“Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”
Pope Benedict XVI
Dear Friends and Family
When we think of it, we ask guests to share photos they make on Kachana. This enables us to view our lives and surroundings through different sets of lenses.
Behind the camera this month was Steph. We hope you enjoy the selection for July.
Greetings from Kachana and may you all keep safe and well during these challenging times!
Photos of the Month
News & Views
Scope for optimism during interesting times?
If ‘good food’ is set to become ‘the medicine’ that people gladly pay for, should there be limits as to how much of that good food a region ought to produce for export?
We are a long way off from reaching or defining such arbitrary limits. Therefore this discussion is not urgent. - This is alone is good news for regenerative producers.
Some days ago, I shared:
A regenerative grazier in outback Western Australia advertises a position!
WANTED: Leading Hand/Stockperson position for single or couple. Opportunity for work for partner. Family owned intensive grazing system in the Pilbara is seeking experienced candidates. The successful applicant will ideally possess low stress stock handling course or experience, rangeland or holistic grazing/management experience, competent motorbike rider and minor maintenance and diagnosis skills. E-mail email@example.com
(If I were 40 years younger, I know where I’d be heading! - Visit the web-site: www.cheelaplains.com.au)
This opportunity prompted further reflection:
Good food in the absence of reliable water does not even sustain a population let alone an economy.
To achieve the latter, we need to restore environments that are located way beyond farm boundaries and current production areas.
There already exists a need for effective land-managers to perform the roles of ecological doctors.
(Yes, I know only too well, currently there are little or no incentives in place! – To wake up voters it may well it take more droughts, floods, fires and “pandemic-induced” opportunities for reflection, but this will change.)
Whichever way we look at it, Northern Australia has the potential to do far more than its fair share to mitigate climate chaos. Such working knowledge could also be exported to other regions of the world.
It will take competent youthful energy to make such outcomes become a reality.
On this note, here some advice to the adventurous colt or filly (certainly not for the lazy or the faint of heart!):
As an aspiring land-manger this is your chance to spend a few years taking on challenges of your own.
If regenerative practices allow current generations to remain active well into old age without risk to the family-property or business, then be sure to keep up to speed (emotionally as well as intellectually) with how they do this. At the same time why not invest in new skill-sets of your own, and broaden your horizons in ways that will serve you when the family-farm does require your active input?
(Should you lack the privilege of awaiting inheritance, there is no need to miss out!
Read and act on information presented in "Fields of Farmers" )
The deeper reasoning behind this advice:
Extractive-style farming focuses on net output.
Output determines how many people a farm can employ and for how long.
Often this leads to members of the younger generation having to leave the family property to make their own way in life.
Regenerative practices turn things around. The focus is Input.
Committed competent people determine the number of salaries, what and how much a property then produces.
(There is hardly a better case-study to illustrate this in practice, than Polyface Farms.
For further inspiration watch One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts)
For well over forty years, in some parts of Australia people have been exposed to the regenerative paradigm. - Podolinski and Mollison are names that spring to mind; Parsons- and Savory-thinking was soon to follow. Early adopters were thin on the ground, but in some contexts extraordinary results persisted. Then (about twenty years ago) science began offering plausible explanations for what some still consider to be "Snake-Oil".
Ten years ago, two patterns in particular remained evident.
1. Many new adopters “failed” and gave up.
2. Successful adopters developed convert-type ardour and remained seemingly beholden to the “preaching” of their “guru” of choice.
In recent years a new trend has emerged. We are now blessed with what I call a second-generation of regenerative farmers. These are individuals who during their formative years were in a position to watch varying facets of the regenerative paradigm being put to the test. They also got to witness first-hand the criticism that this attracted. Having embraced a working-knowledge in certain contexts, members of this generation are now comparing notes (nationally as well as internationally!).
While extractive practices continue to attract financial reward, there are now those who see greater reward in the rebuilding of natural wealth: cash-flow that is generated in line with how nature builds wealth.
Underlying philosophical differences between schools of thought are being laid to rest as discussions focus more on what is relevant within local contexts. Ideas are being shared and hybridised. New options are opening up, being explored and acted upon.
Be it the backyard vegetable garden or a million-acre cattle-station, these are exciting times for people managing land. Opportunities invite a younger generation to step up to new challenges as older generations have the choice to stay on longer (albeit shedding much of their previous work-load by allowing biology [and others] to do more of the work).
Investing in regenerative skills is the safest long-term bet that I am aware of.
Link of the Month
- Air Pollution
- Loss of Biodiversity
Zach Bush connects the dots and shares an action-plan