Regenerative Agriculture – #SolutionsWatch

by | Jun 17, 2024 | Solutions Watch, Videos | 135 comments

We all know the problem of The Future of Food. So, who’s ready for the solution? Today on #SolutionsWatch, James examines regenerative agriculture, one of the solutions that is already being used to wean us off the industrialized factory farming system and back toward a healthy relationship with our food . . . and with the earth itself.

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SHOW NOTES:

Episode 460 – The Future of Food

How to Boycott Big Food (2013)

Episode 275 – Solutions: Boycotts and Buycotts

Solutions: Guerrilla Gardening (2015)

The Future of Food (Is Ours to Decide)

Community Gardens – #SolutionsWatch

Regenerative agriculture (Wiki)

Regenerative Agriculture Podcast

Episode 121: Building a Truly Regenerative Kitchen with Mollie Engelhart

Short #1 – MacroPak and the Importance of Calcium

Episode 94: Challenging Assumptions About Regenerative Agriculture with John Kempf hosted by Future of Agriculture

Burdened by debt and unable to eke out a living, many farmers in India turn to suicide

How rural communities are tackling a suicide and depression crisis among farmers

Farmers have a high suicide rate. Therapists struggle to connect with them

Common Ground documentary

The Fundamental Principles of Regenerative Agriculture and Soil Health

Dr. Elaine Ingahm’s Soil Food Web

Dirt Doctor

Gavin Mounsey Substack

RecipesForReciprocity.com (use the discount code embodythesolution for 25% off a physical copy or 50% off a digital copy)

Covert Food Gardening In The Era Of The Lawn Nazis

Fire Roasted Fermented / Bourbon Infused Hot Sauce

Regenerative Gardening Seed/Seedling/Tree Sources 2024

Regenerative Resources (a recommended reading list from my library)

Trees of Power: Ten Essential Arboreal Allies

Regenerative Soil by Matt Powers

Mounsey Minute on MediaMonarchy

 

135 Comments

    • @sra1

      Very interesting set up, thanks for sharing.

      While the science nerd in me admires the cold, calculated, fine tuned efficiency of that system there is another part of me that recoils at the thought of robots growing strawberries.

      This Dyson fellow seems to be of the same technoptomist mindset as people like Steven Greer that think automation, AI, robotics and cybernetics is how we should grow our food as a mainstay.

      While I understand that some people cannot grow food for themselves, and perhaps in some contexts with isolated locations with elderly people and/or extreme climates, robotics could be helpful, at the same time, I think that in general, something is lost when neither the farmer nor the plant, nor the person eating the food is actively engaged with living soil.

      The push for robotics in food production (to me) reeks of the lazy imperialist technocrat mindset that sees gardening and farming as a lowly dirty activity for peasants and something that “more civilized” people should rise above, distance themselves from, look down on and avoid.

      (for more on the etymology of and ingrained thinking surrounding the term “civilized” : https://youtu.be/fYVBjgHRmus?si=i9IA9-VwXlLOIo7U )

      Don’t get me wrong, the Dyson guy seems to be genuinely trying to do some good (using his engineering, mechanistic, reductionist thinking and worldview) I just think that in trying to distance our selves from the act of getting our hands dirty and connecting with the living Earth intimately, through high tech quick fixes, we might provide our mouths with flavor and perhaps even our body with nutrition (depending on how the produce was grown) but we would be starving a deeper aspect of Self in the process.

      Also, from a purely utilitarian and practical standpoint, I see robotic hydroponic food cultivation operations as vulnerable to being crippled by geomagnetic storms and manmade EMPs ( for more info: https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/preparing-for-the-100-year-storms? )

      Thus, whether I look at the system Dyson has created from a practical nuts and bolts standpoint, or from a spiritual and philosophical standpoint, I would choose buying food from small family owned and operated regenerative farm over a large automated regenerative farm any day.

      That being said, what he appears to be doing is much more aligned with ecological literacy than the vast majority of conventional agriculture here in Canada (automated or not) so I give him props for that and thank you again for sharing the video.

      • What he fails to mention is that in the UK you can be paid to not farm. A grant to leave land fallow. I know what you mean it looks very bladerunner but farming is a tough life and it takes a toll. If there was a straight choice between importing a foreign underclass to pick food (which is the system the people at the top have implemented) or robots I know which I would choose. Not that I don’t like people. Farming might even become a reserve of filthy casuals who just set up an AI system and twiddle their thumbs 🙁
        Wish people in my country had more grit

        • @limey

          Greetings from Turtle Island

          That is interesting regarding the government funds to leave land fallow. Land left to nature for long periods of time will inevitably regenerate, but that does not mean that humans are incapable of lending an active role in accelerating that process of increasing biodiversity and soil fertility while simultaneously growing food and raising animals.

          I am personally of the same mindset as the author of the book I recommended in my discussion with James called Trees Of Power when he talks about how human presence on the land and tending of that land once increased biodiversity and enhanced habitat, and that we to are capable of embracing a role as an agent of regeneration and a proliferator of life.

          (For reference, a section from the book I mentioned that pertains to this: https://archive.org/details/arborealallies/IMG_2684.JPG )

          I would like to propose what may sound like a radical proposition to some nature lovers and environmentalist activists out there that may have been conditioned to subconsciously embrace a quasi-misanthropic view of humanity and our place on this world.

          I do not advocate lessening our impact on the natural world. I think we should increase our impact on the more than human world ten fold.

          (continued..)

        • (continued from above)

          As Lyla June says in this video clip ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HumlU31zKAE&t=2744s ) we can use these human hands to proliferate amazing abundance, becoming an asset to the Earth and making her feel grateful for our presence.

          I think we should use these amazing human hands and powerful brains that God gave us to have a huge impact, like the people of the Amazon did when they created the Terra Preta soils that allowed them to co-create the giant food forests of the Amazon jungle that have persisted for 4500 years.

          Instead of internalizing the false idea that portrays humans like a plague or a cancer on the Earth, I advocate we instead use our free will (and the sentience that so many humans covetously claim is unique to our species) to instead choose to define ourselves as co-creators of beauty, abundance and diversity.

          Our ancient ancestors have shown us by example that it is possible to become a positive force for impacting nature in a way that honors and nurtures life, rather than defining our selves as takers, users and consumers.

          Destruction and degeneration are not inevitable. Humans are not inherently parasitic and extractive as the anti-human globalist propaganda implies.

          Humans have the capability of either being takers/consumers (extracting from the Earth but giving nothing back) or givers (living within a web of reciprocal gift exchanges).

          Both choices can be observed in individuals in our lives and cultures throughout history.

          (continued..)

        • (continued from above:

          RE: “I know what you mean it looks very bladerunner but farming is a tough life and it takes a toll.”

          There is a lot worth unpacking there.

          Whether or not one could reasonably define farming in general as a “tough” life and whether or not one could argue that such a life takes a “toll” (on the farmers) depends many variables (some subjective, some situation specific and some quite abstract/philosophical and/or mindset based).

          Firstly, it would depend on what kind of farming one is talking about, then secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it would depend on why one chose (and continues to choose) the life of a farmer.

          How does one define a “tough” life in the context you intended to use the word?

          How does one define a “toll” in the context you intended to use the word?

          Many of us in the modern industrialized world have a very different concept of what farming means compared to how our ancestors saw that path in life centuries – millennia ago in the indigenous histories of each of our bloodlines (we all have them, regardless of skin color or what flag we do or don’t swear allegiance to).

          Is a “tough life” one that involves a lot of physical exertion, prolonged increased cardiovascular activity daily, long hours outside exposed to the sunshine, rain and snow and constant contact with a diverse array of organisms in the soil, in the air and on the crops? If so, you may be right, if you are talking about hands on old school natural farming.

          Though, it is also worth noting that those stimuli and repetitive activities I just listed also result in extended longevity for human beings and greater autonomy (and less time spent in hospitals and old people care facilities) in old age.

          ( reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7505340/ )

          In fact, when one takes a close look at the available data on so called “blue zones” (places where an inordinate amount of people regularly live to over one hundred years old) it becomes clear that it is those who live close to the Earth, humbly, working hard physically to tend the land and grow their own food (or perhaps grow food for their entire community) that live the longest. Some of the longest-living folks, like in Gilgit–Baltistan in northern Pakistan where the Hunza live, or Ikaria and Sardinia, are populated by shepherds and farmers with very little income.

          Gardening, which requires regular watering, thinning, composting, mulching, and harvesting, is a popular pastime among the elders in nearly every Blue Zone.

          Professor Emeritus Kenji Horiguchi and Professor Masahiko Genma of Waseda University found that medical expenses of self-employed farmers were 30% less in comparison to everyone else.

          Thus, it would seem that organic farmers may work harder physically, but they also rewarded in a different way (via increased resilience, autonomy and longevity).

          (continued..)

        • (continued from above)

          Farmers and gardeners live longer than non farmers and non-gardeners ( gardeners live up to 14 years longer than non-gardeners according to some research).

          ( https://wellnessmama.com/natural-home/gardeners-live-longer/ )

          People living in these so-called “blue zones” have certain factors in common – social support networks, daily exercise habits and specific diets, for starters. But they share another commonality worth re-iterating. In each community, people are gardening well into old age – their 80s, 90s and beyond.

          (continued..)

        • (continued from above..)

          Also, are these farmers you are stating have a “tough life” doing it solely for “making a living” (as in to provide a source of monetary income) ? That is one of the central motivating factors that drove my parents on their orchard and vineyard, and in that context, I would say yes, it could easily result in a “tough life”.

          My parents grew apples, soft fruit, wine grapes and some annual ground crops, but they grow them in monocultures. The species they grew were (and are) all susceptible to catastrophic crop failures due to frost, fungal diseases, various insect and bird pressures as well as radical market value fluctuations of supply and demand which was influenced by massive corporate farmers flooding the market with cheap garbage produce and diluting the value of their crops. That resulted in some very challenging years with debt and them working 7 days a week for months at a time, long hours, to tend, pick, drive the fruit 400 km to a rare isolated viable tourist market (Whistler and Vancouver) sell the fruit, drive back and keep farming, just to stay above water (financially speaking). They used chemicals to fight the insect and fungal pressures on those relatively fragile cloned crops (as they were trained to at the agricultural seminars by the chemical manufacturers that presented there as “experts”) and so that was a pressure on their health as well. So they had mental pressure, health pressure and saw the whole thing as a means to an end (a way to get $ to pay for raising their kids and doing the things they would rather be doing, like travelling etc). In that context, the farming life can take a “toll” for sure.

          Though, some people farm (and garden) not purely for making a living, but rather, to give life meaning. And in that context (the life of a farmer, or a gardener, that works and tends the land lovingly, with a diversity of species native to one’s area and capable of producing in a range of situations, growing both crops to sell, and crops to create with in the kitchen, save seed from, to build the soil, plant trees and leave the Earth a little bit more verdant, beautiful and abundant for the next generation) farming does the opposite of take a “toll”, it rewards the body, the mind, and the spirit.

          For more context that helps delineate the difference between modern farming (and what motivates many modern farmers for profit) from those who farmed the land with purpose, reverence, humility and love for what they do, here is another excerpt from a book I suggest everyone read:

          https://archive.org/details/seedsofcuchumaquic/IMG_5934.JPG

          (continued..)

        • (continued from above..)

          Therefore, purposeful organic (or better yet Regenerative) farming is tough physically, yes, but also enriching to one’s health (mental and physical) and it offers a type of nourishment for the permanent part of our selves which chose to come here and live a life on Earth in the first place (in a way that no life of lazy opulence ever could).

          Life in a smart city, working at a desk (or walking around with some kind of virtual reality goggles or with an Elon Musk chip in your brain so you can twitter your thoughts into limited character counts while working your 9-5 crunching numbers for some mega corporation) may be physically easy, but it would be devastating to one’s health, longevity, cognitive potential and soul.

          The life the technocratic oligarchs want people to crave and line up for is intended to be seductive to the lazy, the complacent, the easily distracted and the superficially focused masses. They want to plug people into a sort of “matrix” where they live a physically easy life, while being mentally, financially and digitally enslaved.

          They do not like small organic farmers and regenerative gardeners for we can easily see through their thinly veiled propaganda of their promised technological utopia. We know what real joy and lasting fulfillment is, and we know it does not come from a quick fix, or having someone else (or a robot) do the hard work for us.

          This Charles Eisenstein Quote speaks to some of the subject matter I was discussing in the comments above:

          “I do not worry that our system is not sustainable. I worry that it is. I am afraid that we can continue to lay waste to the living earth, indefinitely, ending up on a concrete world, so chronically ill physically and mentally that we must incorporate technological assistance into our very brains and bodies. I am afraid we will compensate for the lost connection to a living world with a burgeoning array of virtual substitutes, digital realities, and online adventures, tragically seeking something that we come to forget we ever had. Do you remember how loud the frogs were? Do you remember flocks of birds extending from horizon to horizon? Do you remember the clouds of fireflies that lit up the nights of my father’s youth? I am afraid we will forget we ever lived in such wealth and make do instead with Mario Cart. We are already far down this path to a concrete world, and far down the path of learning to cope with it. American doctors write every year around 120 million prescriptions for SSRIs, 118 million prescriptions for Adderall, Ritalin, and other ADHD medications, and 120 million for benzodiazepines. That’s more than one psychiatric drug prescription per capita!”

          Regenerative farmers and gardeners are the antithesis of smart cities and ‘the concrete world’, we are the irrepressible weeds pushing up through the sidewalk, we are agents of life and abundance and while we may sweat a lot and ache some days, our days are many and they are full of wonder.

          • Reading at last through the whole comments thread (my life is kind of slow and extremely busy – which sounds like it doesn’t make sense, but it does – the busy is time consuming but analog which slows it down a bit…), I have to admit coming across this wonderful essay from G is like a manna harvest or an oasis and I feel quite emotional because it gives me hope, which is in short supply at times….. thank you.

            • @Abi

              I am so glad you appreciate what I expressed in the comments above.

              The author of the book I linked an excerpt to above (Martín Prechtel) is all about analog and slowing things down to really harvest (and share) that manna, nurture cultural oases to flourish and engage in gift economics. He offers seeds of vision, perspectives and stories that serve as a sort of antithesis to the dominant societal trends of commodification, mechanization, superficiality and uniformity (so we can ‘keep the seeds alive’ for future generations).

              If you like what I shared above you would love this book:

              http://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/214673/the-unlikely-peace-at-cuchumaquic-by-martin-prechtel/9781583943601

              Thanks for the thoughtful and kind reply.

  1. Another very useful episode! My wife and I are looking for land where we can grow our own food. Information in this episode will come in handy when we start our own garden.

    • @Frode

      I am glad to hear you guys will be planting a garden.

      My wife and I love your book and hope you will write more!

      Happy garden planning, wishing you and your wife many bountiful harvests in the years ahead!

      ———————————-

      For anyone that does not yet have a copy of Frode’s book, I highly recommend it

      you can order your own here: https://billgoats.com/

      • It is wonderful to hear that you and your wife liked Bill Goats and the Forest, Gavin. Thank you for sharing!

        And yes, we are looking forward to getting dirt under our fingernails (again).

        All the best with your work as well.

    • @mkey

      Yes that website has a solid archive of useful discussions based on specific situations, challenges and growing conditions. Thanks for sharing that resource.

      ———————–

      On a separate side note, Have you heard of Paul Wheaton’s book (and land stewardship/gifting) system called S.K.I.P. ?

      (for more info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmkxxPJKfys )

      • I did not know about this. Sounds very interesting.

        • @mkey

          I agree and I think the concept is admirable and has a lot of potential (if it performs as advertised).

          I have not done a deep dive into checking how it is working out so far at this point in time but last time I checked there were still lots of people engaging in the tasks to get their points or whatever to prove they are worthy of inheriting and being worthy of stewarding the land, but none that have had the land actually signed over to them yet (which makes sense if one is gifting their multigenerational legacy of a ranch, farm or food forest to someone they just met, it takes time to build trust).

          Though, as I like to take a look at all sides of a thing and consider both sides of the argument before investing time in a thing or endorsing it I looked to see if there were any detractors/critics of Paul Wheaton’s work in that arena and I found this:

          https://www.reddit.com/r/Permaculture/comments/77nm7e/two_years_under_a_permaculture_slumlord/?rdt=49376

          It appears to be a person describing experiences in some kind of beta version of this newer SKIP program (which, if we are to take their account of events as honest and accurate, perhaps SKIP is more fine tuned and less “culty” now?) but the person shares some pretty harsh criticisms of Paul Wheaton’s “Wheaton labs” so I share the link so that people can use their own discernment, critical thinking, investigations and intuition to figure out if they think the new SKIP system is legit and worth their time or not.

          I do not know Paul Wheaton personally, so I cannot confirm nor argue against anything offered in the post linked above.

          I do know that there are farmers that are aging and they are worried their iphone glued, money grubbing, smart city loving kids will just sell and develop their farms once they die, so the kind of system that is described in SKIP would certainly be a blessing to those farmers and others who are interested in stewarding the land, regenerative farming and/or doing what Martín Prechtel describes as “Beautiful Farming”.

        • @mkey

          and to make it fair, here is a video from one year ago with Paul Wheaton speaking about SKIP and sharing his perspectives on how the project and program is going so far:

          “Connecting Industrious Youth with Elderly Landowners”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy0IFaC-mQc

          (if anyone can offer more up to date info and other perspectives on how the SKIP project is going please share below, thanks)

  2. First, I want to say thank you Gavin for your reading list. I don’t know if you’re interested in older books but Sir Albert Howard published a few on agriculture and soil in the 1940s one being The Soil and Health. The Weston A. Price Foundation has an article on him here: https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/farm-ranch/a-history-of-organic-farming-transitions-from-sir-albert-howards-war-in-the-soil-to-the-usda-national-organic-program/#gsc.tab=0

    Then I just wanted to give a couple of tips. 1) To combat potato beetles when growing potatoes I will plant the tubers and as they grow I will spread straw on top of the plants instead of doing the traditional hilling. I tend to never have problems with beetles that way. 2) I live in the Midwest, USDA zone 4b, and in the fall I will plant green onions. They will winter over with absolutely no cover protection, mulch or anything, and there will be a nice early crop of green onions in the spring.

    • @Louie

      You are most welcome! Thank you for your reading recommendations.

      I like to plant a wall of Borage and Nasturtiums around potatoes and I create lady beetle/lady bug habitat so that I have both an aromatic (organic) biochemical defense system (borage and nasturtiums emit compounds that deter certain insects and they are also edible) and an army of crop defending predators on guard. I will also try your straw technique next year.

      Have you grown Egyptian Walking Onions (Allium x proliferum)? (for more info: https://archive.org/details/walkingonions/walkingonionsinsnow.jpg )

      They are super tough in winter conditions and I like how they provide both prolific greens that can be used like green onions would as well as sizable bulbs which can be diced for stir-fries, fermented preserves and soups etc. Also, due to their self-sowing (“walking onion effect”) I never have to plant them anymore, as i just leave one or two plants to mature and drop their bulbs and they plant themselves for me.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

      • I’ve grown Toyko Long White Bunching Onion, Red Beard Bunching Onion, and Nebuka Evergreen Bunching Onion but it’s the plain Evergreen Hardy White Scallion that I will plant in fall and leave to winter over. I will have to try the Egyptian Walking Onions. Thanks.

        • @Louie

          Those Red Beard Bunching onions look very interesting.

          I am always game for a seed swap and I can try sending you some Egyptian Walking Onion bulbs if you like.

          • I have to admit that I’ve never gotten into saving my own seeds. I should try though. The bunching onions are from MI Gardener. They have a wonderful collection of heirloom seeds at a very good price. https://migardener.com/ They are having a sale now too.

  3. It was an honor to be part of this series, thank you for having me on James!

    One major crop (among many) I forgot to mention which we are growing on our little urban suburban young food forest is Malus sieversii (wild apple trees from the apple forests of Kazakhstan).

    I want to highlight progenitor species like Malus sieversii as they hold a particularly important potential in the context of regenerative agriculture due to their inherent adaptability (in the face of extreme manmade weather events, drought and disease/pests) and resilience to be able to grow in a wide range of growing conditions with little to no synthetic inputs being required.

    Ancient ancestor species to modern day crops (such as Malus sieversii is to Malus domestica and such as the Chiltepin pepper (Capsicum annuum L. var. glabriusculum) is to the domesticated chili and bell pepper) contain a reservoir of natural genetic potential for disease resistance, adaptable cold/heat tolerance and being able to grow in a diverse range of soil types that many (more fragile and pampered) domesticated seed lines (and asexually reproduced clone lines, such as most modern apple trees in orchards) do not possess.

    Also, perhaps most importantly, besides offering much potential for orchardists and pasture managers that want to grow monocrops or polycultures in large areas in a more sustainable and resilient way, progenitor species like Malus sieversii lend themselves well to syntropic agroforestry (regenerative food forest farming) designs.

    I should also note that at least three Corbett Report members are already growing Malus sieversii trees from seeds I sent them which were extracted from the fruit shown in the pics in the post linked below 🙂

    https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/you-can-count-the-seeds-in-a-single?

    Working with trees like this, and most importantly, growing trees and perennial food and medicine crops from seed (and then sharing the resulting seed in our local communities) empowers us to be able to align with the inherent abundance of nature while boycotting corrupt institutions and corporations as we take back our food sovereignty, build resilient communities and plant the seeds for future generations to be able to access abundance and good health as well.

    Thanks for watching everyone and more importantly, thank you to each and everyone of you that take steps to put this information into action in your life.

    • Gavin Mounsey, chili peppers (and berries) fanatic. Sounds just about right.

      BTW, I remembered those apples and found it strange you didn’t mention them. I guess you were just too excited over those peppers.

      • @mkey

        Guilty as charged! 🙂

        Oh and I am also quite fanatical about heirloom tomatoes (my favorite variety for flavor is Brandywine though I lean more towards anthocyanin rich varieties like Black Beauty and the ancient progenitor species of all modern tomatoes, wild current tomatoes for our main production tomato beds, for their disease resistance, cold tolerance and versatility).

        I was actually bagging up some wild current tomato (Solanum pimpinellifolium) seeds right before I typed out this comment to slip in with the copies of my physical book that are ordered.

        Yes, I do get excited about the peppers, and fermented raw hot sauce, don’t even get me started on that! I could go on for hours haha

        But ya those wild apples are really amazing, I am seeing some interesting characteristics in my Second gen seedlings this year with beautiful purple leaves and unique branching structure.

        I am looking forward to seeing what Akiva Silver (author and regenerative farm/Nursery owner) and Stefan Sobkowiak (permaculture orchardist) are gonna do with the seeds I will be sending them. Seeing the trees proliferate into communities to provide abundance for many generations to come and enhance the varieties of apples coming out of orchards is a pretty exciting prospect to me.

        Thanks for the comment my friend.

        • I can imagine that leaving so much for posterity is indeed very rewarding by itself.

          What would you say to someone who’s stuck on the fence for a couple of years and needs to start moving toward getting a plot of land? In other words, how to dislodge a head that’s firmly stuck in ones’ own posterior?

          • @mkey

            RE: “What would you say to someone who’s stuck on the fence for a couple of years and needs to start moving toward getting a plot of land? In other words, how to dislodge a head that’s firmly stuck in ones’ own posterior?”

            Well, first, if your looking to cultivate and regenerate the land and ecology there so that it can feed you, provide water, shelter and beauty, learn about the soil there, the geology, the topography and the confirmed mineral deposits that may exist nearby that humans may try to carve out of the earth and stone (this is something I had to learn the hard way as we had our sights set on a couple properties about a year ago, but then the lithium and cobalt rush happened here in Ontario, and now those properties we were gonna buy are already experiencing Arsenic contamination in their well water thanks to the hard rock lithium mining and processing nearby).

            After you confirm the topography and geology can provide a framework for water sequestration, soil remediation, soil regeneration and food cultivation, spend some time getting to know the community of humans that live closest. Go sit in a coffee shop, shop in a grocery store, sit in a bar (or better yet go to the farmer’s market and see what people are growing and how they get along). Get a feel for what kind of dynamics you might have to deal with down the road.

            Then, take time to actually visit the land you are interested in purchasing. Sit there in stillness, breath it in, observe the non-human beings that also dwell there, get to know them, let them tell you things about that place that humans cannot. The presence and behavior of plants, insects (or lack thereof) and winged ones can tell you a lot.

            Beyond that, I would emphasize starting with prioritizing hyper-localized clean water access and planning out structures to compliment and align with the existing energy of the Earth (use passive geothermal if possible and learn how to use a root cellar).

            Those are just some random thoughts off the top of my head, but i`ll revisit this comment after I think about it some more.

            Hope that helps my friend.

            • Thanks for your consideration.

              My general area is on the arid side, but there’s a lot of underground water. The soil is generally fallow so that will require work, but that’s to be expected. There’s a lot of rock in the soil, so that supports the general tendency towards raised garden beds. On the upside, rocky ground also means resistance to land slides and earthquake.

              There’s practically no industry to speak of so if there are some magnificent ore deposits, it would turn out as a big surprise to everyone. Pollution is low, besides the ever-present chemicals we are graced with from above. Underground waters are quite hard, thanks to the rocky soil.

              There isn’t a lot of agriculture, either. There are some orchards at the center of the peninsula and vineyards further up north. The south part has grown extremely complacent with olives and tourism. To the area’s credit, olives grow nowhere in the world like here. People use “classical” methods in agriculture, they are so programmed and committed to them.

              Market for non industrial fruit and vegetables is small. People are not very interested in their quality of food, at least not until they hit a wall health wise and then start grasping at straws.

              My most precocious predicament is the cost of and general difficulties with “legal” building. The fact we still somehow don’t have property tax combined with “building subsidies” and relatively massive investments into the tourism bubble, has lead to quite obscene cost soaring but also difficulty with finding qualified labor.

              I basically put it to my mind that I want to build a small wooden house, but to do so “legally” I have to find some “legalized” (or 70+ year old structure that are “legal” by default) building and then “renovate”. The whole concept of building small houses on privately owned land outside of building zones is abhorrent and even infuriating in my general area. People still do it, of course, but I just can’t place myself in a strategically precarious position of depending on the whims of local bureaucrats.

              I also considered building with strawbale, but such building material is not “legal”.

              I definitively want to build a dome:
              geo-dome.co.uk/domeshop/artsearch.asp?show=all

              I had put it to my mind that I would be willing to cut wood for several straight weeks, but the pipe & tie domes seem like a much easier and more cost efficient alternative.
              ziptiedomes.com/index.htm

    • Wonderful interview. Thanks for all the information James and G

      • @mathew100

        Thanks brother!

        Thanks for planting the seeds for abundance to flourish in your local community.

    • Hey Gavinm:

      Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm with us. This was a terrific episode! Very inspiring for me. Although, I will need to research food growing in the desert which seems very different from forest growing. I would like to implement a regenerative design to support and improve the land I am living on. I really like that philosophy.

      I am very much a beginner and don’t have much skill in this area. I’m very lucky my husband likes to garden and is excited about growing our own food. He has a “green thumb” and has always had plants and grown a little bit of food when we lived in the city. It is very different from where we live now though.

      We have all the material for the raised planter beds except for the layered ecosystem you describe. If you have any reference books for growing food in the desert that would be very helpful. But I will do some research on my own of course.

      • @cu.h.j

        Thanks for the thoughtful comment, I really appreciate it.

        I think there is potential for creating oasis within desert ecosystems that could include certain species of trees in a multi-layered food/medicine cultivation system (the types of species you would want to focus on would of course vary depending on how arid your region is, what latitude it is, the topography, proximity to the ocean, mineral composition of the soil and a range of other variables).

        Two examples that immediately come to mind are the ancient food forest in Inraren in the Atlas Mountains (Morocco) and Neal Spackman’s Al Baydha project in Saudi Arabia (where he applied Regenerative Agriculture in the Saudi Desert and began to bring fertility, water retention and crop producing trees to one of the driest places on Earth).

        For more info on the Moroccan Food Forest:

        https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-is-permaculture-food-forests

        (continued..)

      • (continued from above..)

        For a more in depth exploration into that regenerative project (which involved agroforestry) in Saudi Arabia :

        https://medium.com/@neal.spackman/regenerative-resources-co-8c2d6219ba7d

        I will also inquire with a friend of mine that is working on setting up a food forest in the high desert of New Mexico and ask if he can recommend some books that are specifically useful for regenerative gardening and food forest design for that type of climate and get back to you on that.

        I am so glad to hear your husband is excited to get cultivating, thanks again for the comment.

        • Thank you. I’m living in a climate very similar to New Mexico high desert. I’ll check out the resources you provided.

            • Thanks for the info. It’s very helpful. I know planting shade trees is important. I may have to wait until next spring to do it although a Misquite tree might be hardy enough to plant in the summer time.

              • @cu.h.j

                You are welcome, thank you for wanting to preserve and increase biodiversity on the land you steward (own) and thanks for the engagement.

                I came across a video of a food forest that a woman has created in the Mexican Desert recently and thought of you.

                She has invited in/cultivated an amazing degree of biodiversity, shade, food and medicine in a very arid region. Perhaps there are some species she works with that you could also incorporate into your designs?

                Here is her website:

                https://www.buenafortunagardens.com/

                PS – I like your idea for mesquite trees and I am heartened by your respect and admiration for rattle snakes.

              • @cu.h.j

                Here is a youtube video that explores what she (the woman in Mexico) did, why she did it and how she did it.

                “How This Woman Transformed Desert Into Lush Forest!”

                https://youtu.be/GPJggoGwtu8?si=-MTSsfvlx7JiFuBX

  4. Great show. Loved Gavin’s information. Don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before about regenerative farmer, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, and Jim Gale CEO of Food Forest Abundance. Good resources for folks to learn more about what others are doing on their land.

    • Gabe Brown is another that has been doing it for 30 years! Loads of videos on gootube.

  5. Fantastic episode. Great interview Gavin. I credit you and your book, along with the generous gift of seeds to get us into the gardening space. We have a beautiful unorganized mess of 4 raised beds and have already pickled our China Jade cukes with a recipe from your book. We are kraut makers and I have my first batch of Kombucha in the fridge and another on the counter. I truly appreciate your willingness to share in all the you’ve learned and harvested. We’ll toast you with our Strawberry Basil and Blueberry Mint Kombuchas.

    • @steve.Con

      Reading this comment made my day! Thanks for the kind testimonial 🙂

      Did you use the lacto-fermented pickle recipe?

      Cheers my friend!

        • That is fantastic Steve! Here (unpasteurized) naturally fermented pickles cost 15$ a jar!

          I love the crunch and probiotic goodness in home made brined pickles and i am so glad you and your fam are learning to make your own as well.

          Thanks for the comments.

  6. Does anyone know what is being used as cover crops?

    • Depends on your location and what your soil needs to rejuvenate. Here’s an AI-generated response to “Ground cover nutrients”

      Crop cover nutrients refer to the nutrients provided by cover crops, which are plants grown to cover the soil between crop cycles. These crops help to improve soil health, fertility, and structure, ultimately benefiting the next crop planted. Here are some key benefits of crop cover nutrients:

      Soil Erosion Prevention: Cover crops help to prevent soil erosion by stabilizing the soil and reducing runoff.

      Nutrient Cycling: Cover crops absorb and retain nutrients, making them available to the next crop.
      Soil Structure Improvement: Cover crops help to improve soil structure by increasing organic matter, aeration, and water infiltration.

      Weed Suppression: Cover crops can suppress weed growth, reducing competition for water and nutrients.
      Pollinator Attraction: Cover crops can attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, which are essential for crop pollination.

      Carbon Sequestration: Cover crops can help to sequester carbon in the soil, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

      Some common cover crops used for their nutrient benefits include:

      Annual Ryegrass: Known for its ability to scavenge unused fertilizer and release nutrients back into the soil.

      Oilseed Radish: Effective at breaking up compacted soils and releasing nutrients.

      Winter Cereal Rye: Helps to improve soil structure and retain nutrients.

      Oats: Can help to reduce soil erosion and improve soil health.

      Key Takeaways:

      Crop cover nutrients are essential for maintaining soil health and fertility.

      Cover crops can provide a range of benefits, including soil erosion prevention, nutrient cycling, and pollinator attraction.

      Different cover crops have unique benefits and can be used in combination to achieve optimal results.
      Incorporating cover crops into your farming or gardening practice can lead to improved crop yields, reduced soil erosion, and a more sustainable agricultural system.

    • Depends on where u live and what u need. Point ur search engine to cover crops in your growing zone.

      Two cover crops I didn’t know about until I moved south are sunn hemp (no relation) and fava beans (John Jeavons recommends). Both r legumes, sunn hemp is a summer cover, doesn’t mind the heat. Has much more biomass than southern peas. Fava beans are for early spring.

      In the north, in the fall peops typically throw hairy vetch and winter rye after cleaning up their garden plot. Both over winter, turn green in early spring and the vetch is a legume.

      In the south u can grow daikon to break up heavy clays, fava, sunn hemp, southern peas, alfalfa for nitrogen. Also sold are sun flowers, various clovers, millet, buckwheat. I find the peops selling cover crop seeds have very informative websites.

    • You can start as simple as a layer of grass clippings. That will protect the top soil for the season and provide nutrients. If you get a lot of rain, it probably won’t do much for erosion.

  7. RE: Regenerative Agriculture – #SolutionsWatch

    This was a spectacular and dynamic #SolutionsWatch presentation right up to the very end, 70 minutes later.
    This presentation certainly held my attention and interest.
    I plan to revisit parts of this #SolutionsWatch in order to reference some of the show notes.
    There is a lot of info here.
    Anyone who gardens will tell ya, it is a continual learning experience.
    In fact, I always learn all kinds of things from Corbett Report Members leaving comments.

    I especially was excited to see Gavin being interviewed!
    I was grinning throughout.
    “Yea! There’s our guy!” type of exhileration that one has when rooting for their team.
    I hope that next year, James Corbett will have him on again.

    • @HRS

      I appreciate your attention to detail, your illuminating and candid comments and your genuine presence in these threads.

      It is indeed a perpetual learning process in the garden. I am always training my eyes and my senses to be able to identify new plants and other organisms, optimizing my methods for doing less work and getting more abundant harvests while constantly building soil.

      One of the most profound blessings of embarking on a path to learn from nature as a teacher while gardening is that it not only increases one’s health and the quality of one’s food (flavor and nutrition wise) but it also opens one’s mind to perceive the same kind of beauty that our ancestors appreciated, the deeply nourishing experience of watching the bees visit blossoms on a plant that one grew from seed, saving seed, sharing them with others and then harvesting food to care for the body. It is nourishing in a holistic way and opens up one’s ability to be joyful in other areas of life.

      I have learned a lot from your comments in these threads.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment buddy!

  8. Thank you for another great episode of Solutions Watch.
    Over the years, my container garden has migrated from using containers made of pottery (too heavy for me) to plastic (lighter but might leach petrochemicals into the soil and vegetables) to re-usable fabric sacks. This is my first year using the sacks, so I haven’t fully evaluated this method yet.
    I’ve read that the most inexpensive and durable raised beds can be constructed by stacking cinder (cement) blocks. Another options if you live in a rural area where neighbors wouldn’t complain about the sight of them – hay bales can be used as containers. Dig a hole in the bale and fill with soil, then plant your seeds. Eventually the bale will become a source of nutrients for the soil.

    • What kind of sacks are you using? Jute?

      The most handy option I have seen on the internets for a makeshift raised garsen bed is cardboard and chicken wire/mesh. It’s inexpensive and modular as it allows for rather easy expansion later on.

      I guess if eventually you would want to get rid of the wire it would turn into a bit of a nightmare.

      There is another fella (Mad about tools channel? Something of the sorts) who tested a big bunch of concrete options, looking for the most cost efficient way for casting reinforced concrete panels out of which beds can be put together by jamming some rebar into the corners. Very handy and affordable, as one cast can be reaused many times over, while multiple will cut down the curing waiting time considerably.

      • Cardboard Box – “raised bed” – Popcorn

        Funny that you should mention that. I have a bit of Organic popcorn growing from the remnants of one such cardboard box. The earthworms seemed to love migrating through it.

        My rental duplex’s land area is small, both the front yard and backyard.
        I have the vertisol black gumbo clay soil.
        https://corbettreport.com/how-to-boycott-big-food-2013/#comment-165661
        I remember seeing a historic photo of a virgin pasture in my area. It was like another planet’s landscape with rolling metre by metre ‘hills and valleys’ because the clay expands when wet and shrinks when dry. It also will shift (very slowly) down slopes.

        The concrete foundation of my rental duplex literally had no soil under the downward slope side. Patched cracks on the interior walls give a history of previous tenants. I’ve seen some housing trim spread apart by 6 centimeters on a dry summer season. One season, it threw my garage door off the railing.

        So, occasionally when I rework parts of the yard or dig a hole to plant a tree, I will takes shovels of dirt to the foundation area. Last year I put a square cardboard box in a gully-hole I had made. I filled it with a mix a yard debris and leftover soil clods. It was my junky, lazy-man compost box.
        After the Spring rains this wet season, the box melted leaving a pile of dirt.
        On a whim, I grabbed some organic popcorn which I was making for a snack and threw it roughshod on the pile one evening. It is growing well now.

      • You reminded me that there is an online video of how to grow potatoes in a cardboard box. Not pretty, but does the job.

  9. Hey G, what, no chickens?

    • @ccuthbert2001

      Alas, our municipality has Orwellian laws that prohibit front yard veggie gardens, backyard chicken coops and they actually take money from us via property taxes to purchase military grade surveillance drones which they send hovering overhead and use to spy on us, identifying illegal veggie gardens and/or chicken coops (at which point they notify the armed thugs with badges to show up and enforce). I would be down with going full on Satyagrahi mode and ignoring their insane laws, turn the front yard into a food forest with chicken arks, refusing to pay fines and embrace sovereignty in the face of tyranny but my wife does not like going overtly against the grain in that way (in a way that provokes confrontations with corrupt law enforcement and judicial systems) so I respect her wishes and will wait till we get a bigger property up north before we get chickens (and other winged and four legged allies) to live on the land with us.

      For now I use techniques like those I outlined in this post:

      https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/covert-food-gardening-in-the-era?

      Do you have chickens?

      • We, too, live in Nazi Village where chickens are not allowed. I have NEVER lived where we can’t have chickens. It’s disgusting. However, we have quail. Ja, ja, ja. I have them in a large cage for the number of birds and they are in deep litter on the ground. They live 3-4 years, which is great for quail. About 6-7 quail eggs equals one x large chicken egg.

        I suggest you check the exact wording of your nazi laws and see if you can do the same.

        • @ccuthbert2001

          Ahh the using the old Quail Clause, nice! 🙂

          There were abundant quail roaming around my parents farm in BC, in flocks one hundred strong sometimes. They would eat the fallen apples that had begun to naturally ferment and get tipsy sometimes (walking into trees and flying right into your chest while you work in the orchard haha). I never thought to collect their eggs for eating but many of them would jump up and eat the wine grapes and so my parents would put out a bounty on their heads. Those ones ended up being de-breasted and roasted over the applewood camp fire.

          I do miss the sound of quail calls sometimes, I found their peaceful morning song to be a soothing way to start the day.

          Thanks for the thoughtful suggestion regarding the potential quail loophole 🙂

      • “my wife does not like going overtly against the grain in that way”

        I would very likely be incarcerated for life if it hadn’t been for the moderating influence of my long suffering spouse.

        • @Slow Cured Anarcho Hippy

          haha ya me too Steve, me too.. thanks for that 🙂

        • I dodged a few prison sentences after seeing people (my best friend) go to jail for non-violent politics, speech. I was very cynical before, but still shocked at my ignorance. The “land of the brave, home of the free” was a bigger illusion than I had known.

          I married at 40, and my life quickly changed from self-centered, drifter to settled home maker, organic gardener. Then, I started to compete for “bread earner” status. I traveled, 3-5 times/yr., lived out of a suitcase for a month, brought home “the bacon”.
          I lived two lives, but it worked. I was more grounded, more focused on my profession of gambler.

        • I should also give my wife credit where credit is due with regards to her courage and refusal to comply with tyranny. For instance, when it came to the Scamdemic face diaper and genetic slurry injection mandates at her place of work, she overtly refused to play ball despite immense peer pressure and professional disincentives for going against the big pharma/”new normal” grain. She also refused to push fear propaganda about “distancing”, no hugging, masks, PCR nonsense and experimental injections onto the kids (as the government was telling her to).

          She led by example without overtly breaking the law until her place of work put laws and mandates in place that forced her to quit in order to stay true to her convictions about bodily autonomy and human rights, and for that, I admire her integrity a great deal.

  10. Hello James!

    I am so sorry to hear that people in general pay more attention to problems than solutions.

    I am hopeful though… that the critical mass needed to change things for the better is not to far. Maybe just me.

    Thank you for all the work that you do.

    BTW I know Gavin from another community and I greatly enjoyed his participation.

    All the best.

    • @Salim

      So glad to see you here my friend!

      Corbetteers that are also Solari Report members pose a double threat to the plutocrat’s (aka “Mr.Global’s”) visions for technocratic tyranny.

      Engaging with both communities means being educated by two sharp minds (and the diverse and learned community of people that dwell within each community as well) with each offering unique decentralized solutions which can empower individuals and communities.

      Catherine Austin Fitts is wise to encourage people to get to know their farmers (locally) as even some of those that would label themselves as “Regenerative” can sometimes be involved in Greenwashing.

      As James astutely pointed out when referring to John Kempf’s work not having a strict institutionalized (regulated) definition of what Regenerative Farming is, may be a good thing in some ways. I touched on some of the ways that Rockefellers and other plutocrats are trying to weasel their way into hijacking and weaponizing terms like Regenerative in this post: https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/globalized-greenwashing-the-oligarchs?

      All the more reason to get to know our farmers, take action to learn regenerative practices ourselves and see the results, so we can tell the difference between greenwashing and the real deal.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • @Salim

      Ps – I shared this in the Solari network but will re-share here so others who might appreciate the content can benefit form it as well.

      ————————————–

      I think you may appreciate this recipe and post in particular as it has roots in your neck of the woods and in the latter half of the article I touch on The Regenerative Floating Gardens of The Triple Alliance (in Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City).

      https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/mole-polbano-dry-spice-mix-and-sauce?

      For those unfamiliar with the Triple Alliance and it’s agricultural methods, a sneak peak of the info in the article above:

      When Hernan Cortez discovered the Aztec Empire in 1519, he found 200,000 people living on an island in the middle of a lake. Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, was one of the biggest and best-fed cities in the world. The city was completely surrounded by water.

      It is also worth noting that the oldest chinampas in the Basin of Mexico date to ca. 1250 CE, well before the formation of the Aztec empire in 1431.

      Ancient chinampa systems have been identified throughout the highland and lowland regions of both continents of the Americas, and are also currently in use in highland and lowland Mexico on both coasts; in Belize and Guatemala; in the Andean highlands and Amazonian lowlands. Chinampa fields are generally about 13 feet (4 meters) wide but can be up to 1,300 to 3,000 ft (400 to 900 m) in length.

      To feed their enormous population, the Aztecs built chinampas, or floating gardens, to convert the marshy wetlands of Lake Texcoco into arable farmland. Each garden was 300 feet by 30 feet. To make a garden, workers weaved sticks together to form a giant raft, and then then piled mud from the bottom of the lake on top of the raft to create a layer of soil three feet thick.

      Chinampas are long narrow garden beds separated by canals. The garden land is built up from the wetland by stacking alternating layers of lake mud and thick mats of decaying vegetation. The process is typically characterized by exceptionally high yields per unit of land. The word chinampa is a Nahuatl (native Aztec) word, chinamitl, meaning an area enclosed by hedges or canes.

      Chinampas are not just a productive and regenerative agro-ecosystem technique, but they are also representative of the Aztec culture and carry the legacy of indigenous people who taught us how to relate to nature, be part of it and live with it.

      The benefits of a chinampa system are that the water in the canals provides a consistent passive source of irrigation. Chinampa systems, as mapped by environmental anthropologist Christopher T. Morehart, include a complex of major and minor canals, which act both as freshwater arteries and provide canoe access to and from the fields.

      The Triple Alliance was not perfect, but the Chinampa system is genius and I think it is something we should learn to build on, adapt, and apply in modern times and in a variety of climates.

      • Gavin,

        Thank you!

        An Architect friend of mine got familiar with the Chinanpas and she has been (justified) obsessed ever since.

        So nice to exchange with you I agree with your view of double threat to plutocracy.

        All the best!

  11. Wonderful that ‘regenerative agriculture’ is now a trending phrase. My 30-something kids are happy to discuss this topic. They are not ready to look at the 100-year-old regenerative agriculture system that has spread worldwide since 1924 – biodynamic agriculture. It has, for instance, blossomed in India since the chemical fertilizer devastation of farming was recognized there a decade or two back. It is well established on most/all continents (Antarctica excepted) over its 100-year history. There is a standards body, so that may put off many of the anarchists in our audience. But hold your nose and take a look. You could, like I do, just use the pieces of the system that you find useful and ignore the ‘certification’ step.
    ‘Regenerative agriculture is more than soil health’? Yes, it is more than the 6 or 7 principles that some bureaucratic group has published. But it IS about soil health – what else could you be regenerating on the farm/food forest/backyard plot? The soil! Assigning the word ‘regenerative’ to farming economics or food distribution or some other aspect of food production is merely word-play. Regenerate the SOIL and help feed the world.

  12. My education in growing/gardening began at 13, 1955. I subscribed to: “Organic Gardening & Farming”, monthly. This led to “Prevention” magazine, on eating food that was organic, chemical free. I was surprised to find so much unhealthy food offered commercially. I couldn’t find healthy bread in Sacramento, CA stores. I had no farmer’s market, no “natural foods” store. So, I improvised by buying organic whole grain, having it ground, and my mother baked bread from scratch twice/wk.
    I was an introvert who came out of my shell to discuss this strange lack of healthy food or rational medicine.

    I was anti-authoritarian from birth, a self-teaching, reading, nerd who had few friends, many interests. I boycotted 1st grade, couldn’t stand the regimentation. I was indoctrinated with religion in church, statism in school, but it didn’t stick, getting thrown out of Sunday school, expelled from 4th, 5th, 8th grades for asking questions the teachers couldn’t/wouldn’t answer, except with physical attacks. I thought people were insane. They insisted I attend school to be “educated”, then through me out when I took my ed seriously, thinking, inquiring. NO ONE EXPLAINED THIS! Well, not directly. They “taught” me indirectly, unconsciously, with their violent attacks, that I lived in a society that was not fundamentally reasonable, didn’t respect rights, choice. Nor was it self-aware, honest about its politics. It did NOT practice the values it claimed to defend. And, when I asked questions that exposed the hypocrisy, I was suddenly the enemy, to be silenced, “in the land of free, home of the brave”. I couldn’t make sense of it. I felt like “a stranger in a strange land”.

    That ended on 1966, Jan. 1. I read: “The Virtue of Selfishness” by Ayn Rand. I found someone like myself, and philosophy.
    It all began to make sense. I returned to college and majored in philosophy. I was surprised to find no Aristotelians. The teachers were all Platonists who misrepresented Aristotle. Plato was a statist (authoritarian). Hence the politics of today that corrupts all.

    My love of science/technology seemed at odds with growing, until I read: “The One Straw Revolution” by microbiologist Dr. Masanobu Fukuoka, in 1984. It’s not an easy concept to grasp at first, but it’s worth the effort.

    The fake food crisis, like the fake population crisis, attempts to generate mass fear and provide an excuse to control all by a few, for the benefit of a few. This politics is not sustainable, e.g., will destroy itself and us, if we allow it.

    • Well said Voluntaryist! Ayn Rand had a big influence on me as well, coming at a perfect time. It’s been a long time and I haven’t reread her, but when I think of what impacted me then, and stayed with me, was a recognition of the tyranny of weakness, not just the mob mentality, but the reduction to the lowest common denominator when we come to serve ‘the lesser’ of man, whether an individual or a group. Also, the personal impact of physical labor, which critics like to misrepresent as I recall, as she was a champion of it, not an ‘elitist’ avoiding all the dirty work in life.
      I agree, our politics is not sustainable and will destroy itself, and I’d add, I’ve come to think it was designed as such.

  13. James Corbett puts out a tremendous QUANTITY of content
    And it is top-grade quality.

    I just wanna say:
    I don’t know how the guy does it.
    I have to race just to keep up with the volume of content that Corbett puts out.

    And on top of all this…think about it…Corbett has to research and organize and line-up interviews and write it all up and work with the website and his inbox and videos…
    …and the guy has a family.
    I don’t know how the guy accomplishes all that he does.

    Is he on brain steroids?

    • My working theory is that he has several stunt doubles. Like Saddam.

    • It is truly remarkable! I like to entertain the idea that he has an international underground team. 😁

    • Yeah, I know right! I think it shows how limiting garbage media and food in addition to nurturing creativity and self care can maximize ones capabilities. Of course, his natural intelligence, enthusiasm and kindness also play a part.

      It’s incredible to see what a healthy, motivated and intelligent person is capable of when they put positive effort out into the world. If I could do a fraction of that, my life would improve 10 fold. Little steps though provide motivation for bigger steps.

      You also put a lot of interesting stuff out here though and are very productive as well. I’ve learned a ton just by reading the comments. It’s really cool how that works, sort of like regenerative agriculture. Good ideas and positive effort inspire more of the same improving the community.

    • cu.h.j says:
      “…It’s really cool how that works, sort of like regenerative agriculture.
      Good ideas and positive effort inspire more of the same improving the community.”

  14. Also, thanks for mentioning the Mounsey Minute series I am doing on Media Monarchy James!

    I had meant to talk about that series and how awesome JEP and Cassie have been in helping it come to life but totally spaced out and forgot, so I appreciate it!

    For anyone that has not listened to any of the Mounsey Minute segments yet, here is a link to a post where I share the audio from the most recent episode to a slide show video:

    https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/the-mounsey-minute-episode-5

    (the post linked above also contains links to all the previous Mounsey Minute episodes.)

    I also just wanted to give everyone a heads up that there will be no Mounsey Minute this month (June, 2024) due to the need for road tripping!

    The Mounsey Minute shall return in July so stay tuned on Media Monarchy for more fun explorations into what is going on in our kitchen, using food as medicine and growing food at home to boycott big pharma and big ag.

  15. Some comments from a regenerative farmer:

    1. The reason the soil washed away of the farmer at the beginning is because it was not ‘soil’ it was ‘dirt’ as Dr Elaine Ingham would say. It had no soil life, no aggregates, no structure and could not absorb or hold any water. The reason for this is not from tillage, but from over use of chemicals. No-till without chemicals only works in regions where you have severe frosts to kill the ‘crimped/rolled’ cover-crop. It does not work in the UK for instance and here it means more use of glyphosate.

    2. There are free-living bacteria in the healthy soil that fix nitrogen (note the ‘healthy’) so legumes are not essential – see Dr Elaine Ingham on this point, plus other soil scientists like Dr Christine Jones.

    3. The term ‘regenerative’ has already been hijacked by BigAg, so if not growing your own, you have to buy direct from a farmer and get to know them well.

    4. The most regenerative, wildlife-friendly, and nutrient-rich, food is beef from cattle grazing diverse, old permanent pastures, browsing trees and hedgerows using holistic planned grazing and fed only from their own landscape, no cereals or other concentrates, no modern grass species, no medications, no sprays, as nature intended.

    Other resources:

    On how carbon mooooves and cows are not the problem (noted the author appears to think fossil fuels are a problem but I ignore that as it works for the normies):

    https://www.smilingtreefarm.com/resources/carbon-mooooves

    On the sort of diversity you get on old permanent pastures grazed holistically of a small (70 acre) silvo-pastoral (integrating trees and pasture) farm using cattle to create wildlife habitat particularly for invertebrates that are the key species at the bottom of the food chain:

    https://www.smilingtreefarm.com/resources/flora-and-fauna

    And more on soil function, regenerative grazing practices, including for those considering getting a house cow: how to get milk and allow the calf to be raised by its mother in a natural system:

    https://www.smilingtreefarm.com/resources

    • Thanks for this, appreciate the resources.
      And this:
      3. The term ‘regenerative’ has already been hijacked by BigAg, so if not growing your own, you have to buy direct from a farmer and get to know them well.
      Happens every time, makes me so crazy! Nothing good lasts 5 minutes before the vultures swoop in!

    • @Tin Lid

      Great point regarding how there are free-living bacteria in the healthy soil that fix nitrogen so legumes are not necessarily essential for the process of sequestering atmospheric nitrogen for enriching soil fertility.

      I did not go into as many nitty gritty details as I should have but alas, I am better with plants and soil than I am with technology and video interviews.

      There is certainly a lot of exciting science to explore with regards to how endophytes fix nitrogen in their plant hairs, thus, as you alluded, technically ALL healthy plants (in healthy soil) fix nitrogen (to some degree). Also, Internal endophytes must give nitrogen to survive as well, and that includes endophytic fungi.

      There is a lot potential for stacking symbiotic feedback loops for regenerating soil and growing amazing food with less inputs to be unlocked in these fields.

      In particular, I find the science surrounding how Sweet Potatoes Fix Nitrogen through their “Aerial Parts” aka their leaves and stems to be very fascinating and representative of a function that is underutilized in permaculture design.

      For more on this: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26819874/

      Thanks for the comment and links.

  16. Great Solutions episode and nice to see Gavin interviewed! I just wanted to add one little thing, about the Dirt Doctor. He was the first gardener I learned from and I have learned a lot from him, starting about 15 years ago. Now that I’m no longer a beginner I realize I did follow some bad advice from him, so just want to say, don’t take his word for it, do some double-checking. He does have an angle and his work reflects that, I just didn’t realize it at the time. One example that pops out b/c it just happened is about the Mimosa tree which is a beautiful and medicinal tree here in the South that grows wild and many folks really like, but he says in his book not to plant them b/c they are invasive and ruin the soil. So I did not plant one even though I really wanted to, and come to find out it’s just not true at all—they are neither invasive nor ruin the soil. They are not popular with suburbanites and farmers, for different reasons, that is all. And, I’ve got 2 now, so there! 😆

    • I love Mimosa trees! I don’t see them around like I used to.

    • @Mishelle

      Hello my friend! How is did the mulberry harvest go and how is that pepper patch going over there?

      I am working on propagating a lot of shagbark hickory, paw paw, kentucky coffee, echinacea, milkweed, anise hyssop, bee balm and tulip trees right now for a community food forest project and it is exciting to see the sprouts and first leaves emerging in my air pruning beds.

      I am also growing mimosa trees! I have actually dug up self-sown seedings here in southern Ontario and seen the Rhizobium nodules on the roots so I know these plants are actually capable of being beneficial for soil enrichment (and remediation).

      These are trees with a wonderful potential to serve as companions in a food forest system. I will post a number of links below to pertinent info on this species.

      What have you learned about the Mimiso tree’s (Albizia julibrissin) edible and medicinal parts so far?

      There are three new triterpenoid saponins, julibroside J29, julibroside J30, and julibroside J31, which have been isolated from the stem bark of Albizia julibrissin Durazz. (Leguminosae) by using chromatographic method. Compounds 1, 2, and 3 displayed significant anti-tumor activities in vitro against PC-3M-1E8, HeLa, and MDA-MB-435 cancer cell lines.

      I may do an article on this species in the future.

      Another interesting fact about this tree is that it is being investigated for it’s potential in Phytoremediation (for both heavy metal soil remediation and for it’s photocatalytic activity for cleaning up toxins humans put in the air) and a more specialized field in what is called “Phytomining” (it is a nasty industrial process used for profit but it hints at more holistic applications of this species for real time remediating/mitigating of geoengineering heavy metals in the air and soil.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment and for sharing your experiences with Dirt Doctor and Mimosa trees.

      ( Plants For A Future database info on Mimosa trees: https://pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Albizia+julibrissin )

      (continued with more links..)

      • That’s wonderful! I had no idea Mimosa trees would grow there, thought they were a Southern thing. I’m working on a brief ‘Herbal Explorations’ page now for the blog, so I really appreciate the links. Nothing so thorough as you create, but hopefully useful. It’s popular from ancient times in Chinese medicine, as a remedy for insomnia, depression and as an anti-inflammatory. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10230641
        I used the fragrant petals in kombucha recently and the taste is so unique and remarkable—like a mix of apricot and nectarine—though the scent reminds me more of honeysuckle.

        Your food forest plantings sound amazing! I just planted a tulip tree as well, fingers crossed, b/c it’s brutally hot here already. I made wine with the mulberries, first time, so we will see in a few months if my efforts paid off.

        Thanks for the replies and inspirations!!!

    • (links continued from above)

      Permaculture Plants: Persian Silk (aka Mimosa) Tree:

      https://tcpermaculture.com/site/2013/08/12/permaculture-plants-persian-silk-tree/

      ———————–

      Practical Plants data base info on Mimosa trees:

      https://practicalplants.org/wiki/albizia_julibrissin/

      ———————–

      Health Benefits of the Mimosa Tree:

      https://explore.globalhealing.com/health-benefits-of-the-mimosa-tree/

      ———————-

      Characterization of rhizobia isolated from Albizia spp.:

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0723202005002080

      —————————-

      Albizia julibrissin Photocatalytic Activity:

      https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/unlocking-green-potential-albizia-julibrissin-thanukshan-thuraiyappa

      ———————-

      Albizia julibrissin : Potential Phytomining Plant For Hazardous Waste Sites :

      https://www.tsijournals.com/abstract/albizia-julibrissin–potential-phytomining-plant-for-hazardous-waste-sites-11561.html

      ——————————————————-

      As James astutely commented, everything should be assessed and applied in a way that is situation, climate and community specific, so this plant may not work nor be beneficial for everyone and every ecosystem.

      That being said, given all of those many gifts offered to the soil, pollinators and humans, I would say that this species is an ideal candidate for using in regenerative agriculture and syntrophic agroforestry in many situations.

        • @Mishelle

          Fantastic! Great work 🙂 I will certainly reference and link that if and when I write an article of my own on that species.

          Thanks for the shout out!

          I am looking forward to more of your Herbal Explorations posts in the future.

          • 🙏 I’ve been getting some good feedback with those, so it’s definetly where I’ll be focusing more, perfect timing, with this heat, I need no more reason to be typing away on the couch rather than sweating in the garden!

  17. Is there a transcript for this episode?

    • Go to the Substack link for a transcript of Corbett’s videos that are published there.

  18. I just wanted to express a huge thank you to everyone that has purchased a physical (and/or digital) copy of my book after watching this episode of Solutions Watch!

    I have been busy in the evenings after I get off work the last couple nights packaging up heirloom seeds and copies of my book to ship out soon. The first batch (the first 20 books that were ordered) will likely ship out tomorrow and I will send those people who are part of that batch emails confirming their package is on the way in the next day or so after that.

    The next batch will ship out next week (but it will be worth the wait as, at the very least, I am adding Goji berry and Hopi Red Dye Amaranth seeds in with each copy of the book! 😉 )

    For more info on the immense potential contained within a handful of Goji berry seeds read:

    https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/seed-saving-season-is-here?

    Thanks so much to everyone who is helping to make this world a more regenerative place by putting the information in my book into action in your community.

  19. 🎶 🇨🇦 ☮️
    great episode, excellent report. I started (baby steps) a couple years ago trying to grow my own food. Started with a couple pots of green onions and celery in my Calgary basement bachelor suite. Last year added green peppers. This year had to move and now in small community of Joffre (20min east of Red Deer). Last month planted a 10′ row of potatoes. Have a couple pots of green onions, celery and green peppers inside as well. ( very short growing season here)

    Was searching info on making a birch bark canoe and one of the results was Gavin’s extensive article on the birch tree
    I read this beginning of 2024 and was amazed at the wealth of knowledge contained. Subscribed to Gavins’s substack as well.

    Birch – The Graceful One

    https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/birch

    have a a nice day

    • @yellowsnakes

      Warm Greetings from the East!

      You are just a hop skip and a jump from the Rockies, I am somewhat envious (southern Ontario is super flat, though we can grow a lot here in zone 7-ish so there is that blessing to consider)

      Great work on the expanding garden!

      I am so glad to hear you got a lot out of that Birch article. I am very fond of those trees as when I was little my parents were park rangers in BC and I spent a lot of time in the northern forests and the alpine of the coastal range hanging out with Birch, Balsam Fir, Larch and Spruce trees. Some of my first memories are of my parents teaching me how I could use birch bark in survival situations. I made my first batch of birch syrup this year (with sap from Yellow Birch trees) and it turned out great! It sure took a lot of steamy kitchen time (it is better to do that outside and/or in a dedicated “sugar shack”) but the result was a caramel colored, sweet nectar that tastes like brown sugar but with a tangy after taste. It goes well on baked cheese, with fruit on waffles and also makes for a fantastic marinade additive for roast salmon or chicken.

      I love how Birch trees are so widely distributed globally for they offer a sort of bridge between seemingly different cultures. I also love how species of trees such a Birch help to illuminate the superficiality and relative impermanence of the invisible lines humans draw between nation states (they are beings that have dwelled in and shaped these lands, as well as the human cultures that dwelled on these lands long before any Statist regimes set up shop and began trying to extract taxes from people).

      Studying trees like Birch helps remind me of the shared facets of reciprocity, botanical literacy and reverence for nature that all of our ancient indigenous clans shared (regardless of what skin color we have or what flag we do or do not swear allegiance to now).

      Immersing myself in ancient knowings and ways seeing/interacting with such rooted beings provides a tether to connect with my ancestors, while appreciating more depth of beauty in the present and also feeling hope for the future of our human family.

      Thanks for the kind words about my Substack blog and thanks for linking the article.

  20. This is one of the most informative and practical video on youboob ever made. This is what youboob is supposed to be for, I would say.

    Salt Based PCMs (Phase changed materials)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nqxjfp4Gi0k

    These simple materials, that can be home made, can be used, between other things, as a sort of insulation or, better said, heat regulators in buildings.

  21. As you may have noticed, I have an affinity for ancient companion planting systems like the three sisters. One of the reason I resonate so strongly with these cultivation techniques is that are born out of a mind set of abundance and they emerge from cultures that lived with reciprocity as one of their core guiding principles. I believe that we can all find resilience through reciprocity in these challenging times.

    It is in the spirit of embracing the ancient ways of reciprocity and symbiosis (in order to increase resilience while also giving back to the Earth and the community we are a part of) that I am happy to announce the seed giveaway!

    In honor of an ancient companion planting system I mentioned in the video above (called “The Three Sisters”) I announce the following seed giveaway!

    The first person to dig into the pages in my book (Recipes For Reciprocity) find where I quote James Corbett in the book and post the page number as well as the full quote from my book (in the comments section here) will get the seeds (from my own personal collection) to grow their very own three sisters patch at home mailed to them! (Or if you are not interested in growing the three sisters, do not have enough space and/or are living in a place where ‘the seed gestapo’ would seize the seeds before they got to you in the mail, I can gift them to a person of your choosing.)

    ———————————————-

    For more info on The Three Sisters companion planting system, here is an excerpt from my book that describes the system, suggested configurations and timing for planting and the story behind it:

    https://archive.org/details/threesisters_202406

  22. Here’s a documentary about alcohol as fuel. The more interesting bits start at about 50% playtime. Alcohol as fuel seems to be very much attuned to regenerative agriculture, decentralization and “circular economy”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amZEYyKaIYM

  23. “𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐃𝐨 𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐀𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞

    People care what happens on this planet. The media and mainstream public are not so aware of this but you should be. A lot of people care. I know. I speak to them all the time because of my work. There are many people who really care about frogs and rivers and oceans. There are countless people who love nature, are inspired by her and value nature beyond any measure of money. I do not know why we are not more widely represented but I do know that I can be a voice for nature. I refuse to be shy about how much I love trees and wildlife. If people think that’s weird, I think they are weird. I love the Earth. In fact, how ridiculous is it to not love the Earth? And yet people will label you for doing so. They will call you a tree hugger or a radical. I think it is radical to cut down 95 percent of our forests, plow up all the grasslands, poison the rivers until they are undrinkable, and kill people for cheaper oil. I don’t think I’m a radical compared with the actions of my civilization. The weird thing is that most people in this civilization agree with me. They love trees and rivers and wildlife, We are all just caught up with the movement of the herd. We can see that the herd is not going the best way but so many of us are not saying anything about it even though we care. When you speak up about your love of nature you will be surprised at how many people feel the same way. But the important thing is to not just speak about it. You’ve got to do something and that is the purpose of this book to show you some great things you can do.”

    – Akiva Silver (from “Trees of Power: Ten Essential Arboreal Allies”)

  24. I have to admit I have only scanned the comments – I will read them fully! I am coming to this episode late, as always – my schedule is kind of my own as circumstances dictate….
    I devoured this episode from start to finish – thank you so much, James, being a solutions person is the start of the solutions! And thank you, Gavin. I have been reaching after all this for years – I mean over a decade, constantly overtaken with feeling powerless and small and unempowered. Gradually, bit by bit, I am believing I can truly be a part of all this.
    I keep trying and failing with sprouts – supposed to be so easy – but I won’t give up! We rent, have a large family, are penniless, yada yada, but the plants I have been tending recently, for the first time ever, are thriving – pity none of them are crop plants!
    I planted an onion that I got from the shop that has sprouted – on a whim. What should I do with it?!
    Can you give me sprouting tips?
    And also – basic composting tips? We have limited space and five active home schooled kids so I need very efficient ideas.
    I am using a coconut coir compost – how can I turn this into enriched soil? Should put earthworms into pots?? Surely that’s cruel but if I want great soil….
    Sorry for such a fragmented comment.
    I am 100% committed to this – I just need some breakthroughs (especially the kids who won’t eat veggies – I need that breakthrough!).
    Lastly, i have scraped together every penny I don’t have to buy a share in a community farm over here in the U.K. – the model is great – it is a regenerative farm co owned by its own community who have access to produce and also help out on the farm – it’s such an exciting project. Unfortunately, I live too far away to be on the farm regularly (140 miles ish away), but was so excited by it that I couldn’t wait for another opportunity like this to pop up. More community farms are planned for the future. James you might like to check them (us!) out: my little farm in Streat, East Sussex, UK. Doing things differently.

    Thank you again- honestly I am devoting myself to this big idea and long term project – I am already a stay at home mum and wanting to be more and more self sufficient, so this is, in a way, the most important step for me to take and nurture – it just can be daunting. I hope skmoen else who wants to get involved but feels too small to try might read this and see that everyone, anyone can take some steps.
    Best,
    Abigail

    • Greetings Abigail

      I do not have time to answer in full tonight, but wanted to let you know that I have read your comment and appreciate your candidness, your enthusiasm and your great questions.

      If you can place your pots on the soil and they have holes in the bottom, soil life will migrate into your pot without the need to transplant earth worms. Taking some compost and adding to the potting soil will encourage beneficial life to set up shop. Biochar is also easy to make and very effective for enriching soil.

      Here is a video about biochar:

      What is Biochar? by Michael Wittman :

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YDgr8BVtqc

      Are you close enough to the ocean where you could go harvest seaweed from the beech? Seaweed and kelp are excellent soil enriching materials and additions to a compost.

      Incase you (or anyone else reading this that is in a similar situation) cannot afford a copy of my book, I will upload some pertinent sections from my book that focus on composting and sprouting and upload to archive dot org when I have a chance and share a link here so you have that for reference.

      I admire your gardening gumption despite facing setbacks and I am happy to offer tips and help trouble shoot as time allows.

      • Thank you so much, G.

        I navigated straight from Corbett report to the hungry basilisk that is Amazon in order to buy a hard copy of your book (I cannot and will not do ebooks – I just cannot get on with them), but I seem to be totally unable to get hold of a hard copy here in the UK. If you want to bill
        me and send me one, I would be so delighted.
        Abi

        • Hi Abi,

          I do not currently do business with the hungry AI powered uniformity/conformity promoting billionaire space vacation funding serpent that is Amazon so I am glad you did not find my book on there (because if you had, it would have been a bootlegged or perhaps A.I. regurgitated simulacra of my book, and not the real deal) 🙂 Yes, Amazon is selling fake AI generated gardening books using fake authors (which are really nothing more than poorly pieced together acts of plagiarism accelerated by computer algorithms, which you can learn more about here: https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/is-amazon-being-flooded-with-ai-chatbot if you are curious) but I digress…

          No my book is not on Amazon, but it is available for purchase through my website (which James was kind enough to link in the shownotes above) and I do ship physical copies internationally.

          Thanks for the comments and thank you for the interest in my book.

          (ps – I still plan on responding fully to your first comment but I am working on an article for my Substack subscribers and also tryna preserve seasonal abundances from our garden so it may take me a day or two).

          • Of course you don’t – I apologise to yourself and to James – I am so clueless with technology and I also only own a wretched smartphone – I don’t have a PC of any kind, or anything else “smart” (except my children), so sometimes I get really lost in the show notes. I will certainly purchase the book, direct, and thank you again, happy harvesting.

        • and for ease of access (and for those who come across this comment, are also interested in buying a hardcopy and do not feel like scrolling back up to the top) here is the direct link to where you can buy a physical copy of my book:

          https://recipesforreciprocity.com/shop/softcover/

        • Hello again Abi,

          Could you give me the dimensions of the growing containers you are using and what kind of growing space you have for them so I can make appropriate suggestions for optimizing their food growing capacity?

          I have uploaded the excerpt from my book that covers several composting techniques (cold, hot and vermicomposting) which you can access here:

          https://archive.org/details/composting101RFR/composting1.png

          That way you (or anyone else reading this) that is interested in getting started turning free materials into valuable compost for growing nutrient dense food and medicine will have the information that empowers you to be able to take action immediately.

          There is more specialized info for optimizing soil health (and building living soil from scratch) in my book but I wanted to share this excerpt with the basics so you can get started before receiving the physical copy of my book.

          Hope this helps!

          Wishing you and your family many bountiful harvests, lessened grocery bills and increased resilience in the years ahead

          Happy Composting! 🙂

          • Dear G

            My planters are roughly 3 foot by 50 cm (excuse the imperial and metric mixing) and so far I only have two, got them second hand, and still am not even sure what is the best growing medium to start with – so far I am using pots for everything and Chuck in my coir compost and hope to try to build soil as I go. I guess I don’t know where to start with this really. I will investigate the composting, as indicated. So yes – what substrate should go in my planters? What are my best crops? We are in the south west of the UK – it’s pretty wet and pretty temperate with occasional hot spells and some freezing ones. Typical northern hemisphere seasons. The soil round here is clay. I have a garden of about 80 square metres, all laid to lawn though I have tried to maintain wild edges and not cut there. We are not “allowed” to cut in borders etc, as we rent, hence I’m looking to grow alternatively, in planters and pots – where hopefully I get a chance to improve the soil. Thank you so much if you are reading this!!

            • Dear Abi,

              No worries, I had to learn both when I went to masonry trade school in Vancouver many years ago (our tools were in imperial but the textbooks and tests were metric, so going from quarter inches to millimeters was lots of fun 🙂 ).

              I would say buy some potting soil with mycorrhizal inoculant if you can to add in with your coir compost and then enrich it with things like biochar, seaweed and vermicompost. That would provide a great biological diversity for getting a living soil rolling (and then you can mulch with wood chips, straw or leaves and feed your soil life with top dressings of homemade compost using kitchen scraps / yard waste etc annually).

              Well what crops would work best for you depend on your goals and the willingness of those you are growing the crops for to try new things. If maximum nutrition and medicinal potency of crops is number one priority (with familiar tastes and pleasurable flavor being a secondary priority) I could suggest some guilds (groups of companion plants) that could put out a lot of nutrition and medicinal harvests even within that small space. However, if catering to the taste preferences of others is number one priority, then I would need more info before I could make suggestions for possible candidates that could check all the boxes for you.

              The link I shared at the bottom of this comment thread regarding getting your first garden started (another excerpt from my book) will also offer you some helpful tips for strategizing to maximize what you can get out of your intended growing space/containers.

              I also uploaded the section from my book on Sprouting so that you can have that as a reference until you are able to purchase your own copy.

              Here is the link:

              https://archive.org/details/sprouting101RFR

              Hope this helps and if you let me know the priorities for your crops and your goals for those crops, I can make more specific suggestions for plant species.

              Happy garden planning and soil building! You got this!

              • Thank you G.
                Apologies for slow response. I shall be making use of all the resources you have so generously linked to here in the thread.
                Hmmm growing priorities.
                Now actually my instinct and own taste would steer toward nutrient packed and medicinal choices over familiarity, please – with the caveat that I would really like to have a rocket harvest (I think that is arugula to across the pond friends), and as we mainly eat plants I guess highly nutritious ones are a good call – and I have a few berry lovers in the family.

                If you can suggest best materials for planters also, my husband is pretty handy that way and perhaps we could get creative and increase our own potential for output just building however we can.
                In gratitude and enthusiasm,
                Abi.

            • Dear Abi,

              I am happy to help any way I can and no rush on responses (I am often slow to respond as I have many projects on the go in the analog real world, unrelated to this digital realm so I totally understand).

              Your want to grow arugula makes me think of my friend in Texas that so desperately wants to grow Watercress (and he does though it requires creating a microclimate and going against the grain a bit). Here in southern Ontario both watercress and arugula are considered common weeds by most conventional agriculture (war on nature) thinking people. I harvest watercress from the streambeds near where I live and when arugula showed up in my garden thanks to the birds or the wind I counted my blessings and created a corner of that raised bed to have ideal growing conditions for the plants so they can thrive. Here I am 10 plus years later and that arugula patch is still thriving all on its own (re-seeding itself and spreading out, after which I harvest aggressively, make salad, sandwiches and home made pizza and leave a few plants to start over).

              The corner of my yard where the arugula grows is full sun, well drained soil and it gets radiant heat from the dark fence and brick wall nearby. I would be happy to collect some seeds from our feral arugula patch this fall and send them your way when you order a physical copy of my book if you like (though my wild variety may not be the same as the culinary industry approved varieties sold in grocery stores).

              One fun way we could go about planning out some container guilds (groups of companion plants that grow well together) is by designing each raised bed around a specific medicinal benefit that the crops will offer.

              For instance, you could look at this list of Innate Immune System Function Optimizing Plant and Fungal Foods:

              https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/natural-pathways-for-optimizing-the?

              and then choose out the ones you like the flavor of and/or the immune system boosting benefits of, then we can figure out if those are crops that could be encouraged to grow well in your climate and narrow down the list from there.

              I also recently posted a list of Radioprotective foods on my substack and then a while back I shared another list of Cardioprotective foods (worth looking through for some additional ideas on medicinal benefit specific garden design ideas).

              (continued in another comment below)

            • (continued from comment above)

              With regards to building growing containers I have the most experience with building in ground raised beds (which I am guessing are not an option while renting) but as far as super frugal options I have experimented with growing veggies in large natural fabric re-usable shopping bags and 80 – 120 liter “food-safe” plastic garbage cans (I know not very environmentally friendly and the idea of leaching did occur to me, but I was tryna maximize how many calories I could grow and make use of cement space on our property given limited materials and funds at the time). The fabric shopping totes grow things like tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and fingerling potatoes well enough and the 120 litre garbage cans are a great way to be able to grow things like sweet potatoes (even in relatively cool climates as the container warms up the soil a lot).

              Or what about something like this: https://ninered.blogspot.com/2013/06/diy-simple-raised-bed-on-wheels.html ?

  25. For those interested in doing more in depth and specialized research into specific fields of Regenerative Agriculture and Regenerative Gardening, here is a list of people doing important work in relevant fields.

    People:

    Lynn Margulis – Symbiosis

    Ernst Gotsch – Syntropic Agroforestry

    Namasté – Syntropic Agroforestry

    Scott Hall – Syntropic Agroforestry

    Anastassia Makarieva – Biotic Pump

    Leah Penniman – Regenerative Agriculture

    Katrina Blair – Wild Foraging, Human Health, Ecology

    Bill Zeedyk – Water Retention Landscape Design

    Brad Lancaster – Water Retention Landscape Design

    Suzanne Simard – Forest Soil Fungi Communication Networks

    Dr Akira Miyawaki – Miyawaki Reforestation

    Shubhendu Sharma – Miyawaki Reforestation

    John Liu – Climate, Ecology, Sociology, History

    Peter McCoy – Mycology Research and Education

    Giuliana Furci – Mycology Policy and Education

    Natalie Topa – Ecological, Food and Water

    Ashleigh Brown – Regenerative Agriculture

    Zach Weiss – Water Cycle Restoration

    Gabriel Crawford – Ecological Anthropology

    Ash Ritter – Ethnobotanist – Black Sage Botanicals

    Rajendra Singh – Water Cycle Restoration

    Sepp Holzer – Water Cycle Restoration

    Geoff Lawton – Permaculture and Food Forestry

    Ben Falk – Permaculture Strategy/Philosophy

    David Montgomery – Soil Science/History

    David Augustyniak – Permaculture in the desert / mycology

    ———————-

    The above list is not comprehensive by any means but the material those people offer certainly offers many worthy fields of learning and practical applications to explore.

  26. Great episode of Solutions Watch. Thank you, James and Gavin.
    G, I am just starting out on the gardening journey and have so much to learn. Last year i dipped my toe in water by slapping together some raised beds and planting a few vegetables, melons and flowers. Squirrels have become a huge problem. They dig up the beds and eat the zucchini. Squirrel’s gonna squirrel, but man it pisses me off! 🙂 Do you have any advice for dealing with them “humanely”? Encase the beds in chicken wire? Concede defeat and feed them? Would appreciate any ideas.

    • “Squirrels have become a huge problem.”

      Just wondering, do you eat meat? Do you purchase dog food? Do you own a BB gun?
      Sometimes the obvious solutions to problems are difficult to see. 🙂

    • @aorta

      I advocate emulating nature and/or turning problems into solutions through a shift in perspective, so in nature a healthy ecosystem with predators keeps herbivore/scavenger grazing to a minimal since they are hunted and thus not sitting around lazily nibbling on all of the food in one spot. The closest thing I can do to emulate that in my little yard is to have a canine friend on patrol. He chases squirrels and racoons (and barks at the local government surveillance drones hovering overhead and scares the poor smart meter guy that walks near our fence) and I give him shelter, food and friendship. It is a kind of symbiosis of sorts.

      In the turning problems into solutions side of things it sounds like Steve (aka Slow Cured Anarcho Hippy) may be onto something.

      I used to turn the problem (wine grape eating wild quails) into a solution (teriyaki marinaded applewood prunings camp fire roasted quail breast) on my parents orchard back in the day, though I am a different person than I was back then so I do not know if I would be able to kill the furry and feathered little creatures for putting a dent into my preferred garden crops now a days to be honest. If I had no dog, was losing most of my crops and/or it was life or death and they were taking my survival food, ya I would, but I have lots and our dog scares away most of the corn, tomato and paw paw robbing critters so, for now, my pellet gun days are behind me. That being said, perhaps it is not an issue for you and you can turn a problem into a solution in that way.

      Hope this helps.

      • “I used to turn the problem (wine grape eating wild quails) into a solution (teriyaki marinaded applewood prunings camp fire roasted quail breast) on my parents orchard back in the day, though I am a different person than I was back then so I do not know if I would be able to kill the furry and feathered little creatures for putting a dent into my preferred garden crops now a days to be honest.”

        Are you different in that you no longer eat meat? Or just that you prefer more conventional meats and ways of attaining it?
        Is it just that you would rather leave the killing and slaughtering to others?

        I keep threatening my dog that I’m going to trade her, a big shepherd for two little terriers. Katie is the only agoraphobic dog I’ve ever had. She has never shown the slightest interest in chasing or barking at anything except people she sees through the window. Completely worthless. And the darn cat is just as bad, she invites the squirrels in the Florida room to share her water!.
        They sure are lucky that they are cute and lovable.

        Anyway, I have tried to encourage my neighbors to plant more fruit trees so that the furry little demons have some trees other than mine to denude annually. But of course fruit trees are messy don’t ya know.

        I’ve actually only purposely killed, (in recent years), the possum that killed two of my chickens. I boiled it up with some rosemary over a fire in the backyard and offered it to Katie the dog who wasn’t interested at all. But the three remaining chickens were quite happy for the treat. Alls fair I guess.

        I did kill two squirrels with the BB gun but I was really only intending to strongly discourage their behavior. I only gave the gun two pumps on one and a single pump with the other. (BB guns aren’t toys!).
        The dog evidently prefers squirrels over possum because she ate the first one after I cooked it. The other fell into the neighbors backyard so I wasn’t able to get that one.

        This year I’ve just given up. They have completely stripped the macadamia nuts except for three that I put a bag over and even though it is a bad year for mangoes, I’ll get more than I need. Even accounting for all the wasted ones that the birds and critters destroy.

        If times were tougher, and there wasn’t a grocery store dumpster that provides me with all the deli meat that the dog can eat, (shes actually getting too fat), I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot squirrels. There really aren’t enough natural predators here.
        I suppose that I might even force myself to eat meat again if things were dire enough. But probably not possum. I’m with the dog there.

        • Hey Steve,

          Regarding how I am different as a person, I was speaking about how in my youth I had very little to no conscious awareness of the existence of my soul, I was suppressing my innate God given capacity for compassion and empathy by allowing the unhealthy social constructs of machoism (the indoctrinated dominant believe system that “real men” are supposed to be emotionally cold and deficient, unable to cry and willing as well as able to dominate and/or kill other beings in shows of superficial ego flattery) and being more concerned with what would benefit me, rather than considering how my actions impact others. In essence, I was a kid, raised in a town full of drug addicts, wannabe gangsters and cliques of bullies, that had developed a hard shell around my heart in order to cope, resulting in many of my choices back them being driven by my brain, with very little input/guidance from my heart and zero input from my eternal spirit/soul.

          With regards to how that related to eating meat specifically, I elaborate on my current situation, personal moral values/preferences and thinking regarding eating meat in this thread.

          https://corbettreport.com/may-open-thread-2023/#comment-150678

          Re: “And the darn cat is just as bad, she invites the squirrels in the Florida room to share her water!” That is hilarious and adorable! 🙂

          We have two deadly huntress cats that eat anything that moves and one that just wants to be friends with everything that moves (she even gently pets moths and other critters with her paw ever so carefully haha).

          I used to have a 22 cal pellet gun with a scope and would wake up at dawn after sleeping in a hammock near the pickers cabin in my parents orchard and set up on the counter of the outdoor kitchen. The quails would come up over the hill below my parents property and travel in large groups over towards to wine grapes and soft fruit blocks and I would usually get at least 4 a day for cooking. But like I was saying above, my heart was closed then, now I would sense their suffering more clearly, and know I was killing them for the ten minutes of pleasure of eating them (and back in the day for the money my parents were paying me per head to take them out) and not for survival nor out of necessity. I would rather not carry that weight on my heart if I can avoid it, so I do not hunt currently.

          I am capable and have the tools and know how, but will save that for a situation where I have no other choice.

          Thanks for the comment and sharing your experiences. I hope you get to enjoy some beautiful homegrown fruit and nuts this year.

          • “I would usually get at least 4 a day for cooking. But like I was saying above, my heart was closed then, now I would sense their suffering more clearly, and know I was killing them for the ten minutes of pleasure of eating them (and back in the day for the money my parents were paying me per head to take them out) and not for survival nor out of necessity.”

            Yeah, I get it. Ya turned into a big softy! 😉
            But you really owe it to the world to include some recipes for “Fire Roasted Teriyaki Quail” and maybe something like “Foraged Mushroom, Weeds and Squirrel Stir Fry” in your upcoming survival centered cookbook don’t ya?
            So dust off the old pellet gun and get to plunking! There won’t be any publishers after the SHTF! 😁

            • Steve,

              I like your orchard life throwback / survival recipe ideas.

              It is funny you mention a hypothetical survival centered cookbook as there has been an idea (no a vision) of a future book bouncing around in my head that does center around emergency preparedness. I am gonna be working on my second book (focusing on regenerative agroforestry, the full journey from seed, to food forest, to table to apothecary) for a while yet, and also doing a second edition of Recipes For Reciprocity before I start any other works but it is certainly something in the back of my mind.

              You know there are lots of recipes in my first book that elevate meat based meals. The dry spice mixes that I mentioned in that most recent episode of the Mounsey Minute on Media Monarchy (such as Berbere and Moroccan Spice Medley) are great examples.

              This one too: https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/mole-polbano-dry-spice-mix-and-sauce?

              The teriyaki sauce I used to make for the Quail breast is nothing ground breaking in and of itself, the key was tenderizing and marinading the breast for a couple hours before roasting (and roasting on a glowing bed of coals made of either apple, cherry or wine grape wood).

              The Thai Peanut sauce recipe (which is also found in the pages of Recipes For Reciprocity is another one that would take Quail (or any bbq-ed meat really) to another level of awesomeness.

              I also include my Grandad’s famous Pink Geranium Marinaded Lamb recipe in my book (the Pink Geranium was the name of my Grandparents restaurant and bed and breakfast, not an ingredient in the recipe). They used to have people reserve a stay and meal at their place months in advance (all locally sourced food made form scratch).

              Some other recipes that are fantastic with meat which are in my book include Borscht (roasted beets with a beef roast and dill make an excellent addition), Zuppa Toscana (with Italian Sausage) and Minestrone or Laotian Khao Poon (with chicken, turkey or quail) are also great.

              Thanks for the fun comments, I wish you happy grilling and bountiful harvests.

              • “Thai Peanut sauce”

                Yum! I love peanut sauce. A couple of days ago I made some rice with baby Moringa pods, Okinawa spinach, chives, onions Jalapeño peppers and mango. Then I mixed in some peanut butter and homemade Habanero-honey sauce.
                My wife wouldn’t try it but I thought it was great. 😬

            • Steve,

              Thanks for the lovely recipe anecdote, I have not tried that kind of sauce with Moringa leaves but I have grown it in pots before (the winters are too cold here to grow it outside year round). I think I shall try a variation of your creation in the future, thanks for the inspiration.

              My wife also typically steers clear of my habanero (and/or bhut jolokia) infused creations but tastes them on occasion when I am making a roasted and/or fermented sauce and is tempted by the smell filling the house (after which she runs for the freezer to get some ice cream! 🙂 ).

              After posting that previous comment (feeling nostalgic about my days helping out in the kitchen of my grandparents bed and breakfast when I was little and wondering how I could make an adapted version of their recipe) I went to find it in my book and was severely disappointed when I realized that I had ended up having to cut it out of the final draft (along with about two dozen other recipes) due to printing budget limitations. Well i shall remedy that in the second edition, but for now, here is a pic (from an earlier rough draft version of my book I had printed) of the Marinaded Lamb recipe from their bed and breakfast incase you (or anyone else) is curious and wants to give it a try.

              https://archive.org/details/pinkgeraniumrecipe

              My grandparents were a big influence in my life in shaping my love for creating in the kitchen and gardening (they had huge gardens where they grew most of what produce they prepared and served in their restaurant/bed and breakfast) and they were likely a central reason why I ended up writing a (regenerative) recipe/gardening book in the first place. Thus, I feel it is only fitting for me to share their recipe above.

              PS – i`ll also upload my peanut sauce recipe some other time and share here incase you wanna give my version a try.

              Cheers!

      • Thanks for the response, Gavin. Canine is a great idea. I just need to convince my wife. 🙂

  27. Below is an excerpt from my book for those of you that may be thinking about starting your very first garden and you are looking for some tips (but cannot afford a copy of my book at this time). I want everyone to feel empowered to be able to get started on the path of embracing food sovereignty so I am sharing the section from my book below:

    https://archive.org/details/gettingyourfirstgardenstartedRFR

    If you don’t have a backyard (or yard of any kind), a courtyard garden or even a balcony garden can be productive, and do still make a difference. You would be surprised how much nutritious and delicious food you can get from a few well tended potted veggies/herbs.

    I also offer tips and techniques later in the book for producing some of your own food (even if you do not have a balcony, south facing window or access to a community garden, via sprouting and growing gourmet/medicinal mushrooms indoors).

    Every little effort towards growing your own food is boycotting the corporate oligarchy, helping the planet and makes a difference, and there are superfoods you can grow that have a long list of health benefits and take up very little space. If you don’t even have a balcony, there is the possibility of taking part in a community garden, getting your own plot, and doing your gardening there.

    Check out the ideas I offer in the excerpt above and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

    Wishing you all many bountiful harvests and perpetually increasing levels of food and health sovereignty which are unlocked through one courageous, determined and humble choice at a time.

  28. Re-sharing this here as I touched on some subject matter in last month’s Mounsey Minute (such as the important role of Biochar in ancient forms of Regenerative Agriculture) that I had meant to discuss with James in our discussion above but forgot.

    The Mounsey Minute (episode 6) BBQ-ing with a Permaculture Twist

    https://gavinmounsey.substack.com/p/the-mounsey-minute-episode-6-bbq

    Links to pertinent subject matter, articles and topics mentioned in the segment can be found through the link above.

    Happy grilling and soil enriching everyone!

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