seems that the dominant narrative in business tells us that the most profitable job prospects are those that are destroying our natural world. Exploitative petroleum companies post record profits while unethical banking practices pay out massive bonuses and manufacturing covers our landscapes in trash. But I know a growing number of people who are pioneering new options for ecological work and […]

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soil building

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Can eating meat be ethical and good for the environment? With Meredith Leigh, author of “The Ethical Meat Handbook:” 116

We’ve reached the last episode in this month’s focus on fixing the food system. In the last three weeks we’ve talked about how co-op grocery stores offer real hope for transforming the supply and distribution of food by offering an alternative to the monopoly of the grocery giants. We’ve covered the power and importance of indigenous food and land management, and we’ve also explored the joys and realities of growing your own food on a residential scale. To round this all off, I had the pleasure of speaking to Meredith Leigh, the author of “The Ethical Meat Handbook.” Meredith has […]

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soil building

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The joys and realities of growing your own food at home, with Crystal Stevens, author of “Your Edible Yard:” 115

Continuing with this month’s focus on fixing the food system, I wanted to go back to basics and discuss the practicalities and challenges of growing your own food with just a modest sized yard. I reached out to Crystal Stevens who is an author, an artist/art teacher, a folk herbalist, a regenerative farmer, and a Permaculturist. She is the author of two award-winning books, Grow Create Inspire, and Worms at Work. And is also releasing a new book with New Society publishers yearly next year called Your Edible Yard. I this interview I spoke with Crystal about her learning experiences in growing her […]

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Farming

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The power and importance of indigenous food, with Sean Sherman, author of “The Sioux Chef:” 114

In continuing this month’s focus on fixing the food system I had the pleasure of speaking to a personal hero of mine, Sean Sherman, author of the “The Sioux Chef.” Sean has been the recipient of a First Peoples Fund Fellowship, the Bush Foundation Fellowship, National Center’s 2018 First American Entrepreneurship Award, 2018 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook, and a 2019 James Beard Leadership Award. Sean has been cooking around the US and internationally for the last 30 years and his main focus has been on the revitalization and awareness of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary […]

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  • 242

Community building

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How Co-op groceries are taking on “the giants” with Jon Steinman, author of “Grocery Story:”

Today I’ll be kicking off another month dedicated to an important topic in regenerative living. For a long time now, our food system has been a primary indicator for so many markers of health in our society, from the way that our food is produced, what kinds of food we eat, how we cook, how it affects our health and even our ethics as consumers. For the next four weeks I’ll be taking a look our food system from a variety of different view-points and analysis in order to shed light on some of the lesser know factors that influence […]

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Alternative Communities
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Regenerative Round Table

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Healthy communication for communities through listening and story telling with Loxley and Rhapsody of “The Story Connective:” RRT 16

I’m so excited to share this interview with all of you, not only because I had such a good time speaking with Loxley and Rhapsody from the “Story Connective” but because they impart such incredible insights into story-telling, connecting to community, and a topic which I’m increasingly interested in, which is listening; not only listening as a passive way of absorbing information, but active listening by asking good questions and demonstrating that you’ve heard and understood the other person. Now some of you might ask, “How does this fit into regenerative living and permaculture?” To which I would say, listening […]

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Alternative Communities
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  • 134

Community building

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Could co-housing be the revolution our communites need? with Alan O’Hashi board member of the US Co-Housing Association: 111

In our last interview in this month’s focus on regenerative communities, I had the pleasure of speaking with Alan O’Hashi, Alan is a newspaper journalist turned documentary filmmaker and screenwriter who works with groups and organizations to help them tell their stories and is also organizing an intentional creative community in Cheyenne, Wyoming. For the focus of this interview Alan speaks from his experience as a board member of the US Co-Housing Association and his time living in Silver Sage Village, a co-housing retirement community in Boulder, CO. In this interview Alan defines co-housing communities and their myriad configurations across […]

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Alternative Communities
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Community building

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Building an off-grid intentional community in the Canadian wilderness with Peter Wildemann of the Zenith Project: 110

Continuing with this month’s focus on regenerative community models I had the pleasure of interviewing Peter Wildemann, co-founder of the “Zenith Project” an eco-village/intentional community in the Canadian wilderness. Peter is passionate about supporting people to live their highest purpose in the context of mutually supportive community by creating a new economic paradigm. Peter also aims to focus on connecting people in a small community setting where the most authentic relationships can be developed. In this interview we talk about what makes it a mutually supportive intentional community, how freedom is not the same as ability, what it means to […]

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Alternative Communities
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  • 130

Community building

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Creating a regenerative social network with Magenta Ceiba, executive creative officer of Bloom Network: 109

Today we’re going to kick off a month-long exploration of various community models that are focused on regenerating environments, communication, and healthy cultures. In the next three weeks we’ll be looking closely into regenerative social networks, ecovillages and cohousing configurations. As the regenerative movement builds momentum around the world, people are rethinking the communities and societies that either promote or disincentivize healthy development. Though I’ve never found a community structure that is perfect, the interviews this month aim to identify the innovative progress of the communal structures that I mentioned and unpack the successes, challenges, and lessons in the process […]

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Regenerative Round Table

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Intensive soil building on small farms with Neal, Jeremy, and Shad: RRT 15

To wrap up this month long focus on building soils for market gardens I spoke with three of my favorite collaborators. Neal Hegarty and Jeremy Fellows from Granja Tz’ikin and Shad Qudsi from Atitlan Organics. Each of them share their experiences, trials, and errors from years of intensive soil building methods on rocky marginal land in rural Guatemala and the systems they currently use to build fertility on their farms. In this episode Shad talks about his integrated poultry operation and how his deep bedding method creates nutrient rich compost for the adjacent salad greens production at Atitlan Organics. Neal […]

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  • 1

compost

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The definitve guide to worm farming, with Rhonda Sherman, author of “The Worm Farmer’s Handbook:” 107

My guest today, Rhonda Sherman, is the director of the Compost Learning Lab at North Carolina State University and a leading expert on vermicomposting. Rhonda travels extensively to present workshops and to consult with farmers, businesses, and institutions on the development and management of vermicomposting systems. She also organizes the annual North Carolina State Vermiculture Conference, which for nineteen years has drawn participants from across the United States and around the globe. She is a co-editor of Vermiculture Technology and has written extensively about composting and vermicomposting in her role with NC State University. In this episode I talked with Rhonda about […]

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  • 217

Farming

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The definitive guide to no-till organic farming part 2, with Andrew Mefferd, author of “The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution”: 106

Welcome back to the definitive guide to no-till organic gardening. In this session we’ll pick up where we left off with Andrew Mefferd, editor of “Growing for Market Magazine” and the author of “The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution.” In last week’s episode we talked mostly about Andrew’s journey into farming and research of no-till market production methods after identifying the principle problems of tillage and the damaging effects on soil health that it’s had worldwide. In this session we’ll jump straight into the four methods of no-till mulching that the different farms that are profiled in the book are using […]

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  • 139

How to

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The definitive guide to no-till organic farming part 1, with Andrew Mefferd, author of “The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution”: 105

My guest in this session Andrew Mefferd, worked for seven years in the research department of Johnny’s selected seeds and has travelled around the world to connect with farmers and researchers about greenhouse growing and soil conservation. He then started his own farm in Maine to apply all of that knowledge and experience, which he writes about and curates as the editor of “Growing for Market Magazine”. In this episode Andrew and I talk about his new book “The Organic No-Till Farming Revolution,” We begin by identifying the systemic problem that industrial agriculture, specifically with its reliance on soil tillage, […]

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  • 103

Regenerative Round Table

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Lessons from more than 30 combined years navigating a foreign culture: RRT 14

The unsung hero of all that we’ve accomplished here in Guatemala are the local communities and people where we live and work. In this Regenerative Round Table I spoke with Charlie and Gabi, two of my closest friends here at the lake about the challenges and learning experiences over a combined 30 years living and working with the local Mayan communities around Lake Atitlan. We speak at length about the intricacies of running organizations and projects in this area and the challenges of respectful navigation and deeper understanding of a culture that is significantly different from the ones we were […]

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  • 276

water

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The essentials of rainwater harvesting with co-author Rob Avis from Verge Permaculture: 102

In keeping with the theme of water regeneration this month I spoke to Rob Avis, the co-author along with Michelle Avis of their book in the New Society Essentials series called Rain Water Harvesting. Rob and Michelle founded Verge Permaculture, an award-winning design, consulting and education company in Calgary, Alberta after years of international training in renewable energy and regenerative design. Since its founding, Verge has helped more than 1000 students and clients to design and create integrated systems for shelter, energy, water, waste, and food, all while supporting their local economy and regenerating the land. Through their design and […]

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  • 235
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water

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Why storing water is more important than storing carbon with Zach Weiss from Elemental Ecosystems: 101

In this session I had the pleasure of speaking to the founder of “Elemental Ecosystems” Zach Weiss. Zach earned the distinction of being the first person to earn the Holzer practitioner certification from revolutionary Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer through a rigorous two-year apprenticeship working alongside Sepp in North America and Europe. Zach created Elemental Ecosystems as a for-benefit social enterprise focused on solving societies growing environmental problems by considering the elemental relationship between biology and hydrology. In this interview, Zach and I start by talking about the difference between a healthy water cycle and one that’s been compromised. We unpack […]

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Regenerative Round Table
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  • 102

Regenerative Round Table

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Building a regenerative future and heading in different directions: RRT 13

We’ve completed 100 episodes! Thank you to all our listeners and supporters who are part of more than thirty thousand subscribers to this podcast and the growing regenerative community that is taking back our future and helping humanity move into its fullest potential. In this episode Oliver and Neal talk about the new direction that Abundant Edge and Granja Tz’ikin will be taking independently and how the two enterprises will continue to work together and support one another in the years to come. They also talk at length about the main takeaways and learning that has happened over the last […]

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Alternative Communities
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  • 439

Design Criteria

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Designing Regenerative Cultures with author and educator Daniel Christian Wahl: 099

In this interview I had the pleasure of speaking with Daniel Christian Wahl, Daniel is an international consultant and educator specialising in biologically-inspired whole systems design and transformative innovation. By the time he was 28 Daniel had travelled to 35 different countries on six continents and he started his career as a marine biologist and scuba diving instructor, before he decided to focus on sustainability and sustainable communities. Originally trained at the University of Edinburgh and the University of California, Santa Cruz, Daniel also holds a Masters degree in Holistic Science from Schumacher College, and a PhD in Natural Design […]

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Professional, Profitable, Permaculture
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  • 146

Natural Building

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Finding the story of a place and it’s true potential with Bill Reed, principal at Regenesis: 098

My guest today has been a big inspiration to me and has been a leader in regenerative design, pretty much before that was even a term. Bill Reed is an internationally recognized practitioner, lecturer, and authority in sustainability and regenerative planning, design and implementation. He is a principal in both Integrative Design, Inc. and Regenesis – two organizations working to lift green building and community planning into full integration and evolution with living systems. Bill is also the author of many technical articles and contributed to many books including the seminal work, “Integrative Design Guide to Green Building.” He is also a […]

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  • 83

Interviews

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Listening to nature and seeing with more than your eyes with Marcus Veysey from “The Seed:” 097

Welcome to the first episode of season three. I’m so excited for the year to come and all the conversations, interviews, and information that I’ll be sharing with all of you over the year. This season, while I’ll be sticking with the general format of the season prior, I’m also looking to bring more stories into these conversations and cultivate narratives around the incredible work that people around the world are doing in the regenerative fields. Just like last season, once a month the team from Abundant Edge will be checking in on the Regenerative Round Table segments and giving […]

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Regenerative Round Table
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  • 115

Regenerative Round Table

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Reviewing and learning from the first year working as a team and developing the farm: RRT 12

It’s been a monumental first year for us here at Abundant Edge with the development of the farm “Granja Tz’ikin” and all of the client projects we’ve been juggling at the same time. As we wrap up the second season of the podcast and the first year of me, Neal and Jeremy working as a team we want to mostly take the time to show our gratitude for all the people who’ve been instrumental in the progress we’ve been able to make together in a relatively short period of time. We also discuss the core projects that we moved forward […]

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  • 356

Community building

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Transitioning to a regenerative economy with Matt Powers, author of “The Permaculture Student 2:” 095

My guest today is one of the most inspiring and enthusiastic educators working in permaculture and regenerative education anywhere in the world. I had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Powers, author of “The Permaculture Student” and “The Permaculture Student 2,” in the last season on this podcast and got to catch up with him again to talk in depth about some of the most urgent transitions facing humanity and how we all need to prepare ourselves to contribute positively to a regenerative shift in the way our societies and economies operate. In this interview Matt breaks down how advances in […]

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  • 131

How to

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How to raise rabbits for meat with authors Eric and Callene Rapp: 094

Animals and livestock can be an essential component to land restoration if managed correctly and while we already have goats, chickens and ducks on our small demonstration farm here in Guatemala, I’ve been looking into the addition of another animal enterprise that would fit into our existing systems without overwhelming the small space we have. For a while I’ve been interested in rabbits for their fast reproduction, amazingly fertile manure and their delicious lean meat. That’s when I came across a book called “Raising Rabbits for Meat” by Eric and Callene Rapp and published by my good friends and supporters […]

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  • 197

Farming

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Discovering our nutritional wisdom by observing animals with Fred Provenza, author of “Nourishment:” 093

It’s not often I get the chance to speak with a renowned animal behaviorist, much less for a talk about nutrition and nourishment, but my guest today, Fred Provenza, professor emeritus at Utah State University, makes the argument that we can learn a lot about our own health by observing the way that animals choose their food in their natural environments. Fred challenges us to be more skeptical of the latest diets and academic findings on nutrition and listen more to our own bodies and how they respond to the food we ingest. In this interview, Fred explains how his […]

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Regenerative Round Table
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  • 173

Regenerative Round Table

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Finding ways to build soil and ecosystem fertility with every aspect of the farm :RRT 11

The Abundant Edge team is back to talk about all the progress from our projects over the last month as we transition from the rainy season to the dry season here in Guatemala. We’ve got compost production, plant propagation, new baby goats, duck houses, gray and black water treatment for the house and much more. Above all we’re talking about how each one of these projects and enterprises contribute either directly or indirectly to building soil health and fertility on the land. If any of you are hoping to see pictures of the farm and many of the elements that […]

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  • 185

How to

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Fighting food apartheid and empowering people of color to get back to the land with Leah Penniman, author of “Farming While Black:” 091

Leah Penniman’s mission is to end racism and injustice in our food system by increasing farmland stewardship by people of color, promoting equity in food access, and training the next generation of activist farmers. Her new book, Farming While Black, has been called “a revolutionary work that opens important doors” by Civil Eats and a “brilliant guide” by Mark Bittman. In this interview Leah explains the effects of miseducation around the contributions of people of color to agriculture and food science, and how the decline in land ownership and participation in agriculture from these groups affects us all. We also […]

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  • 316

Community building

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Cultivating “silver branch perception” and reviving indigenous culture with Diarmuid Lyng: 090

For those of you used to the more practical and literal information that I usually focus on in these interviews, you’ll be refreshed by the story telling and concepts in this next session. This week, Neal Hegarty interviews countryman Diarmuid Lyng, a former star hurler for the county of Wexford who wrote a compelling article on the concept of “silver branch perception” from Irish mythology and how the traditional sport of hurling is linked to the health of the ash tree from which the “hurley” is made. They also go into how to reconnect with traditional culture and the importance […]

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  • 220

Natural Building

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The Japanese traditions and techniques of natural plasters with Kyle Holzhueter: 089

Those of you who’ve been listening to this podcast for a while know that I geek out big time when it comes to natural plasters and finishes. So you can imagine how excited I was to get to talk to kyle holzhueter, a certified plasterer who learned his trade and got his certification in Japan where the traditional style and techniques are surprisingly different from those that I’ve become accustomed to from the western world. In this interview we cover those important differences which, though less flashy and aesthetic than the natural plasters you may have seen on many natural […]

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Regenerative Round Table
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  • 223

Natural Building

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Animal pens, native plant nursery and teaching at the farm: RRT 10

In this month;s regenerative round table Jeremy and Oliver discuss the challenges of managing a lot of animals in a small space and some of the problems with keeping pests and predators out. We cover the progress on the little coffee beneficio, plastering the house, producing native and edible plants for ourselves and clients and all of the progress over the last few weeks of developing our little farm on lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Resources: Abundant Edge course schedule Volunteer with us at Granja Tzikin

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Natural Building Essentials
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  • 97

Natural Building

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An intro to design and siting for natural buildings: 087

Get the design and siting PDF here In this special episode, Oliver goes into one of the key lectures in the Intro to Natural Building course on some of the most important considerations and bits of information to consider when designing a natural building and choosing a site for the structure. In this episode we cover many iconic natural building styles, considerations for different climates and regions, designing for function, determining needs and wants, and a whole lot more. Don’t forget to download the accompanying PDF document in the show notes for this episode at abundantedge.com Resources: Get the design […]

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  • 196

Natural Building

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The reality of natural building and designing for your climate with Ziggy Liloia from “The Year of Mud”: 086

My guest today, Ziggy Liloia from “the year of mud” has been building naturally and blogging about his experiences for a decade since he started with a small cob cottage, just over 200 sq ft at an ecovillage in Missouri back in 2008. Since then he has explored many other materials and techniques and joins us today to talk about the myths and realities of natural building, especially when it comes to costs, climate appropriate design, and labor considerations. In this interview Ziggy and I discuss some of the mistakes and learning experiences that have informed the way we design […]

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  • 335

Natural Building

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Reviving rammed earth and hybrid natural buildings with April Magill of Root Down Designs: 085

Rammed earth is one of the earthen building techniques that I personally have the least experience with, but since it has been steadily growing in popularity around the world for its beauty and durability I reached out to April Magill of Root Down Designs to find out more about how this ancient vernacular building technique is being revived in the southeastern US and what challenges there are to getting rammed earth buildings permitted and accepted. In this interview April talk about how rammed earth structures help to combat some of the biggest challenges of building in her region such as […]