The RēMind, No. 022: Crops, Crafts, and Communities
Updates from Rē / Indigenous Land Rights and the Paris Accord / Beekeepers Use GPS / Soil Plastic Pollution / Regenerative Grazing Revolution / Black Agrarian Artistry / Food Systems Science for Peace
In this week’s newsletter, we explore a variety of regenerative news, science, and agrarian movements.
Before we dig in, we would love to remind you that we are teaming up Nourish Me Wellness and Within Wellness to host an incredible local retreat opportunity the second week of May! Please consider our invitation to fill your cup and connect to nature in the peaceful, grounding, countryside of Rē’s home-base of Fayetteville, TN. For more information and registration details, keep scrolling!
We’re also sharing details about an exciting new course that we’ll be offering soon!
For a little weekend rēlief, we offer you a short video from the late great Thich Nhat Hanh on eight exercises of mindful breathing. Click here or below to watch.
Blossom Into Spring: A Revitalizing Retreat
POSTPONED to May 13-15, 2022 in Fayetteville, Tennessee
Thana Nu of Nourish Me Wellness, Caitlin Smith of Within Wellness, and Ashlei Laing of Rē : The Regenerative School will be facilitating an incredible weekend, holding space, and helping us bloom. We will use Ayurvedic dietary and herbal techniques to clear and open energetic channels in the body and mind. Consider our invitation and lean into a beautiful, practice to clear the accumulated energies that no longer serve us.
All are welcome! No experience needed, only open minds. Join us!
New Short Course Coming Soon!
RēMembering The Origins of Climate Change
According to author Parker Palmer, "The opposite of to remember isn't to forget, it's to dis-member." Theologian and researcher Sara Jolena Walcott, founder of Sequoia Samanvaya, applies this framework to our fragmented, short-sighted understanding of climate change. In this new, three-part course, Sara traces the roots of climate change back 500 years to its roots in colonialism, racism, and church doctrine. Along the way participants will also delve into their own family histories to make sense of the deep story of how we have arrived at today's climate crisis and how we can instead choose to build a more regenerative future. Click here to learn more about this upcoming course!
Rēporting, Rēsearch, and Rēvolutions:
Indigenous Land Rights Are Critical to Realizing Goals of the Paris Climate Accord, a New Study Finds
Tribal lands sequester far more carbon than non-Indigenous regions. Yet Indigenous’ rights are often ignored and the forests the tribes protect are exploited or lost.
“The land rights of Indigenous peoples across millions of acres of forests in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru must be protected and strengthened if the world has any hope of achieving the goals set forth in the 2015 Paris Agreement, a study released on Thursday found… But, in each of the four countries studied, laws and policies towards Indigenous peoples falls far short of protecting Indigenous lands and in some cases, actively works against it.”
To read more about the how important Indigenous communities and lands are to meeting the Paris Agreement, click here.
Crops Grown with Regenerative Agriculture are Healthier, Research Finds
“Food grown using regenerative agriculture practices has higher nutritional content, according to a new University of Washington study published in science journal PeerJ. Regenerative farming is a way to restore the soil and water used for food production and reduce climate change through practices including increasing soil biodiversity and adding cover crops to keep carbon in the soil. Farms that engaged in practices associated with regenerative agriculture over five to ten years produced more nutritious food with higher amounts of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.”
To read more about how regenerative farming practices that improve the variety of bacteria and fungi within the soil can make food more nutrient-dense, click here.
Beekeepers Using Tracking Devices to Protect Precious Hives
By Daisy Nguyen for AP, February 22, 2022
“Beehive thefts that have become so prevalent that beekeepers are now turning to GPS tracking devices, surveillance cameras and other anti-theft technology to protect their precious colonies… In the past few weeks, 1,036 beehives worth hundreds of thousands of dollars were reported stolen from orchards statewide, authorities said.”
To read more about the tightening supply of bees, soaring pollination fees, and the buzz around hive crime, click here.
Ocean Plastic Is Bad, but Soil Plastic Pollution May Be Worse
“According to a recent report by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the earth’s soils may be more saturated with plastic pollution than oceans and an estimated 80 percent of plastics found in marine environments are first disposed of on land… The report estimates that in 2019, the agriculture sector used 12.5 million tons of plastic, with crop and livestock sectors accounting for 10 million tons.”
To read more about “plasticulture,” or the use of plastic products in nearly every facet of agricultural production, from growing seedlings and preventing weed pressure to storing food, click here.
A Regenerative Grazing Revolution Is Taking Root in the Mid-Atlantic
“Grazing can eliminate the need for commodity crops grown for feed; it also spreads manure naturally, and keeps living plants in the ground at all times, trapping nutrients in place. But leaving a herd of cows outside in a field continuously will lead to a muddy mess. The key is extremely fine-tuned movement that allows pastures to rest and regrow in between visits from the animals. This approach also stimulates more growth in the plants’ roots, helping them draw carbon deeper into the soil. While there are endless variations and terms, that’s what differentiates regenerative grazing (also called rotational, managed, mob, and prescribed grazing) from continuous grazing.”
To read more about the farmers scaling up the practice in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and beyond, click here.
Regenerative Policy for Regenerative Farmers
By NRDC, March 31, 2022
The NRDC interviewed 113 farmers and ranchers to learn more about what’s needed to scale up regenerative agriculture across more acres in the United States. They reflected on how current agricultural policy is not designed for growers like them. They prompt the government to realign subsidies and crop insurance regimes to support the regenerative farming movement.
Click here to watch the six-minute video.
Artists Turn to Agriculture to Preserve African American Heritage and Legacy in South Carolina’s Lowcountry
“Arianne King Comer, an artist-turned-farmer is one of a few Lowcountry textile and fiber artists who are using natural and indigenous materials tied to the history of the Americas and African enslavement, such as indigo, sweetgrass, and cotton, to create and preserve African American material culture through agriculture and artistic expression… ‘Everything that I’m doing is coming from the land. I’m growing it, I’m processing it, I’m honoring ancestry,’ said King Comer.”
To read more about how textile and fiber artists have forayed into agriculture to stem Black land loss and ensure the sustainability of their craft, click here.
How War, Weather, and Covid-19 are Rekindling the Food vs. Fuel Debate
“‘We can resolve weather problems, and we can resolve the Ukrainian situation,’ said Bill Lapp, president of the commodity price consulting firm Advanced Economic Solutions, ‘and we still would be faced with a food-versus-fuel debate with regard to vegoil supplies, and trying to burn our food.’”
To read more about how the renewable fuel boom is boosting industrial demand for vegetable oils while prices for cooking oils soar, click here.
Food Systems Science for Peace and Security
By Theresa Liebiga, Grazia Pacilloa, Diego Osorioa, and Peter Läderacha in World Development Sustainability, March 6, 2022
The availability of food is the foundation for peace. A new scientific study explores how climate and conflict are increasingly intertwined and how food systems science can contribute to conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
“In the context of an increasingly complex climate crisis, science, policy, and geostrategic security imperatives need to connect to deliver a common picture of the situation while there is still time to address them at source, instead of facing the consequences in a not-so-distant future.”
The authors propose a number of solutions to achieve peace through resilient food systems. Namely that policies, programmes, and finances to strengthen food systems need to include climate action and conflict mitigation. To read the full paper, click here.
That’s all for this week!
As always, we at Rē are grateful for your attention and support. If you liked this newsletter, consider donating at https://regenerativeschool.org/redonate/
Thank you and see you soon!