Reflections on Regenerative Agriculture Workshop
Written Jan 14, 2014
Back in October (whew time flies!) I attended a workshop on Regenerative Agriculture. What’s that? Read the guest post that I wrote for Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario, below:
“We are happy to publish this guest post from Paul Wartman of Many Rivers Permaculture. Paul attended the Regrarian Open Consultancy 3 Day Practicum offered for the first time in Ontario in October 2013. Here he shares his experiences and reflections from the dynamic session. Thanks Paul!”
The morning of Oct 25th greeted the international crowd of farmers, consultants, teachers, academics, and many others, with wet snow and blustery winds. Luckily the homestead of Paul and Ingrid, at the Red Mill Farm in St. Mary, ON, was open and accepting of our eager group. Once piled in and settled down with home-baked goodies, we were introduced to the activities for the 3-day practicum in Regrarian practices. Steve Timmerman, a local nut (grower) and land manager with an academic background in ecology, introduced the issues that were literally bursting open our environment—erosion, lack of diversity in crops, GMOs, chemical fertilizers and pesticides—and in desperate need for a solution. He then introduced Darren Doherty, who is a Regrarian—Regenerative Agrarian—consultant who practices and speaks of the amazing potential to restore our planet’s capacity to heal itself while also creating resilient agricultural systems.
The weekend was a great opportunity to meet practitioners from so many backgrounds and to come together to design one family’s homestead, which not only impacts their lives but also the lives for generations to come on this planet. —— Paul Wartman is a first year Masters Student at the University of Guelph studying Edible Forest Gardening in the Plant Agriculture Department. Paul’s understory consists of being a board member and vo-livin-teer with Transition Guelph, a grass roots community organization working and playing towards a thriving resilient community. His character is built from experiences in organic farming, permaculture design, appropriate technology development, eco-camp counseling, and many potlucks! Check out another piece written about this course by Kearney Coupland, First Year Masters Student in Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph. Kearney’s reflection was published in the January/February 2014 edition of ‘Ecological Farming in Ontario’.