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The Abundant Edge

Updated 2 months ago

Rank #72 in How To category

Education
How To
Science
Earth Sciences
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The most important challenge of our generation will be to regenerate the earth back to health and abundance from the degraded and polluted state that it’s in now. The Abundant Edge podcast is here to show you how you can make changes in your life that will create a regenerative future for you, your family and community, and for the earth we all call home. Join host Oliver Goshey every Friday as he interviews innovators and leaders on the cutting edge of regenerative movements in business, land management, ecosystem restoration and much more.

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The most important challenge of our generation will be to regenerate the earth back to health and abundance from the degraded and polluted state that it’s in now. The Abundant Edge podcast is here to show you how you can make changes in your life that will create a regenerative future for you, your family and community, and for the earth we all call home. Join host Oliver Goshey every Friday as he interviews innovators and leaders on the cutting edge of regenerative movements in business, land management, ecosystem restoration and much more.

iTunes Ratings

41 Ratings
Average Ratings
33
2
5
0
1

Great Learning Experience

By livinglight2day - Mar 06 2020
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This is a wonderful podcast. Love all the first hand information that is available for new homesteaders with no prior farming experience at all.

Thank you for this Podcast!

By Robynpix - Nov 14 2019
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You show with Kristen of Sueño de Vida was mega inspiring. Thanks for introducing their project to me!

iTunes Ratings

41 Ratings
Average Ratings
33
2
5
0
1

Great Learning Experience

By livinglight2day - Mar 06 2020
Read more
This is a wonderful podcast. Love all the first hand information that is available for new homesteaders with no prior farming experience at all.

Thank you for this Podcast!

By Robynpix - Nov 14 2019
Read more
You show with Kristen of Sueño de Vida was mega inspiring. Thanks for introducing their project to me!
Cover image of The Abundant Edge

The Abundant Edge

Latest release on Aug 07, 2020

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The most important challenge of our generation will be to regenerate the earth back to health and abundance from the degraded and polluted state that it’s in now. The Abundant Edge podcast is here to show you how you can make changes in your life that will create a regenerative future for you, your family and community, and for the earth we all call home. Join host Oliver Goshey every Friday as he interviews innovators and leaders on the cutting edge of regenerative movements in business, land management, ecosystem restoration and much more.

Rank #1: How to build and plan a profitable permaculture farm with Shad Qudsi of Aititlan Organics

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I first met Shad Qudsi when I assisted on a natural building workshop with Liz Johndrow in November of 2016. Shad's farm "Atitlan Organics" hosted the workshop in which we built a new kitchen area for the farm. Since then he and I have worked on a few projects together and he continues to be a wealth of knowledge and experience, not only about permaculture, but about the local culture here in Guatemala and about regenerative business advice as well. Shad is originally from New Jersey, but resettled in Tzununa on Lake Atitlan nearly a decade ago with his wife. Together they run one of the most diverse and abundant permaculture farms I've ever visited as well as the "bambu hotel," an incredible example of bamboo framing and bajareke walls built by Charlie Rendall (one of my natural building mentors). In this interview Shad shares his unique insights about initial steps in developing a permaculture farm, how to grow a complete diet, why he disagrees with the modern environmental movement, and much more. As promised in the intro, there's also a bonus audio here in the "resources" section in which Shad gives invaluable business advice on how to manage multiple operations in a regenerative business, so don't forget to check that out.  
As always, these episodes are meant to be a dialogue and conversation starter more than a lecture series. Especially in these early days of getting the podcast up and running I really appreciate feedback, comments, ideas, whatever. You can even e-mail me directly at info(at)abundantedge.com. I want to hear from you! If you enjoyed this episode please share it with your friends or others who you think might benefit from the information and insights in these episodes. I'm looking forward to making these as useful and informative for everyone looking to make the world and our environment a better place.
Resources:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaQhzvfsGGDZvs4ufEZmJmw This is the link to the youtube channel for Atitlan Organics. Here you'll find a ton of entertaining and educational videos about permaculture and farm skills.

Feb 03 2017

36mins

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Rank #2: The best options for home scale renewable energy with Dan Chiras, author of “The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy: 130

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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 chance to speak to Dan Chiras, the author of many books on renewable energy and other regenerative living skills including, Power from the Sun, Power from the Wind, Solar Energy Basics, Solar Home Heating Basics, The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy, Solar Electricity Basics and many more. The best part about Dan’s knowledge is that he has implemented the systems that he writes about for himself and can speak from experience about living long term with solar and wind energy systems as well as the maintenance and repair costs over time.
In this interview Dan goes into detail about all the practical differences in solar, wind, and other renewable energy systems. He walked me through the process of examining the potential of each resource, calculating the size of the system based on your consumption, and more. We also talk about the advantages of grid connected versus fully off grid systems as well as hybrid options. Dan also gives great advice to homeowners considering renewable energy installations and even how they can look into tax incentives and cooperative buying schemes to reduce the initial upfront cost of installing a system.
I’ve also included links to all of Dan’s books on renewable energy for anyone looking to get a more in-depth understanding of a particular application so be sure to check out the resource section in the show notes for this episode.
Resources:
Link to Dan’s books at New Society
Wind River Music
Nasa data for renewable energy potential

Sep 20 2019

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Rank #3: Why and how to build your own ponds with Robert Pavlis, author of Building Natural Ponds: 37

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We're really excited about today's guest Robert Pavlis. Robert is a master gardener who has designed and cultivated his own world class private botanical garden on his property in Ontario, Canada and is the author of both gardening myths and building natural ponds. In today's episode we'll be focusing on natural ponds, and Robert's successes and learning experience in mimicking nature to bring all the benefits of a pond into his garden environment.
In this interview Robert talks in detail about the increased biodiversity both in the water and along the shores that a pond attracts. We go into pond lining options, simple diagnostics for water quality, design considerations and much more. Now some of you permies and regenerative landscaping folks might find that this interview is a bit heavy on the residential and gardening perspective, and you'd be right, so I would challenge you to leave comments on the abundant edge facebook page or in the comments sections under this episode on the website if you'd like to challenge any of the information in this interview or offer a different perspective on pond construction. But honestly, I think just about anyone will find a gold mine of information in here and Robert does a fantastic job of breaking down the design and installation into really easy to follow steps that we know will empower you to build a pond of your own, and if that's the case then stay tuned at the end of the interview to see how you can win your very own copy of the book, Building Natural Ponds. 
For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.
Resources:gardenmyths.com/ robertpavlis.com/

Oct 06 2017

56mins

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Rank #4: How to raise rabbits for meat with authors Eric and Callene Rapp: 094

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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 at New Society Publishers. Immediately I wanted reach our to Eric and Callene because of the wealth of well explained and practical knowledge from their experience raising heritage breeds of rabbits for both genetic conservation and high quality protein.

In this interview Eric and Callene share their wealth of knowledge in running a profitable rabbitry and walk us through the process of how they got started, general care and maintenance, breeding, harvesting and much more. Be sure to stay tuned until the end when we talk about some of their delicious rabbit recipes that they also include in the book. Now before I give everything away, I’ll hand things over to Eric and Callene

Resources:

Buy the book “Raising Rabbits for Meat”

Contact Eric and Callen on Facebook

Dec 14 2018

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Rank #5: Designing for abundance, biochar production and plant propagation: RRT 1

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Welcome to the first "Regenerative Round Table" with the Abundant Edge team. In this new segment we got together at the AE demonstration homestead to have one of our regular evening chats, but this time we turned the mics on and gave it a bit of structure. In this episode we talk about the design and implementation strategy for the site, the apprentice and volunteer program that we're in the middle of, and we also answer listener questions from the facebook page about biochar production and plant propagation. This is our first time recording our discussions, so bear with us as we get a bit of a slow start in the episode, but pick up the pace and the laughs real quickly.

If you would like your own questions answered by the AE team, you can write to us on The Abundant Edge Podcast facebook page either in a message or by publishing on the wall and we'll do our best to answer you on our monthly round table sessions.

Resources:

The Abundant Edge FB Page

Feb 23 2018

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Rank #6: Everything you need to know to get your natural building off the ground, with Chris Magwood, founder of the Endeavour Center: 124

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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 building innovations because Chris has done an amazing job of comparing and contrasting various natural materials to make it easier to choose which of the options available would be best suited for the context and design of a building.
In this interview Chris talks about how he fell in love with natural building as he aspired to build his own home. From there we go into detail about some of the most important considerations when designing a sustainable home and how even natural buildings can be consumptive and wasteful if designed incorrectly for their place and climate. Chris also unpacks some of the popular building standards and why using them as design guides can limit the full potential of an ecologically responsible project if followed too rigidly. We also discuss one of the biggest challenges for natural builders, and that’s the codes and regulations that can be tricky to navigate if the regulatory bodies are treated as adversaries from the beginning. I especially like his observations from his extensive experience working with, rather than against the building inspectors in Canada for so many years. This is a really practical and pragmatic look at the wide variety of options and considerations for natural builders and owner-builders. This episode kicks off a series dedicated to all aspects of building and design that facilitates a regenerative lifestyle. Be sure to stay tuned to the next few weeks of episodes as I’ll be speaking with builders and designers focusing on in-depth topics and natural building materials.
Resources:
Workshop Schedule from the Endeavour Center
The Endeavour Center
Buy Chris’ books from New Society Publishers
If you’re like me, you’ve dreamed of having a permaculture farm for a long time, but knowing where to start can be tricky, even if you’ve taken a PDC or other design courses. That’s why I want to tell you about the Permaculture Farm Design Course, put together by my friend and frequent contributor to this podcast, William Horvath from thepermacultureapprentice.com. This course is the simplest, easiest way to design your permaculture farm without spending thousands of dollars on in person PDCs, or hiring professional designers or consultants. 
 This course is the culmination of William's research and the most important lessons he learned from permaculture giants like Geoff Lawton, Darren Doherty, David Holmgren, and Mark Shepard, all boiled down to a simple step-by-step roadmap that anyone can follow.
William has simplified the entire design process and meticulously laid down how each phase of the process works, with simple instructions and design examples so you can come up with a design for your permaculture farm in as little as one week.
 You don't even need any previous design experience or a PDC to get the most out of this course, just a willingness to learn and follow the system outlined in the program. In a short time you’ll have a plan that has a clear set of goals to allow you to make your vision a reality
 What’s more, when you type in the code “design” at checkout, you’ll receive 10% off the price of the course. Make your dream of regenerative living a reality today. Click on the link in the show notes of this episode and fast-track your way to natural abundance with the Permaculture Farm Design Course.

Aug 09 2019

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Rank #7: How technology and chemicals have transformed farming in just one lifetime with Roland James: 033

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This is gonna be a pretty special episode in that I'll actually be interviewing a man who has seen an incredible transformation in “conventional” farming during his lifetime. My guest is Roland James, but to me he's my Grandpa. Now Roland grew up in a small farming community in the midlands of England near the southern border of Wales. He well remembers the very first tractors coming onto his family's farm in the early 1940s. Before then all of the fields were plowed with horses or oxen. As he grew up he took over the family farm and adapted to the rapidly changing industry just as the rest of the farmers around him were doing. The stories and perspectives that my Grandpa has are a great reminder of how recent the technological ways of farming really are. As he often tells me, he's seen the first mechanization of simple tasks on the land all the way to fully automated machinery that communicates with satellites to gauge the amount of fertilizer that it spreads on different parts of the farm. All this in one person's lifetime.
This interview is a remarkable look into just how much our food supply systems have changed in such a short time and why many “conventional” farmers struggle to break out of the cycle of debt that keeps them buying industrial chemicals to mitigate the damage being done to their ecosystem.
I hope you find as much value in this perspective as I do and that it will help you better understand how we got into the modern farming systems that we now have.
For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.

Sep 08 2017

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Rank #8: Taking permaculture based businesses to new heights holistically with Erik Ohlsen of The Permaculture Skills Center: 033

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In this episode I got to interview one of my personal heroes Erik Ohlsen. Now Erik wears a lot of hats, he's the founder and director of both Permaculture Artisans, a landscape and design company, and the Permaculture Skills Center, an amazing trade school based in sepastapol ca. Erik also writes and publishes books for adults and children with his company, Storyscapes.
In this interview Erik talks in detail about how he's built synergy and connection into all of his business endeavors. We talk about how he's designed the courses for the permaculture skills center to include mentoring and the profound effect that mentorships have had on his own journey, and we also get into the the skills that aspiring permaculturalists should work to build that aren't necessarily taught in a PDC. This session is chalk full of practical insights and advice
For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.
Listen in at the end of this podcast to find out how you can win your own copy of "The Urban Farmer" from New Society Publishers
Resources:
http://www.permacultureartisans.com/

Sep 01 2017

1hr 2mins

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Rank #9: How to produce fresh food year-round, even in cold climates! With Pam Dawling, author of “The Year-Round Hoop House”

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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 days there’s a renewed interest in ecovillages, intentional communities, and various configurations of communities like that. Many of you who’ve been listening for a while know that I’ve been fascinated by these dynamics and community configurations for a long time too. 
Pam gives great insights about her personal motivations for moving to a communal living situation as well as the decision making structure, and many other dynamics that have kept Twin Oaks together since its creation in 1967. Though we recorded this interview a while ago, there’s a lot of relevant information to the current world pandemic situation in that we talk a lot about the resilience and security inherent to land based and semi autonomous living. 
I want to also send a quick message of solidarity to all of you around the world who have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak and economic impact of the response. As I’m recording this we’re in the second day of a nationwide quarantine here in Spain where all but essential services and businesses are closed for a two week minimum in order to halt the infection rates. Now more than ever we have an opportunity to rethink the way our communities and lifestyles are configured and how they interact with the environments immediately around us and around the world. In times like these it’s impossible not to see how every part of the planet is connected and how all of our actions, habits, lifestyles and consumption affect everyone else, more directly than ever. To prevent tragedies like this from becoming the new norm we urgently need to restore our damaged environment and work to create earth-wide resilience by regenerating the foundations of our food chains in the form of soil and water resources from which all other life is derived. We must find a way to create societies and cultures based on the care and creation of life in all its forms, not just our own. This unfortunate epidemic can serve as a positive event if it becomes the wake-up-call that inspires massive action on a global scale to completely reinvent the way our economies are structured from those based on resource extraction to those based on resource creation and stewardship. Many of us who have benefitted from the sequestration of wealth from around the world to afford us our comfort and relative abundance, including myself, have the choice to use this privilege to lift other people and other forms of life up, even though it means we compromise our own comfort and ease of living. 
On a more personal note, I truly hope that this message finds all of you in good health and in good company. We need each other. We need community. You’re not in this alone. If any of you feel like reaching out through the comments on the website or by email, I would love to hear what you find inspiring and uplifting in these difficult times. 
Resources:
https://www.sustainablemarketfarming.com/ https://newsociety.com/books/y/the-year-round-hoophouse https://newsociety.com/books/s/sustainable-market-farming https://www.twinoaks.org/

Mar 20 2020

54mins

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Rank #10: Diversity and the importance of tree guilds with Brock Barker from “The Brockoli Patch” farm: 034

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This week's interview is with a good personal friend of mine who is an awesome farmer and experimenter with plants, especially trees. I first met Brock Barker through some mutual friends when he came down here to Lake Atitlan to co-teach on a PDC with some colleagues of mine. Now Brock is the founder and owner of “The Brockoli Patch,” a permaculture farm and orchard outside of Lafayete, Louisiana on which manages an incredibly diverse and productive landscape.
In this interview Brock talks about how taking a permaculture course with the Bullock brothers in Washington state and seeing a mature permaculture system for the first time changed his perspective and way of doing things on his own farm which was originally a market gardening operation. He goes into detail about the fruit tree guilds that keep his perennials strong and healthy, and shares some wisdom from his experiences, trials and errors over the years. This is a really relate-able conversation with tons of great tips for people who are just getting started
For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.
Resources:
The Brockoli Patch on FB
Profile of the farm

Sep 15 2017

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Rank #11: how to grow a mature Native forest in just a few years, with afforestt founder Shubhendu Sharma: 146

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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 former automotive engineer for Toyota who has planted both small and large native forests around the world through this company Afforestt which specializes in making natural forests of native trees. 
In this interview Shubhendu talks about how he applied his engineering mindset to systematize accelerated native forest planting and create open source manuals that anyone can access and follow. He explains in detail how a dense mature forest can be planted, even in a desertified region, by taking care of soils, selecting the right species, and planting densely. 
Towards the end of this interview you’ll hear Shubhendu and I talking about the possibility of the launch of a new kickstarter campaign to create a video series on how to plant your own native forest in record time anywhere in the world. I’m happy to announce that the kickstarter is now live and open for donations. If, by the time you’re done listening to this episode you can see how much value there will be in making this information available in an easy to follow video format then I highly encourage you to follow the link in the show notes for this episode and donate whatever you can to help make this happen. I’ve already put in my donation and am really excited to start planting in my own area of Spain. No matter where in the world you live or work, reforestation could have a big impact on regenerating the health and biodiversity of your ecosystem.
Resources:
https://www.afforestt.com/
Support the Afforestt video tutorial project on Kickstarter today!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shubzsharma/video-tutorials-to-make-your-own-forest?ref=user_menu
Miyawaki Method explained
Open Source documents on how to grow your own native forest

Feb 14 2020

1hr 7mins

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Rank #12: Essential things to consider when making the shift to a homesteading lifestyle, with Natalie Bogwalker of Wild Abundance

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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 free or very cheap if they lived on and farmed that land for a set period of time. Canada and Australia also had similar policies in their past to promote expansion and settlement of their large countries when they were newly colonized. These days, since the acts have long since expired, homesteading has come to mean a lifestyle of self sufficiency and is more characterized by subsistence farming, back-to-the-land movements and small scale home economics. Different areas around the world have different names for this concept, for example a smallholding or a croft in the UK are fairly synonymous with a homestead.
Given the rise in popularity of homesteading and people wanting to reconnect with nature and learn to work more intimately with the land to produce their needs and livelihood, I wanted to create a series that helps people who are aspiring to this kind of lifestyle prepare themselves for the dramatic changes and the many wonderful options available to them. Homesteading isn’t just one thing. Far from it in fact. The people interviewed in this series will explain how they made the transition from a more conventional and dependent life, to one of more autonomy. They’ll explain the struggles, lessons, victories and failures that got them to where they are and what advice they would give to others starting out. So especially for those of you who dream of making a big lifestyle change, this series is for you.
Now let’s jump into the first interview in this series. Many of the people I know who’ve made a big change in their life towards self sufficient living in nature were inspired to do so after a major wake-up call event, and Natalie Bogwalker was no different. After a serious bike accident caused her to re-evaluate her life choices she decided to go “all-in” and went to live primitively in the woods at the Wild Roots community in North Carolina. After years of immersion and learning in that lifestyle, she became motivated to share her knowledge with more people and create a larger community movement. 
In this interview Natalie talks about her journey of making such a drastic change early on in her life, what she learned from the experience and how it has informed the way she lives and teaches on her homestead now. She breaks down a lot of the routines and time investments on the different operations of her place and how the dynamics of having different operations like the classes and workshops, apprenticeship programs and other community connections affect everyday life. Some of my favorite moments are from Natalie’s observations from experience living very primitively to the more modern and connected way she lives now and her recommendations for people weighing their options and considering a move to one of these lifestyles. She also gives great practical information on wild plant resources as food and medicine and much more. Like every interview in this series, Natalie’s setup and lifestyle represent a few of the millions of options out there for how to plan, build, and run a homestead and it’s meant to give you ideas and pragmatic insights from people who are doing and living this every day
Resources:
WildAbundance.net
Wild Abundance Permaculture Classes
Wild Abundance Blog

Feb 28 2020

1hr 1min

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Rank #13: Creative ideas for building your homestead on a budget, with John Moody

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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 allergies, and other health problems, so he and his growing family began to transition to real local foods and local food distribution and life on a homestead on 35 acres in rural Kentucky. Since then he has become a well-known speaker at conferences, events, and media including Mother Earth News, Wise Traditions, and others. 
In this interview we focus on the many creative ideas that he covers in the “The Frugal Homesteader.” More than just a list of tips and tricks, John promotes a mindset of resourcefulness and problem solving that is based on long term thinking and looking at the bigger picture. We cover a lot of real examples from his own experiences in setting up a homestead for the first time and both successes and failures that lead to great solutions. 
The best part is that listeners of this show will have the opportunity to win a free copy of John’s book “The Frugal Homesteader.” Here’s how it works, just leave a review of The Abundant Edge Podcast on iTunes and take a screenshot of your review. Send it to info@abundantedge.com along with the address where you’d like to receive your mail and I’ll send the book to the first person I receive an email from. If you live outside of the US or Canada, you can just send the email and we’ll send you a digital copy. If you don’t win this time, don’t worry, I’ll be giving away a ton more books from new society publishers this season so stay tuned each week for your chance to win more books. If you’ve already left a review on iTunes you can share this episode on your prefered social media platform, take a screenshot and send an email just the same. These steps really help us to reach a larger audience with this information and message of actionable steps that anyone can take towards ecological regeneration so I really appreciate you all who’ve been helping me get the word out. I’ll be looking forward to your emails and sending those books out soon.
Resources:
https://johnwmoody.com/
Get your copy of "The Frugal Homesteader"
The Whole Life Buying Club

Mar 13 2020

1hr 8mins

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Rank #14: Is it Realistic to Produce All Your Own Food? with Deborah Niemann, author of “Homegrown and Handmade”

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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 care for animals, grow their own food and much more. In this episode I talk to Deborah about just how realistic it is for someone to hope to produce all their own food and how much time it takes her and her husband each week to produce
100 percent of their own meat, eggs, maple syrup, and dairy products, as well as a good portion of your vegetables, fruit, herbs, and honey. We also dissect her book “Homegrown and Handmade to understand some of the most important considerations and plans that she recommends for people looking to get started in a whole range of small farm enterprises like market gardening, small orchards, micro-dairy, meat animals, poultry, fiber and sugar production. This is a really inspiring interview for people who think that you need a whole team, a bunch of machinery or a ton of land to produce an abundance of a wide range of products. Deborah does a great job of breaking things down into manageable steps that you can follow to grow and develop your homestead operations sustainably. The best part is that listeners of this show will have the opportunity to win a free copy of Deborah’s book “Homegrown and Handmade.” Here’s how it works, just leave a review of The Abundant Edge Podcast on iTunes and take a screenshot of your review. Send it to info@abundantedge.com along with the address where you’d like to receive your mail and I’ll send the book to the first person I receive an email from. If you live outside of the US or Canada, you can just send the email and we’ll send you a digital copy. If you don’t wind this time, don’t worry, I’ll be giving away a ton more books from new society publishers this season so stay tuned each week for your chance to win more books. If you’ve already left a review on iTunes you can share this episode on your prefered social media platform, take a screenshot and send an email just the same. These steps really help us to reach a larger audience with this information and message of actionable steps that anyone can take towards ecological regeneration so I really appreciate you all who’ve been helping me get the word out. I’ll be looking forward to your emails and sending those books out soon.
Resources:
Homegrown and Handmade
Raising Goats Naturally
Ecothrifty
Goats Giving Birth
For the Love of Goats Podcast
Antiquity Oaks

Mar 06 2020

1hr 9mins

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Rank #15: Transitioning to a regenerative economy with Matt Powers, author of “The Permaculture Student 2:” 095

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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 technology and AI will affect us all and drastically disrupt our economy in the near future, but rather than paint a bleak picture of the days to come, we discuss how anyone motivated to do so can see this shift as an incredible opportunity to re-tool and re-skill to advance themselves and their communities in a new “Regenerative Economy.” We also talk about the types of jobs and contributions that will most be in demand in this changing global system and Matt even dispels the myth of the self-sufficient homestead being a way to insulate or disconnect ourselves during this transition. Matt is a fantastic educator and storyteller who illustrates his points with thoughtful observations from his own experiences and much of the beginning of this episode is spent talking about some of the big transitions that and his family have gone through directly

Resources:

thepermaculturestudent.com

Matt Powers on Facebook

Dec 21 2018

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Rank #16: Discovering “Why We Farm,” the book by author Elvira Di’Brigit: 028

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My Guest today is Elvira Di'Brigit, the author of the new book “Why We Farm” which is an investigation into the whole truth about life as a modern day farmer. Viewed through the lens of the environment within the Capay Valley of northern California, each chapter features a different model of farming. In each profile, farmers share the stories behind their work and their lives on the farm; the business side of production, the personal challenges they face, and words of advice for the would-be-farmer.  The book asks hard questions and gives a reverent yet realistic picture of a thriving local food system.
In this interview Elvira talks about how she first came to the Capay Valley and her motivations behind wanting to live a farming lifestyle. We talk about how the farmers profiled in her book tell a larger story of modern farming in the United States, and even the trends and challenges facing the agricultural industry around the world. Elvira also gives a unique perspective into the growing community outreach that is strengthening the bonds in the valley and fostering a larger network of resilience that should be inspiring for anyone living a rural community.
For "The Abundant Edge" listeners only, you can now get 50% off your digital subscriptions to Permaculture Magazine North America by entering the code PMNA50abedge at checkout. Get your subscription today and dive deep into the local and global solutions that go beyond sustainability.
Listen in at the end of this podcast to find out how you can win your own copy of "The Urban Farmer" from New Society Publishers
Resources:
on facebook
http://whywefarmcapay.com/

Jul 28 2017

39mins

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Rank #17: Reviving rammed earth and hybrid natural buildings with April Magill of Root Down Designs: 085

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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 humidity and mold. We discuss some of the hurdles for architects and owner-builders in getting natural buildings approved by local building authorities, and we also explore hybrid homes, permaculture design for structures, and much more. April also teaches courses with the American College of Building Arts in Charleston, SC so stay tuned till the end to learn how you can get hands on training in a variety of natural building methods in the South Carolina area.

Resources:

Roots Down Design

The American College of Building Arts

Oct 12 2018

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Rank #18: Building a regenerative future and heading in different directions: RRT 13

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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 year of development on the farm here in Guatemala as well as the vision and initiatives moving forward. Keep an eye out on the website at abundantedge.com for new content coming out soon with video tours of the farm, tutorials and explanations of our systems, as well as a regnerative travel show that will begin in May.

Resources:

Volunteer at Granja Tz’ikin

Check out Abundant Edge’s services

Upcoming courses at Granja Tz’ikin

Feb 22 2019

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Rank #19: Reviewing and learning from the first year working as a team and developing the farm: RRT 12

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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 on and some of the key lessons we’ve learned and continue to learn over the last season. From here we move into a month long hiatus but The Abundant Edge podcast will be back for its third season on Friday February 1st. Until then, thank you to all of you who’ve listened, subscribed and supported us. Your feedback and encouragement mean the world to all of us here. We’ll look forward to catching you in the new year!

Resources:

Alex Kronick’s episode

Lorenzo Maniet’s episode

Previous regenerative round tables

Dec 28 2018

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Rank #20: Designing Regenerative Cultures with author and educator Daniel Christian Wahl: 099

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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 from the University of Dundee. Daniel has taught capacity building workshops on a wide range of sustainability issues to local authorities and businesses and has worked closely with Gaia Education since 2006 when he participated in the first training of trainers for the ‘Ecovillage Design Education’ program. Daniel currently lives on Majorca, and works locally and internationally as a consultant, educator and activist, and in 2016 he published his first book, “Designing Regenerative Cultures.”

In today’s session we cover a very wide range of regenerative design theory and Daniel’s perspective and experience on community and cultural shifts, the factors of time in nuanced design, working in collaboration on multi-stakeholder projects and much more. This interview is the perfect capstone for this last month’s focus on design theory and regenerative community dynamics so before I give it all away, I’ll hand it over now to Daniel.

Resources:

Buy the book “Designing Regenerative Cultures”

Daniel Christian Wahl on FB

UCI Costa Rica

Gaia Education

Gunther’s Fables

Feb 15 2019

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

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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 really challenging for all farmers in the last 6 months. I was however finally able to get a hold of Lisa Kivirist, one of my favorite authors of homesteading skills and small scale farming. She’s the author of the farmstead chef, rural renaissance, ecopreneuring, homemade for sale, and the book that will be the center of our interview today “soil sisters: a toolkit for women farmers”
She’s also the host of the podcast: “In her boots” which focuses on interviews with and about modern women farmers, which I’ve been a fan of for over a year now and highly recommend to anyone interested in farm stories and general advice in the USA.
In her extensive work helping to build support for women in farming and to create a community network of their peers that they can rely on, Lisa has helped to highlight the stories and experiences around the immeasurable contributions from women in agriculture and set stronger foundations for their continued success into the future. 
In this interview Lisa helps me to understand the complex history of women farmers in the US and the obstacles that they’ve had to overcome in the past as well as those that are still in their way. She also explains the unique talents and perspective that they bring to this fast changing sector along with the growing support network that they’re building together. 
I’ve been a big fan of Lisa’s books for a while and her podcast is a really valuable resource too, but this book Soil Sisters really opened my eyes to the blind spots that I’ve had and that the farming industry at large has had to the essential role that women have played in advancing and strengthening farming through some of America’s toughest times. 
Resources:
https://homemadeforsale.wixsite.com/freshbaked http://innserendipity.com/ http://innserendipity.com/news/news.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Kivirist

Aug 07 2020

58mins

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Applying syntropic farming methods for dryland regeneration, with Jacob Evans

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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 to the unique mediterannean climate in the southern region of spain known as Andalucia I spoke with a good friend of mine, Jacob Evans. Jacob has been working for 4 years now at the Suryalila yoga retreat center as their permaculture farm manager. In that time he helped to establish some impressive agroforestry and food production systems with limited resources in a region best known for rapid desertification and extremes of hot dry summers and frigid winters. Their 20 hectare property stands in contrast to the desnuded plains around them and is beginning to change the hearts and minds of people who think that there’s little that can be done to reverse the damage done to the land there. 
In this interview we talk about what syntropic farming is and what it represents. Jacob walks me through some of the ways that he’s applied its principles to his context in Andalucia and how the trials have been working out 4 years in. We also go over some of the specific plants and methods that have been successful for him there and a lot more. 
I was actually able to meet Jacob after this interview in person the other week when he came up to Barcelona for a trip and we got to hang out a bit and talk about our projects and ambitions here in Spain. We also did a little fermented food and seed swap from our respective gardens. I’m really looking forward to further collaborating with Jacob since he’s already been a great contact for me as I get to know this new country and region by sharing planting lists and advice from his experience. 
I’m also looking to get  in touch with other innovators and practitioners of syntropic farming, especially here in Spain or the Mediterranean region, so if any of you out there know of someone who fits that description, please pass their contact on or share this episode with them.
Resources:
https://www.instagram.com/wizard_permaculture/ https://vimeo.com/429258015 http://www.lalomaviva.com/syntropic-farming https://lifeinsyntropy.org/ https://agendagotsch.com/en/

Jul 31 2020

1hr 1min

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

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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 a connection with this organization through some other work that I was doing to help consult on the Ecosystem Restoration Camp known as Camp Alitplano which is actually a 5 hectare portion of the largest farm in the organization where they’re trialing various agroforestry and holistic grazing techniques in an effort to restore the degraded site though economically viable production methods. The coordinator of the camp who I’d been in touch with connected me with the owner of the larger farm who also happens to be the president of AlVelal, Alfonzo Chico de Guzman. 
Now Alfonzo is a unique example of a young man who decided to return to his origins on the land and help to his family farm after graduating with a degree in business administration. He immediately dedicated himself to transforming the farm through innovative and regenerative methods and set up an organic market garden as well as fruit production, and began to develop agroforestry methods through systems involving almonds and pistachios. He’s also implemented broad water harvesting earthworks with swales on contour and keyline ponds to help to restore the watershed of this parched and arid region. Aided by a team of international non-profit organizations he’s become instrumental in showcasing and pioneering many dryland agriculture best practices and helping to motivate other producers in the region to follow suit. 
In this episode we talk about many of those methods that I glossed over as well as the overall response from the community in this transition. We discuss barriers to progress and the challenges and roadblocks that he and others have faced in transitioning their farms as well as some of the successes along the way. 
I was really excited to tap into such an inspiring movement and am really looking forward to working more actively with both Alvelal and Ecosystem Restoration camps here in Spain as these projects continue to grow. So look out for updates in future episodes if you enjoy this talk
Resources:
https://alvelal.wixsite.com/website-6
Alvelal YT channel
https://earthmind.org/vca/alvelal https://eu.patagonia.com/gb/en/actionworks/grantees/alvelal/

Jul 24 2020

53mins

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

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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 notes for this episode for a wide perspective on the topic, but in this interview we’ll take a look in the cloud forest of the Ecuadorian Amazon to see how the team at Mashpi Artisanal Chocolate have brought their piece of land back from being a degraded and deforested pasture to a thriving rainforest cacao plantation that has brought the biodiversity back to their forest through a method they call analog forestry. 
In this interview I spoke with Alejandro Solano who co-owns and manages Mashpi Chocolate as the resident reserve ecologist. Apart from knowing in depth everything that has to do with the cultivation of cocoa and working directly in its production, he is in charge of planting other species that accompany the cacao trees and ensures their health through whole ecosystem management. He also conducts ongoing research on biodiversity and is a naturalist with a sharp eye and intuition. Along with helping to manage the business and land, he also guides visitors, and gives workshops on the farm project and the reserve.
In this interview we start by defining analog forestry and it’s defining aspects. From there we explore the larger vision of cloud forest restoration that the cacao production is merely one aspect of. Alejandro also explains how the preservation of the genetics of his cacao is helping to preserve the biocultural heritage of Ecuador and its history as well. Towards the end we also go through all the steps of producing some of the highest quality chocolate available from seed all the way to the chocolate bar. 
Resources:http://www.analogforestry.org/ https://www.chocomashpi.com/ https://www.facebook.com/Mashpi-Artisanal-Chocolate-154631088076997/
Other tropical forest management episodes:
https://abundantedge.com/abundantedge-kristen-krash/ https://abundantedge.com/abundantedge-jairo-rodriguez/ https://abundantedge.com/abundantedge-alex-kronick/ https://abundantedge.com/how-to-grow-a-healthy-native-forest-in-record-time-with-afforestt-founder-shubhendu-sharma-146/

Jul 17 2020

48mins

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

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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 make a living and produce a meaningful amount of food, certainly not enough to base a business around, if they weren't working with the resources and the systems of our modern times, but there’s no denying that the same systems that make these business models feasible are unlikely to continue for much longer and certainly not in the way we are using and operating them now. That’s why I got really excited about the work and writings of Shane Simonsen who is conducting personal experiments and documenting the process and observations on his homestead in eastern Australia all around the concept of zero input agriculture. His blog by that same name is one of the most original approaches to large scale food production that I’ve come across in a long time and asks the simple question of “how might we still be able to produce enough food for ourselves and our communities if we no longer had access to all of the inputs and fossil fuels of our modern times.”
Despite sounding like a post apocalyptic exercise in primitive living, Shane’s writing is surprisingly optimistic and pragmatic. In a small excerpt from his very first post from September 2019 he writes: In the resource constrained future ahead of us these input dependent approaches to growing food will become impractical or impossible. Instead new systems that rely on locally adapted crops and livestock, integrated into systems that are truly compatible with the local geology and climate will be required. I have taken on the challenge of developing these systems in our particular region in the remaining two decades of vigor I have left in me. This blog is an account of this journey. Hopefully I can inspire some of you to follow in my direction and develop your own locally adapted systems.

Jul 10 2020

1hr 11mins

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

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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 to get to the bottom of this paradox I spoke to Loren Luyendyk a Certified Teacher of Permaculture, with over 17 years of practical experience in Permaculture Design, Sustainability, and Horticulture. Loren has also studied and has loads of experience in the fields of Organic and Biodynamic Farming, Arboriculture, Agroecology, Keyline Design, Holistic Management, Natural Building, and The Soil Foodweb. is also a founding partner of Permaculture Design International, an international design collaborative, with the express goal of increasing the professionalism and adoption of permaculture globally, especially with larger scale projects.  He and his wife Aubrey Falk co-founded the non-profit organization Surfers Without Borders in 2008, which promotes practical solutions to ocean pollution through regenerative design. 
In this interview we break down some of the important ways that permaculture can be applied, especially to small farms, not only to improve the health of the ecology on the site, but also the financial bottom line of the business owner. Loren explains how a lot of common practices and teachings in permaculture like crop diversification, building soil health, and harvesting water on site can make a huge difference in the viability of a farm. We also talk a lot about what a regenerative food system might look like at the community level and how people can get started wherever they are by taking simple steps in the right direction. Towards the end we also nerd out on all the amazing plants and foods that grow in our respective climates since both north eastern Spain and south western California are analogue climates to one another there’s a ton of overlap in what we see and grow around us
Resources:
http://sborganics.com/ https://www.permacultureintl.com/

Jul 03 2020

1hr 10mins

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

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Ray Milidoni
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 Milidoni from Malbourne who works with Farming Secrets, one of the premier educational platforms for profitable regenerative farming based in Australia. 
Ray states that his mission is to create a community which inspires moments of collaboration where we can all learn new ways of thinking by promoting environmental awareness.
In this interview Ray talks about the patterns and commonalities in the successful regenerative farming network that he works with and the power to create change at a societal level through inspiring education and new ways of thinking. We also look into some of the biggest roadblocks that are holding the ecological farming movement back and how our generation holds the power to transform our food system by supporting and promoting the growers who are creating a new way of farming by collaborating with rather than fighting nature
Resources:
https://www.farmingsecrets.com/

Jun 26 2020

56mins

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

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Michael Ableman
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, I reached out to Michael Ableman to learn more.
Michael Ableman is the cofounder and director of Sole Food Street Farms and one of the early visionaries of the urban agriculture movement. Michael has worked as a commercial organic farmer for the last 45 years and is the founder of the nonprofit Center for Urban Agriculture. He has also created high-profile urban farms in both Watts and Goleta, California as well as Vancouver, British Columbia. Michael is the author of numerous books like From the Good Earth, On Good Land, Fields of Plenty, Street Farmand his latest, titled Farm the City in which he outlines actionable steps on how to plan, grow, and market your crops in an urban environment.  
In this interview we cover many of those practical steps and much more including business planning and assessing land in the city
Resources:
Get the book "Farm the City" by Michael Ableman
https://www.urbanfarm.org/

Jun 19 2020

49mins

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Stewarding the holistic health of a community orchard

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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 farmer, writer, carpenter, orchard consultant, and speaker who lives on Heartsong Farm in northern New Hampshire, where he and his family grow apples and a variety of medicinal herbs. He is also the author of The Apple Grower and The Holistic Orchard. His Lost Nation Orchard is part of the Holistic Orchard Network, and Michael also leads the community orchard movement at GrowOrganicApples.com. He was also honored by Slow Food USA to receive the first Betsy Lydon Ark Award in 2005 for his work promoting healthy ways to grow fruit.
In this interview we take a deeper look at what goes into growing healthy and delicious apples beyond what most people know about. Michael talks about the essential importance of diversity in a resilient orchard ecosystem and how it has to be balanced by what you need to make a profit at market. We also cover a wide range of practical advice from pollinator and pest management, biological mowing, as well as foliar sprays, shifting climate zones and much more. 
I get a real thrill from talking to people with such an obvious passion and love for what they do, and in Michael’s case that passion is coupled with a deep understanding and knowledge of the science behind the health of his plants and soil. I highly recommend this one to anyone looking to grow fruit trees, even if you’re not looking to take it all the way to a production scale. 
Resources:
GrowOrganicApples.com
Get the book The Holistic Orchard
Get the book The Apple Grower
Get the book Mycorrhizal Planet

Jun 12 2020

1hr

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

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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 Washington Post, among others publications. 
In this interview, Doug shares the moment that he calls his climate Pearl Harbor which set his life on a new trajectory. He breaks down the complicated history of hemp cultivation around the world and in the United States and we also explore the current state of hemp which has been recently legalized for cultivation. We also unpack the gold rush on hemp products especially CBD oils and Doug explains his caution about the potential for a boom and bust cycle that could be terrible for the industry at large. He also outlines his thoughts on a healthy and regenerative industry for hemp, not only for the land but for all of the yet undiscovered and unstudied properties of this amazing plant, to say nothing of all the useful byproducts in the stalks and fibers. I personally learned a ton from this chat and am really looking forward to watching this budding industry find its roots so to speak and am hopeful for a bright future for the hemp market.
Resources:
Get the book American Hemp Farmer
https://www.dougfine.com/
Ted talk
https://www.instagram.com/organiccowboy/

Jun 05 2020

48mins

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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

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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?

For answers to these questions I reached out to Gabe Brown of Brown’s Ranch in North Dakota. A historically challenging environment for agriculture, North Dakota is a place dominated today by massive cattle ranches and monocultures stretching beyond the horizon of dry and windy plains. But in this challenging environment, Gabe has been a pioneer of the soil-health movement and has even been named one of the twenty-five most influential agricultural leaders in the United States. Gabe, his wife, Shelly, and son, Paul, own Brown’s Ranch, a holistic, diversified 5,000-acre farm and ranch near Bismarck, North Dakota. The Browns integrate their grazing and no-till cropping systems, which include cash crops and multi-species cover crops along with all-natural, grass-finished beef and lamb, pastured pork, and laying hens. The Brown family have received numerous awards including a Growing Green Award from the Natural Resources Defense Council, an Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the USA Zero-Till Farmer of the Year Award.

In this interview I asked Gabe about how he managed to persevere through some very challenging years in the beginning to develop the diversified and healthy landscape that his family manages today. He also tells me a lot about the invisible challenges to this way of farming such as the counter productive incentives of the US Farm Bill and the cultural stigma that can be difficult when making unconventional changes to your farming practices. We also dig into some crucial advice that Gabe has for farmers looking to make a transition to regenerative agriculture from industrial management. This interview gave me a lot of hope that the American plains can be restored without risking food shortages or spikes in food costs. I really hope that any of you listening to this will share this episode with someone you know who works in farming who perhaps hasn’t heard of these possibilities or who thinks that their mechanized monoculture operations can’t be converted or don’t lend themselves to ecological transformation. 

Resources:

Get the book From Dirt to Soil
https://brownsranch.us/ understandingag.com soilhealthacademy.org

Chelsea Green Publishing - the leading publisher of sustainable living books since 1985.
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May 29 2020

53mins

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

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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 he put together for the World Permaculture Association about how machinery can be leveraged for positive environmental impact and why we need to use it wisely to regenerate land on an unprecedented scale. 
In this episode we start out by examining the economics of land degradation and how machinery has been a big driver in the ecological devastation that we are experiencing all over the world today and how it’s misuse has created the conditions for the loss of millions of tons of topsoil every year as well as massive deforestation. Rhamis then goes on to outline how the same technology can be harnessed to completely reverse these trends by outlining a number of machines and tools that work especially well in specific applications. I’ve also linked to the original article that Rhamis wrote which contains a video presentation of even more information and pictures of the machines that he highlights for those of you who struggle to picture some of the things we talk about here. All those can be found in the show notes on the website 
Resources:
https://worldpermacultureassociation.com/earth-repair-upscaled/?fbclid=IwAR0G0PHuXX--SwKZAYsPQb2uRQobZM3-LuQYKdyiThY_3iU3odE7JpKD3TE

May 22 2020

54mins

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

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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 of the people that Nick pointed out to me and who I’ve been following and listening to ever since. John Kempf is a regenerative agricultural consultant, entrepreneur, speaker, teacher and podcast host who is passionate about the potential of well managed agriculture ecosystems to reverse ecological degradation. He is also the author of  the new book titled “Quality Agriculture” where he highlights important interviews with prominent farmers and researchers on the cutting edge of ecological farming. He states that his personal mission is to have these regenerative models of agriculture management become the mainstream globally by 2040.
In this interview, John speaks with me about the incredible growth of regenerative and ecological farming practices in just the last few years and what is behind this trend. He also gives great insights about what he sees as a future where industrial and regenerative agriculture merge to leverage the best parts of both worlds rather than continuing to be at odds. We also cover the real drivers of change in the agricultural sector and how the new generation of young farmers are innovating and reshaping the future of this industry. 
I really liked the straight forward and pragmatic approach that John takes to these important questions. Many voices calling for a change in agricultural practices that I’ve heard in the past do a great job of idealizing a world of healthy environmental interaction but fall short when it comes to supporting evidence and case studies, but John does a great job about focusing on the realities of the world we currently have and how we can look to tangible examples of practices and methods that regenerate our damaged ecosystems while respecting the context of the globalized industry that farming is these days and what farmers themselves need to make their businesses work. I also highly recommend his show, The Regenerative Agriculture Podcast for people who want to hear from scientists, researchers and producers in the field who are making incredible advances for the ecological health of their land. I especially enjoyed a recent interview he did with Ray Archuleta, and his short video series on the five core concepts of regenerative agriculture on the advancing regenerative agriculture youtube channel, both of which I’ve linked to in the show notes for this episode.
Resources:
Get the book "Quality Agriculture"
https://johnkempf.com/ https://www.advancingecoag.com/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRApdrU3BA0Pzo6MNWTD2jg
Ray Archuleta episode

May 15 2020

57mins

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

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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 of profitable small farming models for inspiration for my own project here, and between Richard’s youtube channel and two books, Making Small Farms Work and the new volume titled Regenerative Agriculture, there are few better resources to guide you step by step through all the design considerations, from landscape analysis, business planning, crunching numbers and creative paths to market. 
Though I spoke to Richard for the first time back in season 1, I invited him back for this episode to talk about some of the massive changes that are coming about from the COVID health crisis and how he’s seen it affect small farms around Europe. We explore topics like farm enterprise analysis, suggestions for direct to consumer marketing and collaboration, and Richard also talks about his observations over the years of transformation of his small farm in northern Sweden, not only from a land health perspective, but also things he’s noticed about his teaching and mentorship strategy as well as the characteristics he thinks are essential for succeeding in farming.
Resources:
https://www.youtube.com/user/mrintegralpermanence https://www.facebook.com/ridgedalepermaculture/ https://www.regenerativeagriculture.co/

May 08 2020

1hr 24mins

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

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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 had no idea just how relevant these topics would be as we find ourselves questioning the future of just about every industry and its environmental impact at this unique moment in history. Though many of us are looking at the bleak predictions for the world economy and all the other looming catastrophes that involve everything from our environment to the food supply system, we are also seeing an unprecedented review of priorities and focus. 
In this episode Joel and I discuss how this crisis has affected the farming industry at large but also the incredible impact it’s had on small local farmers. He tells me how he can see this event as a blessing if it’s managed correctly and if we use it as one. Joel also gives details about how his own farm is adapting to the restrictions and finding opportunities to bring his community closer and connect them with other local producers in their area. We also muse over the likely changes that our culture will experience for a long time in the wake of this and what the good and worrisome aspects likely are. In the end though, I left this chat feeling inspired and much more optimistic than I was before and I hope that’s how you feel by the end too.
Resources:
https://www.thelunaticfarmer.com/blog/ https://www.polyfacefarms.com/

May 01 2020

1hr 3mins

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A guide to resilient living wherever you are

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Download the free ebook below
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 last 15 years.
What’s more is that I’ve just published a new ebook all about homesteading and resilient living titled Homesteading for Every Home that you can download now on the website for free and use to plan your own homestead and start building a profitable land based business right away.
Both in this episode and in the ebook, I’ll be talking about what modern homesteading actually is, how it looks in different living configurations, how you can start taking your first steps towards a homesteading lifestyle, even if you’re living in a tiny apartment in the city, what it means to work towards self sufficiency, ideas for ways to make a living on your homestead, as well as some ideas and advice from my experience homesteading in foreign countries and what the advantages and disadvantages are. 
Resources:
What to do and not to do in your first year on a homestead
Good forums for homesteaders
https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/self-reliance/guide-to-urban-homesteading-zm0z14amzrob

Apr 24 2020

1hr 1min

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

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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 we talk about the thought process behind looking for a good homesteading site and what options the new space could provide. Nicholas talks about the unique context and climate where he lives in Texas and how that influences his options as well. 
We also break down the importance of community for resilient living and how investing time and resources at the local level can be one of the most important aspects to urban and suburban homestead living. 
In the next couple of weeks I’ll be putting out new content around resilient living during the challenges of this health crisis and techniques and projects you can start from anywhere right away to help prepare yourself and your community for the transition out of this lockdown period and the economic challenges that are likely to affect us all. 
Thank you so to you listeners who’ve been writing to me to check in and share ideas and ask questions in the last few weeks. It means the world to me to connect with those of you in the Abundant Edge network and to know that this information is making a difference in your day. 
The best part about making this show has always been the connections and relationships that it’s helped to build and I appreciate you all more than ever.

Apr 17 2020

1hr 5mins

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

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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 to fail in your experiments. 
Photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Ben Falk, founder of Whole Systems Design, holds bundles bundles of short grain brown rice grown in terraced rice paddies at his research farm in Moretown.
Ben  is also the author of The Resilient Farm and Homestead, a comprehensive manual for developing durable, beautiful, and highly functional human habitat systems fit to handle an age of rapid transition. With that description I knew Ben would be the right person to speak to about the need for resilient living systems in this time of unprecedented upheaval in our global society. 
In this interview, we break down the elements that have to be in place for a system to be considered resilient as well as the essential things that someone has to understand before they can start to interact with their land in a beneficial way. Ben also talks about some of the practical aspects of homestead living such as what he’s found to be the best “bang for your buck” enterprises and time investments which include some surprisingly simple and basic things. We even cover resilience at the community level and dig out some essential advice from Ben’s years working with clients to build their own systems and what considerations people often overlook when they first get started. Though I spoke with Ben before much of the pandemic lockdown had started in the US, this interview has turned out to be very timely for the huge surge in interest all around the world from people looking to reclaim independence from the global economic system and reclaim more self reliance in reaction to seeing how fragile our support systems really are. A renewed interest in everything from growing your own food garden to repairing common household appliances has grown as more people recognize that there is real value in knowing how to provide for your most basic requirements and being able to care for the needs of your community. 
In the meantime, I hope all of you are staying safe and healthy in this difficult time of epidemic. My best wishes to all of you and your families.
Resources:
http://www.wholesystemsdesign.com/ https://www.youtube.com/user/wholesystems https://www.facebook.com/ben.falk.14

Apr 10 2020

55mins

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From Manhattan to the Redwood Forest. An inner journey of rewilding, with Ayana Young of “For the Wild”

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In this ongoing series on homesteading I’ve talked to a lot of people who’ve given us really practical information on how to make the transition to a more self-sufficient way of life and connect with nature in the process. We’ve explored how to start businesses on your land, grow and produce your own food, as well as forage for wild food and medicine. In this episode we’ll take a look at the softer side of the homesteading lifestyle in talking about the inner transformations and the feelings connected to rewilding and reconnecting to the land. For this perspective, I spoke to Ayana Young who made a drastic change in a short time from living in downtown Manhattan to living with minimal amenities in the redwood forest in northern California. We explore the motivations behind such a drastic change as well as the inner transformation that can take place during the journey. We also explore the personal sides of managing expectations, mental adjustments to a new environment, and the benefits and drawbacks of living so removed from modern life. Given that I’m normally very focused on the practical, logical and hard science side of ecosystem regeneration and lifestyle transition, it did me a lot of good to take the time to ponder the inner journey that takes place and to consider how others think and feel about the upheavals of these transformations and transitions.  
Back when I spoke with Ayana we were not yet in pandemic lockdown here in Spain, but now that we are and now that the quarantine has been extended until at least April 11th, it looks like we here, and many people all around the world are getting a taste of isolated living, even though we may not have moved at all or are only one door away from many neighbors. These drastic transformations are bringing out extreme and unusual feelings in people, myself included, and I’m hearing more and more urgency in developing alternative livelihoods and support systems for ourselves and our communities. I myself was in the process of purchasing a small farm with my partner when everything shut down here in Spain and the process has been suspended indefinitely, but the two of us feel more committed than ever to move to a situation in which we can be of direct help to our community here by providing healthy food and offering learning opportunities to the people around us who are also looking to make a transition. We are living in uncertain and stressful times, but know that you’re not alone in this journey. We will all need to work together and help each other out in the coming transition to a regenerative society. Though I certainly have low moments and doubts these days, I’m also confident that truly good and beautiful examples of human ingenuity and compassion will come out of this pandemic and that our communities will band together in new and inspiring ways to lift us collectively out of this and away from the trajectory of destruction and consumption that we’ve been on before now. 
If you’ve been enjoying these episodes I’d encourage you to look through the archives of the Abundant Edge podcast for more inspiration and practical information on everything from natural building for low cost, high quality housing, to growing your own food, planning regenerative farms, and much much more in over 150 episodes. This information and the community connections that it can create are more important and urgent now than ever. Thank you all so much for listening and supporting this show. I hope this finds you all safe, healthy and in good company.
Resources:
https://forthewild.world/

Apr 03 2020

54mins

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

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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 felt compelled to share it with you in this episode. Zac first went to visit Nepal back in 2005 on a short volunteering trip and immediately fell in love with the country and the people there. Since then he has worked with a diverse group of projects through the Kamala Foundation which he founded, all based around ecosystem abundance and healthy community building. In this episode we talk about the climate, land and cultural context of Nepal which has fascinated me for a long time. Zac also talks a lot about the challenges he had in getting his homestead and permaculture teaching site off the ground, as well as the influence and impact that it’s had on his surrounding community. Just as importantly he shares the impact and influence that the community has had on him and how it has informed and altered his own goals. 
Homesteading in a foreign country is a topic that I really love, not only because I’ve lived it myself a few times, but because every region has its own traditions of working the land and rich knowledge bases to draw from and inform a healthy relationship with the local ecology and communities. If you’re listening to this and have your own foreign permaculture story to share, please tell me about it.

Mar 27 2020

40mins

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iTunes Ratings

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Great Learning Experience

By livinglight2day - Mar 06 2020
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This is a wonderful podcast. Love all the first hand information that is available for new homesteaders with no prior farming experience at all.

Thank you for this Podcast!

By Robynpix - Nov 14 2019
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You show with Kristen of Sueño de Vida was mega inspiring. Thanks for introducing their project to me!