169 episodes

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

The Abundant Edge Abundant Edge

    • How To
    • 4.6, 46 Ratings

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

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

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

    Lisa Kivirist







    Though this series on regenerative farming has covered a ton of different farming models, land management techniques, food production methods and design methods, one of the glaring absences in the perspectives I’ve included has been that of women, and I’m well aware of it. I did reach out to a lot of women farmers in an attempt to set up interviews, but many of them either didn’t want to be interviewed or were simply too busy to be able to schedule a call. I can imagine that with all of the nonsense and instability around the pandemic it must be really challenging for all farmers in the last 6 months. I was however finally able to get a hold of Lisa Kivirist, one of my favorite authors of homesteading skills and small scale farming. She’s the author of the farmstead chef, rural renaissance, ecopreneuring, homemade for sale, and the book that will be the center of our interview today “soil sisters: a toolkit for women farmers”







    She’s also the host of the podcast: “In her boots” which focuses on interviews with and about modern women farmers, which I’ve been a fan of for over a year now and highly recommend to anyone interested in farm stories and general advice in the USA.







    In her extensive work helping to build support for women in farming and to create a community network of their peers that they can rely on, Lisa has helped to highlight the stories and experiences around the immeasurable contributions from women in agriculture and set stronger foundations for their continued success into the future. 







    In this interview Lisa helps me to understand the complex history of women farmers in the US and the obstacles that they’ve had to overcome in the past as well as those that are still in their way. She also explains the unique talents and perspective that they bring to this fast changing sector along with the growing support network that they’re building together. 







    I’ve been a big fan of Lisa’s books for a while and her podcast is a really valuable resource too, but this book Soil Sisters really opened my eyes to the blind spots that I’ve had and that the farming industry at large has had to the essential role that women have played in advancing and strengthening farming through some of America’s toughest times. 







    Resources:







    https://homemadeforsale.wixsite.com/freshbaked







    http://innserendipity.com/







    http://innserendipity.com/news/news.html







    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Kivirist

    • 58 min
    Applying syntropic farming methods for dryland regeneration, with Jacob Evans

    Applying syntropic farming methods for dryland regeneration, with Jacob Evans

    Over the years I’ve been hearing about a new pedagogy of land management that has been gaining in popularity, especially in agroforestry circles. The trouble for me has been that until recently a lot of the resources have been in portuguese, and so I kept my eye on it from a distance. Syntropic farming is a term first coined by Ernst Gostch, a swizz farmer who emigrated to Brazil in the 80’s and pioneered this new form of farmland management on his land in Bahia. But today, to speak about the principles of syntropic farming and how he’s adapted them to the unique mediterannean climate in the southern region of spain known as Andalucia I spoke with a good friend of mine, Jacob Evans. Jacob has been working for 4 years now at the Suryalila yoga retreat center as their permaculture farm manager. In that time he helped to establish some impressive agroforestry and food production systems with limited resources in a region best known for rapid desertification and extremes of hot dry summers and frigid winters. Their 20 hectare property stands in contrast to the desnuded plains around them and is beginning to change the hearts and minds of people who think that there’s little that can be done to reverse the damage done to the land there. 







    In this interview we talk about what syntropic farming is and what it represents. Jacob walks me through some of the ways that he’s applied its principles to his context in Andalucia and how the trials have been working out 4 years in. We also go over some of the specific plants and methods that have been successful for him there and a lot more. 







    I was actually able to meet Jacob after this interview in person the other week when he came up to Barcelona for a trip and we got to hang out a bit and talk about our projects and ambitions here in Spain. We also did a little fermented food and seed swap from our respective gardens. I’m really looking forward to further collaborating with Jacob since he’s already been a great contact for me as I get to know this new country and region by sharing planting lists and advice from his experience. 







    I’m also looking to get  in touch with other innovators and practitioners of syntropic farming, especially here in Spain or the Mediterranean region, so if any of you out there know of someone who fits that description, please pass their contact on or share this episode with them.







    Resources:







    https://www.instagram.com/wizard_permaculture/









    https://vimeo.com/429258015









    http://www.lalomaviva.com/syntropic-farming







    https://lifeinsyntropy.org/







    https://agendagotsch.com/en/

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Restoring Spain’s degraded farmland with regenerative agroforestry, with Alfonzo Chico de Guzman, president of AlVelAl

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

    As I’m slowly becoming better connected here in Spain in the last year, one of the main projects in regenerative agriculture that keeps coming up in my research and the conversations that I have, is a fairly new project called AlVelAl which is located in Southern Spain, roughly in between the cities of Granada and Murcia. The name AlVelAl relates to the first letters of the comarcas (or counties) where the initiative started: Altiplano de Granada, Los Vélez and Alto ALmanzora. Today, the AlVelAl territory covers more than 1,000,000 hectares of degraded steppe called the Altiplano Estepario. 







    I first found a connection with this organization through some other work that I was doing to help consult on the Ecosystem Restoration Camp known as Camp Alitplano which is actually a 5 hectare portion of the largest farm in the organization where they’re trialing various agroforestry and holistic grazing techniques in an effort to restore the degraded site though economically viable production methods. The coordinator of the camp who I’d been in touch with connected me with the owner of the larger farm who also happens to be the president of AlVelal, Alfonzo Chico de Guzman. 







    Now Alfonzo is a unique example of a young man who decided to return to his origins on the land and help to his family farm after graduating with a degree in business administration. He immediately dedicated himself to transforming the farm through innovative and regenerative methods and set up an organic market garden as well as fruit production, and began to develop agroforestry methods through systems involving almonds and pistachios. He’s also implemented broad water harvesting earthworks with swales on contour and keyline ponds to help to restore the watershed of this parched and arid region. Aided by a team of international non-profit organizations he’s become instrumental in showcasing and pioneering many dryland agriculture best practices and helping to motivate other producers in the region to follow suit. 







    In this episode we talk about many of those methods that I glossed over as well as the overall response from the community in this transition. We discuss barriers to progress and the challenges and roadblocks that he and others have faced in transitioning their farms as well as some of the successes along the way. 







    I was really excited to tap into such an inspiring movement and am really looking forward to working more actively with both Alvelal and Ecosystem Restoration camps here in Spain as these projects continue to grow. So look out for updates in future episodes if you enjoy this talk







    Resources:







    https://alvelal.wixsite.com/website-6







    Alvelal YT channel







    https://earthmind.org/vca/alvelal







    https://eu.patagonia.com/gb/en/actionworks/grantees/alvelal/

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

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

    Though I’ve spoken to some great orchardists through this podcast, many of them are growing cold tolerant trees in far northern climates, but I wanted to get a perspective on running a holistically managed orchard in the tropics to explore how the beneficial interactions between some of the most prized tree and perennial products in the world can be grown in a way that fuels the restoration of these incredibly biodiverse and robust ecosystems. I’ve known quite a few orchardists from back in Guatemala where I used to live and work, and I’ll link to those interviews in the show notes for this episode for a wide perspective on the topic, but in this interview we’ll take a look in the cloud forest of the Ecuadorian Amazon to see how the team at Mashpi Artisanal Chocolate have brought their piece of land back from being a degraded and deforested pasture to a thriving rainforest cacao plantation that has brought the biodiversity back to their forest through a method they call analog forestry. 







    In this interview I spoke with Alejandro Solano who co-owns and manages Mashpi Chocolate as the resident reserve ecologist. Apart from knowing in depth everything that has to do with the cultivation of cocoa and working directly in its production, he is in charge of planting other species that accompany the cacao trees and ensures their health through whole ecosystem management. He also conducts ongoing research on biodiversity and is a naturalist with a sharp eye and intuition. Along with helping to manage the business and land, he also guides visitors, and gives workshops on the farm project and the reserve.







    In this interview we start by defining analog forestry and it’s defining aspects. From there we explore the larger vision of cloud forest restoration that the cacao production is merely one aspect of. Alejandro also explains how the preservation of the genetics of his cacao is helping to preserve the biocultural heritage of Ecuador and its history as well. Towards the end we also go through all the steps of producing some of the highest quality chocolate available from seed all the way to the chocolate bar. 











    Resources:http://www.analogforestry.org/







    https://www.chocomashpi.com/









    https://www.facebook.com/Mashpi-Artisanal-Chocolate-154631088076997/









    Other tropical forest management episodes:









    https://abundantedge.com/abundantedge-kristen-krash/











    https://abundantedge.com/abundantedge-jairo-rodriguez/











    https://abundantedge.com/abundantedge-alex-kronick/











    https://abundantedge.com/how-to-grow-a-healthy-native-forest-in-record-time-with-afforestt-founder-shubhendu-sharma-146/

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

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

    Shane with his goats







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







    In this interview we cover a wide range of topics from soil building to locally resilient plants and livestock as well as wild experiments and the challenges of adapting these ideas to your site, all with the aim of answering the question: Can humans go from a universal parasite to a universal symbiont. 







    I highly recommend you check out Shane’s blog







    Resources:







    Zero Input Agriculture – Trialling and breeding crops and livestock that can produce without irrigation, fertiliser and imported nutrients







    Steve Solomon Gardening when it counts







    Restoration agriculture







    The One Straw Revolution







    Return to resistance







    Open source seed initiative







    a href="https://osseeds.org/category/free-the-seed-podcast/" target="_blan...

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Is permaculture still relevant to small farms and local food security? With Loren Luyendyk of Permaculture Intl.

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

    Permaculture has done an incredible job of raising awareness of natural land management techniques and teaching people to observe and read the patterns of the natural world to inform their interactions with the environment, but it often gets criticized for being impractical when it comes to apply its methods to profitable farming enterprises. There’s a long running line of questioning on this show, especially when I’m speaking with producers and farmers about where they have to compromise their choices for the earth with the needs of their businesses and the efficiency required to turn a profit, so to help me to get to the bottom of this paradox I spoke to Loren Luyendyk a Certified Teacher of Permaculture, with over 17 years of practical experience in Permaculture Design, Sustainability, and Horticulture. Loren has also studied and has loads of experience in the fields of Organic and Biodynamic Farming, Arboriculture, Agroecology, Keyline Design, Holistic Management, Natural Building, and The Soil Foodweb. is also a founding partner of Permaculture Design International, an international design collaborative, with the express goal of increasing the professionalism and adoption of permaculture globally, especially with larger scale projects.  He and his wife Aubrey Falk co-founded the non-profit organization Surfers Without Borders in 2008, which promotes practical solutions to ocean pollution through regenerative design. 







    In this interview we break down some of the important ways that permaculture can be applied, especially to small farms, not only to improve the health of the ecology on the site, but also the financial bottom line of the business owner. Loren explains how a lot of common practices and teachings in permaculture like crop diversification, building soil health, and harvesting water on site can make a huge difference in the viability of a farm. We also talk a lot about what a regenerative food system might look like at the community level and how people can get started wherever they are by taking simple steps in the right direction. Towards the end we also nerd out on all the amazing plants and foods that grow in our respective climates since both north eastern Spain and south western California are analogue climates to one another there’s a ton of overlap in what we see and grow around us







    Resources:









    http://sborganics.com/









    https://www.permacultureintl.com/

    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
46 Ratings

46 Ratings

PNWSHEEP ,

Awesome!

Just stumbled on this podcast and I am loving it. Great interviews and amazing guests.

livinglight2day ,

Great Learning Experience

This is a wonderful podcast. Love all the first hand information that is available for new homesteaders with no prior farming experience at all.

Robynpix ,

Thank you for this Podcast!

You show with Kristen of Sueño de Vida was mega inspiring. Thanks for introducing their project to me!

Listeners Also Subscribed To