Our technology is living systems.
Regenerative agriculture farms with life in mind.
It includes tools such as:
1. Syntropic Agriculture
One of the most brilliant thinkers and pragmatic workers I’ve ever had the honour and pleasure to know is the Swiss-Brazilian Ernst Gotsch. A pinnacle of my research and development was spending time at his remote farm in Bahia, Brazil. His approach is surely one of the most revolutionary and intelligent on earth:
2. Agroforestry Systems
Broadly speaking agroforestry systems integrate trees into farmed landscapes.
While there are many ways to do this, Livingland uses the successional approach, which uses natural ecological properties of forest ecosystems to fuel and drive high levels of trophic production. The net result is a treed landscape that looks and behaves like a natural forest, but is comprised of multiple species, many of which produce crops and services of use to humans. The definitive signature of this type of design and management is that it incorporates an understanding of whole-systems forest ecology and natural succession to aims for self-reliant and economically valuable production mechanisms.
The aesthetic beauty of successional agroforestry is revealed in the expression of the innate intelligence and dynamism of complex living systems. These forests inspire wonder and awe, as well as highly nutrient-dense and quality products.
Although not widely applied in temperate climates, Livingland believes agroforestry systems hold tremendous promise. Having studied under several of the world’s leading agroforesters, we’re developing the system here at our farm, at scale. Still early in development, here are a couple of images of the experiment.
Using the Regraians Platform we have created a dynamic farm plan using UAV imagery and Google Earth mapping software. Easy to adjust as the project’s inherent dynamism demands it, a regenerative plan is ‘a draft until you’re dead’. This approach has striking ramifications.
3. The Regrarians Platform
Created by the fourth-generation Australian farmer Darren Doherty and his family, the 10-layer platform is as simple and elegant as it is comprehensive and powerful. Following in the footsteps of such greats as P.A. Yeomans, David Holmgren, Bill Mollison, Joel Salatin, and many others, Darren’s brilliant farm designs and plans create resilient, robust, and regenerative farms, ecologies, and economies. It has been a special privilege to have studied intimately with Darren and I consider him and his team among my most valued mentors.
The 10-layers of this tool follow each other in a naturally sequential order so that complicated aspects of a living system enterprise can be seen in context then designed and managed as units that fit in with and relate with one another.
This is next-generation farming and ecological activism.
4. Holistic Management
Developed by Alan Savory, a Zimbabwean ecologist and farmer, HM is a practical yet inclusive toolkit for managing natural and human resources using a whole systems approach. He addresses challenging contemporary decision-making issues with extreme clarity and over 50 years of experience working in some of the most contentious conditions known. Few other landscape design and management systems do such a complete job of including the most difficult element and usual set-back to the health, longevity, and success of land and human enterprises: poor human decision-making. Dealing with whole systems is something that humans do not have a very impressive track record with. HM is an incredible advance toward bettering this.
As a visionary and pioneer, some of the ideas of HM run counter to conventional industry thinking. I think HM is brilliant – the message and approach merits serious attention.
5. Permaculture Design
Centred around the Ethic of Care for planet and people, Pc is an ecological land design and management methodology created by the Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. They asked the basic question: how were ecosystems and indigenous populations able to survive for so long before modern times? and came up with some simple answers. This spawned a world-wide movement to design and manage modern human presences on earth such that life might survive us.
Permaculture compels land and social designers and managers to first observe, then design projects based on patterns and principles that have worked permanently for life for eons. Biomimicry, edge effect, guilds, layered systems, zones, and many other themes are included.
In recent decades, industrial agriculture has contributed to incredible food surpluses and human population growth and massive-scale degradations of natural landscapes and native ecosystems. Modern agriculture is responsible for the movement of more sediment than any other geologic process, prompting earth scientists to name our current geological epoch the Anthropocene.
In response to this, regenerative agriculture seeks to discover and develop ways of managing food producing systems and social economies such that living systems are not depleted further. The wider goal is restoration. Although ‘restored’ systems don’t reproduce the native systems they replace, they function similarly and reach a steady state, or ‘sustainable’ dynamic.
At Livingland we cultivate organic produce, livestock, trees, habitat, and healthy humans who learn to reciprocate and serve essential life processes. We play a role in the ‘think globally and act locally’ mantra, and work with old and new technologies to do our small part.
Let’s do this!
Based in Care – care for the earth, and care for people.