Lauren Tucker is back on the podcast to talk about the first year of the ReNourish Studio, what she has learned and what she is doing differently with the second cohort, but also what she is observing in the space through her work in the almond project and, of course, the direction of the regeneration industry.
LISTEN TO THE CONVERSATION ON:
THE STUDIO SEEMS TO BE WORKING
ReNourish Studio currently has a group of 23 participants, who have been in it for a year and they will likely continue into the next year. It is working because they are seeing things from completely different viewpoints.
”How would I step into the world as alive, the world is dynamic. These are systems at work and they are always in motion. And then how do I see myself and my business and my role in that system and what it can contribute? And where we are right now, we’re all seeing those possibilities. And even just being able to put on a new pair of glasses and see in a different way, I think is a success”. – Lauren Tucker
“It’s really cool to see a lot of folks continuing […] But as far as types of participants, we have a few consumer packaged goods brands, so people who make food products, we have a few people working on certifications in the marketplace. And we have a nonprofit that works as a convener of many different aspects of our food system, we have a few investors, we have a farmer, who’s also working on solar as a secondary business income for other farmers. We have a few really small startups. So we’re working with different scales of business, as well as food leaders across the food system. And I think that’s been really magical because everyone’s kind of coming in at a different viewpoint. But we’re working on this together” – Lauren Tucker
”We were sitting there looking at each other and going, this is working, this is working. And so I think that was a lesson for us in seeing that we can really bring a group together, work on our thinking, and that could actually make a difference in business decisions. It was a bit of a theory when we started and we learned to trust this process.” – Lauren Tucker
WE STILL FOCUS TOO MUCH ON CARBON
Over a decade ago when Lauren came into the space, the main narrative that was propagated was soil can sequester carbon, which was an important hopeful message in the face of climate change. Then, the realisation that there’s something to be done to bring our carbon cycle back into balance. Lauren argues that that’s just a fragment of the whole.
”What I’m seeing now is both the acceleration of this movement, I hear the word regenerative everywhere. So there are so many people who are joining it and so many businesses starting and consultancies, and there’s almost a new one every week […] So it’s growing. But I also see this growing dissonance of folks who are thinking about it in this very mechanistic, carbon way. A smaller subset who is trying to hold this seed of what regeneration truly is, and what it can be.” – Lauren Tucker
”I think that more and more people are waking up to ‘Oh, regeneration is really about going back to essence and co-evolving in communities, finding self-organizing roles within co- evolving towards a regenerative direction. And we are living systems, we play roles in them, and how do we see our world as alive and in motion and part of it? And so there’s certainly a growing community that’s going there. But I think this year, we saw every major food company get together at a conference and talk about how regenerative they were. And so, the tent has grown a lot. And with that, it maybe it’s the same ratio of folks in the deep end, and folks in the shallow end.” – Lauren Tucker
WE ARE ALL PART OF A LIVING SYSTEM
At ReNourish Studio they’re working on a worldview, a perception of the world. For the last several 100 years, our worldview has really been taught as mechanistic and we interact in the world in mechanical ways. They bring about an understanding of living systems and that the world is alive, and ways in which we can play a role in the living world.
”I think what has been surprising to me in the last year is, I’ve understood for a while in theory that as humans we participate in and pull from fields. So this idea that if you realize something, then other people can realize it if we’re pulling from the same field, and we are all connected by alive energies and realization is not a linear process. And now I’m actually experiencing it with the studio and seeing that when we think about the shallow end of the pool and the deep end of the pool, and how do we get folks to the deeper end of the pool, we can think really linearly about it. But in reality, it’s not how it happens. We work on consciousness and our own evolving understanding, and more and more people do that. And then folks can tap into that field. And so at any moment, someone in the shallow end can leap to the deep end.” – Lauren Tucker
THE WAY LAUREN SHOWS UP IN HER WORK ON THE ALMOND PROJECT HAS ALREADY CHANGED
Lauren argues we can reframe our understanding very fast. The work that she and her partners are doing aims at reframing our understanding as fast as possible so that we can respond in a completely different way.
”The question on the table is, what do we do? Do we just repeat a pattern that is very similar, and do we adapt in incremental ways? Or do we completely rethink what is this place? How does this place function? What is the natural living system of this place? And how do we farm inside of it? I don’t know, that work may take a little time. Or it might not, based on people’s will, I’m not quite sure yet.” – Lauren Tucker
”So the almond project right now is 160 acres of management inside of a farm that manages 22,000 acres. So this is a small bit of their growing system. These fields did not flood because they had cover crops when all the big rains came. And that drove a lot of folks in the valley to think about cover crops. And I bet next year, there will be so many cover crops in the valley” – Lauren Tucker
OTHER POINTS DISCUSSED
Koen and Lauren also talked about:
- What is Lauren excited about
- A lot more people trying in the regenerative space
- Organic growers and conventional growers
- ReNourish studio
- The almond project
- Medium article How Can We Evolve Our Food Systems to Nourish All Life?
- White Buffalo Land Trust
- Lauren Tucker, co-founder of Kiss the Ground helps the next generation of regenerative businesses to thrive
Feedback, comments, suggestions? Reach me via Twitter @KoenvanSeijen, in the comments below or through Get in Touch on this website.
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The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.