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Regeneration in the Rural Heartland

Modern day philosopher Charles Eisenstein writes:

“I’m writing to you from Kansas. This is the first time I’ve spoken in Kansas. The event is the Fuller Field School, a two-day program for farmers created by Gail and Lynnette Fuller. I would like to share some of the deep impressions I’ve received from this event… This morning I walked barefoot to the gathering area where I was to give my speech. Everyone I saw was wearing shoes. I wondered whether I was offending anyone’s sensibilities. An older gentleman in cowboy boots came up to me, looking every bit the Kansas good old boy in his baseball cap. “My Crossfit coach goes barefoot all the time too,” he said. “He says earthing is really good for your health.”

There is a profound awakening underway in the unlikeliest of places, and the old order is disintegrating.

Another man I met, who could have answered a casting call for a cowboy without changing his outfit, told me about his kundalini awakening he’d had six months prior. On the book table was a copy of The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz. “I just finished reading it,” said one middle-aged farmer. “I’ve been doing emotions wrong for 47 years.”

The event brought together established ranchers, at least one of which grazes cattle on 7,000 acres, with urban farmers, apprentice farmers, homesteaders, and regenerative agriculture activists. What united everyone was a love for soil…

The results of regenerative agriculture, which include intensive rotational grazing and no-till horticulture, border on the miraculous. Soil builds up quickly, absorbing as much as 5-10 tons of carbon [per acre] a year. Water infiltration increases dramatically too. Gail described how at his old farm, after a few years of holistic grazing, the soil achieved an infiltration rate of 15 seconds for the first inch of water and 45 seconds for the second inch. He tested his new farm when he moved there. The rate was 45 minutes per inch. When the water cannot infiltrate quickly, most of it runs off during thunderstorms, carrying topsoil with it. The rain never reaches the aquifers to replenish them. Over time, springs, streams, and wells go dry. The parched soil offers no water for trans evaporation, worsening droughts and desiccating the landscape. The result is a flood-drought cycle instead of reliable year-round rain.”

Learn more: The Heartland