Episodes
world of insects. Though there are only a handful of bugs and invertebrates that humans consider edible, productive, or beautiful, they are an essential element in any healthy ecosystem. All too often the ones that we don’t derive beauty from or direct use from are considered an annoyance at best or actively destroyed and eradicated in all too many cases. It’s long overdue that I highlight just how valuable insects are to out world and our own wellbeing on this show, and to help me to do that...
Published 04/12/24
Published 04/12/24
I’ve had the pleasure over the last few months to interview quite a few people that I admire, who’ve told me about their fascination with beekeeping. Over and over again I’ve heard about the incredible insights into overall ecological health and the amazing reflections of ecosystem function that can be observed through managing bee hives.    I got a window into the world of natural beekeeping back in May of 2022 when I co-hosted a Climate Farmer’s community event at Wilmer’s Gaerten, a...
Published 04/05/24
Despite the popularity of permaculture, homesteading, regen ag, and all these other buzz terms we hear, many of the people promoting these ideas, including myself, are quite new and inexperienced. It’s still rare to find people who can offer insight and wisdom from decades or a whole lifetime of living with regenerative systems. Sure, you can still find quite a few hardy old timers who know a lot about resilience and self sufficiency, but even though there is a ton of wisdom to be gleaned...
Published 03/29/24
Though I’ve highlighted this before on this show, it bears repeating. So many of the stress factors on farms are caused by money. Either not being able to generate enough, being in debt, not having control over the expenses and cash flows, or another one that I see time and again, not paying yourself a salary and just hoping for a profit at the end of the year. Though this is hardly the most interesting part of the work for anyone I know who farms, it doesn’t change the fact that a farm is a...
Published 03/22/24
In the process of researching the area that I now call home, and working to understand the context and history of the land, I’ve uncovered some fascinating information. The Iberian peninsula made up mostly of Spain with Portugal along the Atlanitc coast and Andorra in the Pyrenees mountains has been dramatically transformed through thousands of years of human history, to say nothing of prehistoric and geological times. Caves and monuments point to some of the earliest evidence of human...
Published 03/15/24
I’ve spent a lot of time through the interviews of this podcast speaking with people around the world who are advancing incredible and ambitious projects that aim to regenerate large land bases like farms, estates, or even whole regions. Last week’s conversation with Weruschca Kirkegaard from United Designers is a perfect example of these kinds of projects and the potential of collaborative large scale design.  That being said, it’s such a tiny portion of the population globally that has...
Published 03/08/24
Todays episode is going to build on a couple concepts that I’ve been exploring from different perspectives. The first is that of the power of community, and the second is different scales of regeneration. In this episode I’m joined by my good friend and mentor Weruschca Kirkegaard based in the Netherlands, Weruschca the is co-founder of United Designers International and head of their project management. Her combined experience and knowledge of aesthetics, nutrition, health, and...
Published 03/01/24
For those of you following along from the last three episodes of this season so far, I’ve been sharing the intimate details of my own journey along with my good friend Nick Steiner as we’ve gone around to visit a number of out client’s projects in the south of Portugal and both gather essential data to inform our process and actually put that process into action implementing water retention features.  We’ve seen examples of farms facing droughts and rural communities facing wildfire and...
Published 02/23/24
I’ve talked a lot about drought and water management on this podcast. It’s becoming a bigger and bigger part of my work and specialization, both in the work I do with private clients and through the network of farmers that I work with through Climate Farmers. At the moment, these topics are hitting home for another reason. Catalunya, the region where I live in Northeastern Spain is currently experiencing the most severe drought in its recorded history, and there is little relief in...
Published 02/16/24
Continuing on the journey we started in the last episode, Nick and I went to the next project where we got to install the types of water retention features that we had designed for the previous clients. Together we talk about the joys and the challenges of site where we were creating these earthworks. Over the previous summer the whole landscape had burned in a wildfire and the clients there are especially motivated to mitigate the risks moving into the future. We also got to work with a team...
Published 02/09/24
Welcome to the first episode of season 8 of the Regenerative Skills podcast. We're starting in a big way with a special episode in which me and my good friend and collaborator Nick Steiner will be taking you along with us on a client visit in the south of Portugal in the very first steps of a water retention landscape project. We'll be giving you a behind the scenes look at what we do on these jobs, the landscape indicators that we're observing to inform our concept plans, and all of the...
Published 02/02/24
There are a few farms and organizations here in Spain that have been gaining international attention for their work and initiatives in the past few years. Partly through reaching out directly and partly through the Climate Farmers network I’ve been connecting with them to bring their inspiring stories and innovative knowledge to the farmers community that I help to manage.  One of the most established and accomplished of these farms is La Junquera, an 1100 hectare farm in one of the most...
Published 12/29/23
By now I’m sure many of you have heard the few episodes on soil health that I’ve recorded with people like Harriet Mela, Matt Powers, James White, and others. I know that the subject of soil has become really popular with growers and it’s always talked about as being central to the success of regenerative agriculture and broader environmental health, and I don’t disagree. Yet I’m often worried that the discourse around soil science is reminiscent of other scientific studies in which there’s a...
Published 12/22/23
Syntropic Agroforestry has exploded in popularity and interest in the last few years. I’ve explored this agroforestry design and management system a little in some previous episodes with my friend Jacob Evans, but there’s so much more to explore.    First pioneered by renowned farmer Ernst Gostch in Brazil, his integrated approach of dense planting and timed pruning and intervention to accelerate natural succession and replace outside inputs for both ecosystem regeneration and nutrient dense...
Published 12/15/23
I’ve been so happy to see how popular the concept of growing one’s own food has become in recent years. Especially since the pandemic, a lot of us have connected deeply with the need to build food resilience by cultivating our own gardens, and quite a few have even gone further and started to grow at a market scale.  It’s a beautiful thing to be able to eat fresh healthy produce from your own land, but I’ve often wondered as well, how we can cross the long dark and cold period of winter, when...
Published 12/08/23
I’ve been observing an interesting trend in the regen ag space. The concept and awareness of regen ag has been growing exponentially with many people exploring ways to start their own farms and to participate in and support those who are already involved. At the same time the current economic situation and the complexity of regulations, paired with skill worker shortages, and other challenges are leading people to burn out or quit altogether.  It’s no joke how complex and difficult it can be...
Published 12/01/23
We live in a time when everyone seems to be looking for high tech solutions for every problem. Maybe it's due to all of the new tech that has come out in recent decades with lofty promises of new frontiers, or the fact that so many of us are removed from regular interaction with the natural world, but I genuinely believe that technology is more over-applied and responsible for more problems than it usually solves. For that reason I always like to see when professionals advocate for low tech...
Published 11/24/23
I’ve been lucky in recent months to be able to speak to people who’ve been leaders and change makers in the regenerative space for a significant amount of time. Building on that knowledge and experience I got to speak with Dr Mark Nelson.    Mark is Chairman of the Institute of Ecotechnics, head of Wastewater Gardens International and has worked for several decades in closed ecological system research, bioregenerative space life support, ecological engineering, restoration of damaged...
Published 11/17/23
A few months back when I covered the topic of landrace gardening and crop breeding, I had no idea what a passionate and knowledgeable community around the world that I was tapping into.  The seed savers and plant breeders who I’ve been in touch with, including quite a few who are part of the Discord community for this podcast, are working on everything from quinoa crosses for tough climate staple crop production, to the domestication of silverweed, adapted varieties for low maintenance, and...
Published 11/10/23
My guest today needs no introduction if you’ve been paying attention to the regen ag scene in the last decade, but just in case you’re new to this topic and community let me catch you up to speed   John Kempf is an entrepreneur, speaker, podcast host and teacher. He is passionate about the potential of well managed agriculture ecosystems to reverse ecological degradation. It is John’s mission to have these regenerative models of agriculture management become the mainstream globally by...
Published 11/03/23
Despite the popularity of regenerative agriculture at the moment and the fact that there are many inspiring farmers involved in the movement, it’s still rare to find experienced farmers, especially in large scale operations that have been working to regenerate their ecosystems and communities for more than 20 years.  For this reason I was thrilled to connect with Will Harris of White Oak Pastures for a second time to dig into the remarkable career he’s had and the journey of transforming his...
Published 10/27/23
Though we’ve covered many aspects of soil health on this show in previous episodes, this is an area of scientific and agronomic study which is constantly growing and evolving. It seems that there are a growing number of specialists who are pioneering research in very specific and detailed aspects of soil health which helps to expand our overall picture of the ecosystem under our feet.  At the same time it’s essential to be able to translate all of this advanced biology, chemistry, and even...
Published 10/20/23
This week I want to build on the panel discussion that I started previously in the panel episode with the group from the Alpbach forum. In that conversation we looked at various visions on what a regenerative food system could look like from representatives from Nestle, Agrana, and a conservation farmer.  Today I want to bring another perspective into this idea of building healthy and resilient food systems from a friend of mine who has been working on this by connecting stakeholders...
Published 10/13/23
The growing popularity of permaculture food forests and backyard multispecies orchards is part of a movement that I’m 110% in support of. Any addition of native and food producing plants in diverse multispecies configurations is a wonderful thing.  I want to see as many people as possible find success with these plantings, and that’s why I’ve been a bit concerned by the way that many designers and landscapers oversell the benefits and expectations to people who want to plant their first fruit...
Published 10/06/23