As we look at the multiplying signs of failure across our economy and the environment, society is slowly realizing that we need to start doing things very differently. At least if we want a positive future in which we can believe. Those awakening to this are asking: What should we do?
I think a better question to ask is: What’s possible?
That’s the question that has been waking me up early in the morning for the past few weeks.
It springs from Ben Falk’s book on whole systems design and permaculture entitled The Resilient Farm and Homestead. It’s a great book, packed with lots of useful ideas and systems to consider.
It’s opening line reads:
“Regeneration involves seeing things as they could be, while resiliency requires dealing with things as they are.”
I like that pairing a lot. It’s ‘what is’ AND ‘what could be’ Resilient AND regenerative. It’s combining what you already have with what’s possible.
Why Regeneration Matters
Regeneration is about the future. In working with living systems, the soil, the microclimate, the sun and a dozen other major variables all come into play. To be of a regenerative mindset, one must be able to see both what’s there AND what isn’t there yet, but could be.
Each acre of land or water source is more capable of doing certain things than others. The same is true with people, communities and cultures.
Where Joel Salatin found a farm with ruined soils (listen to our podcasts with Joel on regenerative farming and on ‘rogue farming’), he knew it was possible to rebuild the soils to incredible depth and abundance without using any outside inputs. He showed that a whole new approach could yield results that had entirely escaped the previous owners of that land. He saw what they didn’t, or perhaps, couldn’t (all hail the blinding power of belief systems!).
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