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Regeneration Conversations: Episode 3 featuring Mark Shepard and Johann Rinkens

Uncategorized Feb 15, 2021

Regeneration gets challenged with another conversation.

Once again, we asked the question to our friends in the farming community.

What is Regenerative?

The answers continue to inspire us.

In Episode 3 we get the privilege of hearing from  Mark Shepard and Johann Rinkens.

Mark Shepard is a leader in the regenerative agriculture movement. Author of the award-winning book, Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers, Mark has had boots on the ground in the real world of restoring our planets food systems with his grounded approach to food production for decades. Johann Rinkens is the co-founder of Fields Without Fences, a forest garden farm and permaculture design service, and teaches extensively on the subjects of permaculture design and agroecology. Both Mark and Johann are playing critical roles in helping farmers understand how they can plan for succession as they plant their forest-based farms.

In this conversation Mark Shepard and Johann Rinkens don't just toss buzz words around, they drop real ecological knowledge. Taking a look at the practical application of "regeneration." We learned from Mark Shepard how he imitates plant community types of local regions in order to combine restoration with agriculture. Mark reminds us that, “The term regeneration has at least a 400 year track record of being described and studied by scientists.” Mark realizes that this term is not new, but what's most important to him is that we design agriculture systems that can, "continue to persist through time, despite whatever nature throws at it." Further instilling in us that true regeneration, no matter what you call it needs to be designed with this in mind, while providing us with food.

Johann shares a similar journey with Mark on how he came to the same approach to farming. After purchasing a property with degraded soil, Johann had to look to natures design. When a drought came, Johann says he, "ended up regrading the landscape, putting in a series of ponds throughout the property and then creating perennial raised beds that we then started planting the elderberry, currant, culinary and medicinal herbs into the under story." Johann was thinking in succession and that led him to his favorite new term to nerd out on, "steady-state shifting mosaic."

Check out this episode of Regeneration Conversations and find out how these two farmers stopped fighting against the wind and set sail with a canopy of tree crops.



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