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For those of you following along from the last three episodes of this season so far, I’ve been sharing the intimate details of my own journey along with my good friend Nick Steiner as we’ve gone around to visit a number of out client’s projects in the south of Portugal and both gather essential data to inform our process and actually put that proce…
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I’ve talked a lot about drought and water management on this podcast. It’s becoming a bigger and bigger part of my work and specialization, both in the work I do with private clients and through the network of farmers that I work with through Climate Farmers. At the moment, these topics are hitting home for another reason. Catalunya, the region whe…
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Continuing on the journey we started in the last episode, Nick and I went to the next project where we got to install the types of water retention features that we had designed for the previous clients. Together we talk about the joys and the challenges of site where we were creating these earthworks. Over the previous summer the whole landscape ha…
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Welcome to the first episode of season 8 of the Regenerative Skills podcast. We're starting in a big way with a special episode in which me and my good friend and collaborator Nick Steiner will be taking you along with us on a client visit in the south of Portugal in the very first steps of a water retention landscape project. We'll be giving you a…
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There are a few farms and organizations here in Spain that have been gaining international attention for their work and initiatives in the past few years. Partly through reaching out directly and partly through the Climate Farmers network I’ve been connecting with them to bring their inspiring stories and innovative knowledge to the farmers communi…
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By now I’m sure many of you have heard the few episodes on soil health that I’ve recorded with people like Harriet Mela, Matt Powers, James White, and others. I know that the subject of soil has become really popular with growers and it’s always talked about as being central to the success of regenerative agriculture and broader environmental healt…
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Syntropic Agroforestry has exploded in popularity and interest in the last few years. I’ve explored this agroforestry design and management system a little in some previous episodes with my friend Jacob Evans, but there’s so much more to explore. First pioneered by renowned farmer Ernst Gostch in Brazil, his integrated approach of dense planting an…
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I’ve been so happy to see how popular the concept of growing one’s own food has become in recent years. Especially since the pandemic, a lot of us have connected deeply with the need to build food resilience by cultivating our own gardens, and quite a few have even gone further and started to grow at a market scale. It’s a beautiful thing to be abl…
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I’ve been observing an interesting trend in the regen ag space. The concept and awareness of regen ag has been growing exponentially with many people exploring ways to start their own farms and to participate in and support those who are already involved. At the same time the current economic situation and the complexity of regulations, paired with…
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We live in a time when everyone seems to be looking for high tech solutions for every problem. Maybe it's due to all of the new tech that has come out in recent decades with lofty promises of new frontiers, or the fact that so many of us are removed from regular interaction with the natural world, but I genuinely believe that technology is more ove…
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I’ve been lucky in recent months to be able to speak to people who’ve been leaders and change makers in the regenerative space for a significant amount of time. Building on that knowledge and experience I got to speak with Dr Mark Nelson. Mark is Chairman of the Institute of Ecotechnics, head of Wastewater Gardens International and has worked for s…
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A few months back when I covered the topic of landrace gardening and crop breeding, I had no idea what a passionate and knowledgeable community around the world that I was tapping into. The seed savers and plant breeders who I’ve been in touch with, including quite a few who are part of the Discord community for this podcast, are working on everyth…
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My guest today needs no introduction if you’ve been paying attention to the regen ag scene in the last decade, but just in case you’re new to this topic and community let me catch you up to speed John Kempf is an entrepreneur, speaker, podcast host and teacher. He is passionate about the potential of well managed agriculture ecosystems to reverse e…
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Despite the popularity of regenerative agriculture at the moment and the fact that there are many inspiring farmers involved in the movement, it’s still rare to find experienced farmers, especially in large scale operations that have been working to regenerate their ecosystems and communities for more than 20 years. For this reason I was thrilled t…
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Though we’ve covered many aspects of soil health on this show in previous episodes, this is an area of scientific and agronomic study which is constantly growing and evolving. It seems that there are a growing number of specialists who are pioneering research in very specific and detailed aspects of soil health which helps to expand our overall pic…
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This week I want to build on the panel discussion that I started previously in the panel episode with the group from the Alpbach forum. In that conversation we looked at various visions on what a regenerative food system could look like from representatives from Nestle, Agrana, and a conservation farmer. Today I want to bring another perspective in…
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The growing popularity of permaculture food forests and backyard multispecies orchards is part of a movement that I’m 110% in support of. Any addition of native and food producing plants in diverse multispecies configurations is a wonderful thing. I want to see as many people as possible find success with these plantings, and that’s why I’ve been a…
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Any of you who’ve been following the show this season will remember one of my favorite episodes from the beginning of the year in which I documented a water restoration job I went out to Nicaragua to go in collaboration with Restoration Agriculture Development, the contracting company founded by Mark Shepard. There I worked under the guidance of Ja…
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At the end of August I had a unique opportunity to attend the European Alpbach Forum in Austria, as I was invited by organizers at Nestlé to moderate an event they were organizing. This was a unique session that included a guided hike in the Alps around the town and a discussion centered on the core themes of which structures, innovation, incentive…
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At this point I’ve covered a wide array of practices and management styles that fall under the broad umbrella of regenerative agriculture. Some could be considered traditional while others are more modern and innovative and they span continents, climates, biomes and industries. Nonetheless I’ve noticed a pretty big gap that I’ve yet to cover in det…
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This is part two of the conversation started last week with Akiva Silver. Co-owner of Twisted Tree nursery and homestead. If you haven’t yet heard the first part, you can find the link in the show notes for this episode on the website at regenerativeskills.com You’ll remember from last week that one of the first projects I encourage people to do wh…
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After the last few weeks of focus on the intricacies of Holistic management and building community in agriculture, I wanted to go back to some technical information on specific farming enterprises. One of the most common questions I get asked from listeners and clients who are starting new projects is about where to begin. Those of you familiar wit…
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I’ve been watching an interesting and important discussion play out for a number of years now within the environmental movement and ecological farming community. It appears that on one hand we have a group that is convinced by the data that farming to feed a population which is growing exponentially through traditional land based means is doomed to…
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One of the emerging practices in the regenerative work space is that of citizen science. This covers an infinite range of scientific specialties, but I’ve especially seen amazing things come from two areas in the last couple years. These would be mycology and the study of soil. That isn’t to say that traditional institutions aren’t making advances …
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Since last year much of my work with Climate Farmers has been in building the European farmer community and creating connections so that members can learn from each other. I admittedly don’t have a lot of prior experience with this so I went looking for experienced and successful community builders to mentor me in the process. One of the most helpf…
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I’ve touched on this topic briefly in previous interviews, but it bears repeating. Agriculture around the world is going through a critical moment. The skyrocketing prices of petroleum products, meaning most agriculture chemicals and fertilizers as well as machinery fuel, is causing a tipping point for many farm businesses. Operations that have lon…
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One of my favorite topics to explore on this show is how other people with unique skill sets and talents look at the natural world and the ecological design process. I’ve been fortunate in my network of designers, educators, farmers, and academics to peer into the specialties of ecological understanding and design thinking from many points of view,…
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I’ve been looking forward to today’s session for a good couple months now. Though it’s been years since I got excited about seed saving and heard the first little bits of the ideas around landrace gardening, I only recently got a window into its real potential. I honestly feel a bit embarrassed that I didn’t know more about landrace plant breeding …
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A lot of my work these days revolves around communicating with farmers around Europe who are at various stages of a transition towards regenerative management. For many different reasons farmers are looking for solutions outside of the conventional industry of chemical and technological manipulations and are rediscovering the potential of partnerin…
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Welcome to a very special episode of the regenerative skills podcast. This is the 300th episode that I am publishing today, and to make the occasion I wanted to try something new. At this point the show has grown immensely from where I started it and I would imagine that most of you who are tuned in now haven’t been here since the beginning. For th…
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Today’s episode touches on a very timely topic for me. I’m currently developing a program to assist European farmers in their transition to regenerative management of their farms, and the big challenge is to make a program that is relevant for the vast array and contexts and differences that farmers across this continent are working from. No set of…
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Today’s episode is going to require some context for anyone who’s not familiar with the origin of this show. Back in 2017 when I started this podcast I was doing an internship with my friend and mentor Charlie Rendal on bamboo building in Lake Atitlan Guatemala. I had been traveling back and forth from Guatemala for a number of years. I had origina…
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Since the three part series that Nick and I recorded about the vast array of drought mitigation and recovery solutions for people in different living situations we’ve gotten a lot of follow up questions from listeners who want to go deeper into this subject. Luckily one of my friends and mentors who’s had an outsized influence on my educational jou…
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Just checking in while still on a short holiday. I just dropped my mom off at the airport at about 3 yesterday morning after a wonderful week of her visiting us, my sister, and her girls at the farm. It’s been such a blessing to have almost all my favorite women under the same roof for a time. My family is scattered all across the world, so these m…
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Over the next two weeks I’m going to be taking some much needed recharge time with my family here on the farm. I've got my little sister Emily here and her three little girls Selma, Rawan, and Lujane who came from Kuwait city to spend the summer with us, and my mom who just arrived on Wednesday who will be spending a week with us. We’ve got outdoor…
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Welcome to the final episode in mine and Nick’s 3 part series on drought. In the first episode we talked about how drought was affecting our two homes at the moment. His home on the island of Tenerife, and my own in Northeastern Spain. We went over the definition of drought and some common myths and misconceptions, as well as the major factors that…
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Continuing with our deep dive into drought, my good friend Nick Steiner and I are going to move now from defining drought and the its myriad of causes and factors that make it worse, to a wide range of solutions and opportunities available to people who are living in different environments and with different access to land and space. You may not be…
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It’s that time again. In todays’ regenerative round table, my good friend Nick Steiner and I give updates on our respective projects. Him on the Island of Tenerife and myself in the mountains of central Catalunya in Spain. In the update we talk about some of the challenges we’ve been experiencing this year. The big topic at the moment for us, and m…
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A couple weeks ago I had a wonderful conversation with my good friend Harriet Mela, the independent researcher from Austria who has helped push the boundaries of soil science and plant physiological understanding. We focused last time on how plants handle water stress, specifically drought and the management practices that can either help or inhibi…
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Today I’m going to dive deeper into the broad topic of holistic health and wellness for this ongoing series that I started with Richard Perkins a couple weeks ago. In this episode we’re going to take a step back and analyze wellbeing with a perspective from the world of high performance athletics. Now I would imagine that for many of you this proba…
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Today’s interview has been in the making for me for a couple years now. I first got to know Michael Reber through the pioneer program with Climate Farmers that I directed two years ago. Through that program we guided farmers from around Europe through existing online regenerative farming courses and helped them to adapt the information and techniqu…
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Many of you will remember my guest today from the three other interviews I’ve done with him over the years. Zack Loeks is a good friend and a maverick of many regenerative skills and knowledge. From growing up on a permaculture homestead in northern New Mexico as a kid, to farming commercially in Canada, teaching edible ecosystem design through Eco…
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Now that I’m spending so much time out on the land here at the new farm I’m becoming a lot more conscious of my health. Nutrition has been really important for me in the last handful of years as I’ve struggled to overcome the chronic digestive issues that plagued me until my 30s. Over time I’ve dug deeper into whole food nutrition, fermentation and…
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Today I’m going to give you a window into the series of Skill Exchange calls that I host regularly for the members of the Climate Farming community. The community is open to any active farmer in Europe and together we’ve co-created an online learning space for farmers to connect with one another, share ideas and knowledge, and receive support from …
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In my work with farmers and clients I’ve always looked for the leverage points where small actions can lead to the largest changes and progress. Where is it that a beginner or novice can invest some resources and make big leaps rather than burning out for small results. In fact, as I’m in the early stages of renovating my own house and farm, this i…
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If you’ve been following the episodes so far this season, you know I’ve got a lot of projects and travels going on right now. Since the episode I recorded in Nicaragua, I’ve also been on a project on the island of Madeira and just two days ago I got back from a 9 day trip to Portugal. Though I haven’t been able to record everything like a diary the…
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I’ve got a treat for you all today. After almost 3 years, I’ve got Shane Simonsen back on the show. For those of you who are not familiar with Shane, I’ll give a quick intro and then point you to the links to the two previous shows I recorded with him because they’re really worth while. Shane is a biologist who has a fascinating project on 40 acres…
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One of the most important resources we’ve been working to create for our network of farmers here in Europe through my work at Climate Farmers is what we’ve called our coach matching service. We’ve long since seen that one of the hurdles that farmers face in their transition to regenerative agriculture is either one of two things. Either not the rig…
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The mindset required to find and purchase the land and home that my partner and I are now living in is not the same mindset required to develop and invest in the long term journey of being here. This has become obvious to me as new opportunities and collaborations come up in my work life and I find myself falling into the old habits and tendencies …
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