December 2018

Welcome to Our Year End Update!

As we come to the end of 2018, I wanted to reflect and share some of the achievements and highlights of our team.

It was just 10 months ago when the vision for WBLT formed...

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Our progress throughout the year has inspired awareness and support for our work and the Regenerative Agriculture movement as a whole. I am so proud to share that for our year-end giving, we have been awarded the following:

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It has been a fantastic year of initiation and growth and we could not be more excited and engaged for 2019. Thank you for growing with us and investing in the deeper impact of Regenerative Agriculture in our region and beyond. 

Steve Finkel
Founder and President


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Regenerative Agriculture

The process of designing a farm that is in support of healthy soils, water resources and biodiversity is at the core of our organization. Sourcing from that foundation, we are guided by the core values of promoting perennial tree crops as the keystones of our system, integrating animals to support nutrient flows and decrease pest pressure, and increase native plants and wildlife habitats. 

Through our design process we have been focused on our initial phase of property development through the lens of soil stabilization, water retention and biomass production. Some of the outcomes of this design process include a plan to install micro earthworks for water infiltration, increasing orchard diversity by adding fast growing nitrogen fixing leguminous trees, and propagating vetiver grass for steep slope planting in the spring.

The inherited water reticulation design of our property removes water from the land as quickly and efficiently as possible. Like many avocado orchards in the region, each of our access roads has a drain that links to a concrete pipe which funnels the water to the bottom of our property and into the nearest waterway. There are many negative impacts that this method of water management creates, including: potential downstream water contamination from fertilizer or pesticide application (we do not use either), sedimentation of our waterways due to excess overland flow, and erosion of our streams and rivers due to high flow rates in large rain events. 

Many of these effects are externalities that are not (usually) factored into the cost of running an agricultural business, but the shear loss of that water from the agricultural system should cause any land steward to think twice about each drain that lets water escape from their property. Our intention is to allow water to leave our farm after first passing through a biological system such as soil, plant or animals.


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Education & Engagement

Education and Curriculum at Santa Barbara Middle School
Our first Friday Elective, Living Santa Barbara, at Santa Barbara Middle School is drawing to a close. Students had the chance to interact with and evaluate successful, local, ecological and regenerative landscapes and businesses in Santa Barbara. Our goal was to have the students understand the different ways in which ecologically oriented businesses and organizations can thrive and support the regeneration of local ecosystems, communities, and economies.

Two highlights from this elective series included a trip to the harbor and the Monarch Restaurant in Montecito. The excursion to the harbor and the watershed resource center gave students the chance to understand more about marine ecosystems and, more specifically, how urchins consume kelp and why that is an important issue. We learned about harvesting Urchins for Uni and discovered that because people harvest the urchins for human consumption, the environmental pressures the urchins put on the kelp forests diminished.

Our second to last class was an afternoon visit to the Monarch Restaurant in Montecito. This was a culminating event that allowed students to experience all of the ecological models that we visited throughout the elective and connect it back to an economic model that brings all these elements together, a restaurant. At the end of this adventure, one student felt called to make a toast:

“I would like to make a toast to this elective. It has been very fun, I learned a lot and made many new friends. I don’t want it to end!” 

Land Steward Training Program Underway
We had the opportunity to host Spencer Smith, of Jefferson Center for Holistic Management, for two courses in Holistic Management- Holistic Financial Planning and Holistic Grazing. We had over 25 participants come through Santa Barbara this last month to participate, including the WBLT team. 

The Holistic Financial Planning course is important to us, not only for accreditation through Savory, but because farmers historically havestruggled to make a profit through agricultural production. We believe we can change this and it starts with having a holistically designed financial plan to guide our work. We covered a lot during the Holistic Financial Planning course and one key outcome was how to make our farming systems more efficient. This meant diving into each area of the business to discover the places where we can cut certain costs and identify where profit is possible, ending with a cost benefit and profit analysis. 

The Holistic Grazing course allowed us the time, space, and direction to look deeper into the animal systems we are planning to incorporate at the farm. This included determining key needs such as the cover crops we will be using and how animals should be moved through the landscape to shepherd the process of regeneration on the land. 

These two courses are part of the process to become accredited Savory professionals and to continue to develop WBLT as a Savory Hub. Both have helped inform the decisions we are making for our flagship farm in Summerland and have guided us in how we look toward the future. Stay tuned for the further development of the Land Steward Training Program.  


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Scientific Research

Our ongoing soil research that started this year, in collaboration with Jessica Chiartas and Garett Long, from UC Davis working under the organization, Soil Life, has led to the preparation of a set of performance indicators that will allow us to track the progress of our regenerative practices and their impact on the landscape. As we continue to develop the landscape, we will keep you apprised of our progress in building healthy soil via these indicators:

Infiltration
Infiltration is the velocity at which water enters the soil and is an indicator of how freely water is able to move through a soil profile.  It is crucial to soil health because when infiltration is compromised, more water runs off the field and less is available for root uptake, plant growth, and the activity of microbes and other organisms. 

Aggregate Stability
Aggregate stability is the ability of aggregated soil particles to resist disintegration when exposed to water, wind, or mechanical disturbance.  This ability to maintain structure has a major impact on porosity and thus, water, air, nutrient, and biota movement in soils. Changes in aggregate stability are one of few early indicators of soil degradation with a decrease in stability often indicating a greater occurrence of clogged pores and surface crusts that reduce infiltration and can lead to increased erosion.  

Surface Hardness
Subsurface and surface hardness are indicators of soil compaction, measured in pounds per square inch of field penetration resistance using a penetrometer.  Surface compaction results in increased runoff and erosion and decreased infiltration and water storage.  Subsurface compaction contributes to poor drainage, aeration and water storage, as well as limited rooting depths (especially at 300+ psi) and mobility of soil organisms (including mycorrhizal fungi).  This can lead to reduced plant uptake of water and nutrients, declines in yield and crop quality, and increased weed pressure.


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Speaker Series in the Community

We are very grateful to Brittany Cole Bush (BCB) for being our first guest in the WBLT Speaker Series hosted at the Impact Hub in the Funk Zone (location of our office), and co-sponsored by the Community Environmental Council, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens. We would also like to thank our food and beverage sponsors, Buena Onda who provided amazing empanadas, and Rincon Brewery that stocked the cooler with some refreshing beverages. 

BCB brought the conversation that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue into the limelight of action, “How do we actively take part in the reduction of fuel to prevent devastating perennial wildfires in CA?”. What is being proposed is a system of prescribed grazing to impact the standing grasses, create defensible space, increase soil health, create jobs, and produce food and fiber in the process. Brittany is in the process of launching the Grazing School of the West to create a career pathway for the next-generation of graziers in the American West.

BCB has been managing this system effectively in the bay area for years, and co-authored a white paper on Prescribed Herbivory for Vegetation Treatment Projects in conjunction with CAL Fire. Our community has the opportunity to support this work that is integral to the safety of our homes, the resiliency of our ecosystem, and health of our foodshed and fibershed

The private land holders, such as Cate School, that are managing their properties using goats, and our local fire fighting agencies support the practice. What is currently needed is a more integrated approach to effect more public, private and conserved land, that will allow for contiguous grazing opportunities, and compensate graziers for their service.

We’re excited to have just received an influx of 420+ sheep that entered our county this year thanks to Jack & Jenya of Cuyama Lamb, and we’re asking our community to support their operation by opening a conversation for grazing contracts for the upcoming 2019 season. 

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Terra Genesis International and BRASA

We are very grateful to Russell Wallack from Terra Genesis International for joining us for an evening to discuss their process of exploring watershed regeneration through agroforestry. TGI has been working for the last decade in the field of Regenerative Agriculture and has focused primarily on the natural products industry and systems of supply. 

Through conversation with companies, non-profits, farmers and interested investors, it has become clear that a deeper understanding of where production oriented tree systems should be introduced into a landscape is of the utmost importance. Using publicly available data and geo-referenced imaging software, their team has been able to ask the question “Where in this watershed is the most appropriate place to grow this tree?”, and get a fairly accurate map that shows the suitability of land rated and color coded down to a parcel by parcel level. 

Through this process they call BRASA (Bio-Regional Agroforestry Suitability Analysis) they hope to support the movement towards a more perennially minded system of food production, while increasing the carbon drawdown potential of our agricultural landscapes. Our team at White Buffalo Land Trust and the sponsors of this event are excited about the possibilities that Terra Genesis International and this process offers our community and we hope to see a pilot project in our region take off in 2019. Please EMAIL us if you’d like to support this work or would like to find out more information.


Thank you for joining us on our journey in 2018! We look forward to sharing with you what is in store for 2019 next month.


Happy Holidays from Our Team to You!

November 2018

Welcome!

Welcome to our November update. The activity level continues to accelerate in our offices and on the land, and I’m so pleased to be able to share with you the incredible work of our team: 

Farm Design - The Summerland farm design process is now shifting into the implementation phase and the installation of our regenerative systems. Be on the lookout for opportunities to visit the farm in the coming months.

Training Program - Our Regenerative Land Stewardship Training Program is unfolding with in-depth study this week at Chico State and two Holistic Management trainings before the year’s end; look for the release of the full training program offerings in early 2019.

Products - Our exemplary product development team has been hard at work preparing for our first regenerative based, value-added food product. I can’t share more on this yet, but we are committed to bringing these options to the market and will be doing so in 2019!

Our Updated Website is Now Live!

Our website is now live and offers more in depth content on our work and shares the story of our roots. Please check it out and be sure to share it with a friend.

Lastly, I want to say thank you to all who have been so generous with their time, knowledge, and financial donations. Our team takes great pride in utilizing each contribution to its maximum value and building a broader and deeper regenerative community through our work. 

Steve Finkel
Founder and President


Agriculture

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At the Summerland flagship farm, we are currently preparing for the winter season and the eventual rains to come. With the change in seasons comes the opportunity to get new roots in the ground. We are planning to introduce the following integrated systems:

A diverse, multi-layered canopy, overstory and understory within the existing avocado orchard. Our approach is to first stump the avocados that have a canopy height that is too tall, and therefore difficult to manage, or has excessive dead biomass, and therefore has limited potential to produce healthy crops.

Through our ‘stumping’ process, we are breaking down the biomass to provide ground cover, as well as to build retention basins around the trees that will create a ‘sink’ for nutrients and moisture to support the tree’s regrowth. With the canopy now open, we are able to increase the orchard density and diversity by introducing additional trees, shrubs, grasses and groundcovers in the interstitial space. Our intention is to increase the aggregate yields from the land, while also reducing the water needs through earthworks that increase the water holding capacity of our soils.


Education

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Greetings from the Director of Learning and Engagement. Another month has passed and of course, there is so much to share! Find out what's happening and what's to come as we continue to build our regenerative movement in Central and Southern California.

Our curriculum development began with the partnership between WBLT and Santa Barbara Middle School that led to the creation of our Beyond Sustainability curriculum. Last week, on November 2nd, we completed the first elective offering Beyond Gardening, which was held in the school’s amazing, new garden space. The students enjoyed learning how to maintain the diversity of plants and have left with new ecological understandings of the landscapes around them. We look forward to offering our next courses in the Spring! It is our goal to reach every student in our region.

We have also been hard at work designing and implementing our Regenerative Land Stewardship Training Program. The WBLT team is assembling a diverse program that will consist of many internationally recognized, regenerative farmers, ranchers, scientists, and educators. It is our goal to offer the most well-rounded regenerative farm training program in Central and Southern California and build the capacity of our region to transition large scale acreage from conventional to regenerative stewardship.

To that end, we have sent our internal team up to Chico State to participate in the Soil Health Academy. WBLT will also be hosting two Holistic Management Courses (Grazing and Financial Planning) in partnership with the Savory Institute. These are open enrollment courses. For more information about these courses please click HERE. And stay tuned for more announcements on the training program. There is much more to come as we continue to build the regenerative movement in California!


Research

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Our ongoing soil research was started this year in collaboration with Jessica Chiartas and Garett Long, two soil scientists out of UC Davis working under the organization, Soil Life. With their help we have prepared a set of soil testing protocols: 

Bulk Density
Bulk density is the weight, or mass, per a given volume of soil and is an indicator of how much pore space a given soil has, or alternatively, how compacted it may be. Generally speaking, the lower the bulk density, the more pore space; resulting in higher infiltration rates, available water-holding capacity, plant nutrient availability, plant rooting depth, and microbial activity levels.

Texture by Hydrometer
Texture is one of the master variables regarding soil function.  It is a measure of the relative proportion of variously sized mineral particles. While it can not be significantly altered by management, it is important for understanding soil health and for identifying best management practices. Generally speaking, the greater the percent clay, the greater the ability of a given soil to store and exchange nutrients, hold water, and sequester/stabilize organic matter. 

Organic Matter
Soil organic matter (SOM) consists of both decomposed and decaying plant and animal residues and while it is made up of nearly 50% carbon, contains all the plant essential nutrients in a slow-release form. Organic matter is known to increase resistance to pests and disease; resilience against droughts and flood; yields; nutritional quality; and more. While the exact language and metrics for defining soil health are still debated, there is a strong consensus that organic matter management is at the heart of soil health management.

pH
Soil pH is considered the other master variable of soil.  The pH indicates the level of acidity or alkalinity in a given soil and determines what nutrients will be available for plant uptake. Optimum soil pH ranges from 6.2-6.8 for most crops. Soil pH also is a major determinant of microbial community structure and thus, influences what organisms (beneficial or pathogenic) are able to colonize the roots and the surrounding area. 

Soluble Salts
Soluble salts is measured by electrical conductivity and indicates whether levels of salts could present problems with salinity (excessive salt levels) or sodicity (excessive sodium levels).  While these conditions can occur naturally, they can also be exacerbated and/or introduced by the use of irrigation in semi-arid and arid regions. Salinity is problematic because it decreases the water potential in the soil, relative to the plant, reducing water flow from soil to plant. 

Nutrient Analysis
The complete nutrient analysis utilizes a variety of extracts to assess levels of plant available macro- and micronutrients. Roots and microbes are constantly releasing acids and other compounds that alter the pH and thus, the availability of any given nutrient at any given time.  This analysis covers the three macronutrients needed by all plants (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), the secondary nutrients (calcium, magnesium, and sulfur), and the micronutrients (iron, manganese, zinc, and copper).


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Foundational Systems 

Over the past month, our team has been working hard to lay the foundation for the install of our new systems. We have been planning our new nursery design, as well as continuing to build our Static Aerated Thermophilic Bioreactor Compost System, which was designed by Dr. David Johnson from New Mexico State University, now working with Chico State University. The process of acquiring and preparing the biomass, and filling the bioreactors has been a point of innovation for our team because we plan on building and filling many of these for years to come.

Every time we engage with this system, we are able to reduce our time inputs while maintaining the quality of the final product. Thus far, it has been a valuable asset in our work to regenerate the landscape.


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Super Bee Rescue

At our flagship farm in Summerland, our Apiary provides crucial pollination services, and in turn we feel it's our responsibility to provide a diversity of fodder to support their health and longevity.

The Apiary is managed by Nick Wigle and his team from Super Bee Rescue. Since 2009, they have been saving bees that would otherwise be exterminated. Their love and dedication for this important creature inspires us to continue to create the habitats that support the pollinators on which our food systems depend. 


Thank you for following along on our journey. We would love to hear from you about what ignites your curiosity; are you interested in learning more about the training program? Are you looking to join us as a volunteer? Are you interested in becoming a partner? Contact us below and we look forward to connecting.  

October 2018

Welcome Back! 

A big White Buffalo welcome to all of the new community members who have joined us in the past month, we are so glad to have your engagement and support! 

Our team is working at full effort. We have our hands in the dirt, our eyes to the future and our hearts committed to the work of regenerating landscapes. We believe the time is NOW to fully commit to increasing soil health, sequestering atmospheric carbon in the soil, remediating the toxins in our food supply, restoring water cycles, and increasing the nutrition and resiliency of our plant and animal production.

Effort Passion Land and Money are the necessary ingredients.

Health, Strength, resilience, and long term capital growth are the outcomes.

White Buffalo Land Trust is committed to this work here in our region and we are a part of a global community of change-makers working to align soil, food, economics, community, environment, and climate for long term health and prosperity. The change IS happening - one acre at a time - please stay with it!

Steve Finkel
Founder and President


Agriculture


Our Agriculture team is deep into the multi-layered design process that will culminate with the first phase of our Regenerative Systems implementation this coming winter. Our flagship farm in Summerland will be getting upgrades in the way of:

  • Earthworks aimed at increasing water retention and infiltration 

  • A fertility canopy in the avocado orchard

  • An animal grazing plan to manage spring groundcover, break pest cycles, and increase the nutrients in our soil

Each design and implementation decision supports our outcome driven approach to increase soil health, functional capacity, and carbon sequestration while decreasing long term water, fertilizer, insecticide, and pesticide inputs.

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Our team of designers includes Jesse Smith, Daniel Parra Hensel, Josh Graning, Riley Kriebel, and Evan Walbridge; and the resources that we are drawing upon to inform our design are diverse and plentiful. We are using the Regrarians Platform as a guiding framework for our planning, as well as resources from Soil Health Academy, Savory International and more. As we move through the design and implementation process we are alert for opportunities to deepen our understanding of the context and potential for this project. 

Our initial planting systems as the new land stewards of the Summerland farm are being implemented with the support of local nurseries that specialize in native and climate appropriate plant stock that work within the natural (and changing) patterns of our bioregion. Native Sons Nursery, Santa Barbara Natives Nursery, Dryland Farming Company, and Honey Badger Nursery are all being consulted in our planting plan. We look forward to getting roots in the ground to welcome our winter rains.



Education


Greetings from the Director of Learning and Engagement. The month of September has flown by and there is a lot to share! The WBLT team developed their first ecological literacy curriculum,Beyond Sustainability: An Introduction to Regenerative Land Stewardship. 

This is the overarching curriculum that has guided the team in creating the two new elective courses for the Santa Barbara Middle School. The Beyond Gardening: How Your Garden Can Regenerate the World elective utilizes the Santa Barbara Middle School's recently built garden on campus as the living laboratory for teaching students the concepts and value of regenerative land stewardship. We have so far discussed and explored the climatic factors of temperature, rain, and wind, the geography of the garden, and we have begun to take measurements for observing the flow of materials through the landscape. We have also delved into water systems and how to make the most use of that precious and limited resource we have in Santa Barbara. 


The Living SB: A Backstage Pass to Santa Barbara’s Ecological Hotspots elective has also been a great success. We have visited the Santa Barbara City College’s Lifescape Garden, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and a local residential property that highlights regenerative water management for southern California. As a student expressed last week, “This is my favorite elective. It is both organized and relaxed... I wish we could stay longer.” The students are learning the basic concepts of regenerative land stewardship and ecological literacy through both electives. We look forward to more lessons and learning as the semester unfolds. Stay tuned!



Research


Our ongoing field research with UC Davis based Soil Life has us taking a deep look at the indicators of soil health of our Summerland farm. Our objective is to monitor the long-term impacts of Regenerative Agricultural management on soil health.

We are utilizing indicators that allow for interpretation of critical soil processes and identify key strengths and deficiencies so as to better inform adaptive management moving forward. Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics are of particular interest over multi-year time scales as well as the change-in-state of soil microbial community.

Six sampling locations were selected on the basis of unique soil and plant communities, topography, and projected agricultural use. In each location, 5-6 sub-sites were selected and using hand tools, pits were dug to a depth of 30 cm. Using a soil knife a representative sample was taken from 0-15 cm at each of the sub-sites and a second sample was taken from 15-30 cm.. Subsamples were collected by walking a zig-zag path with 75ft between each site. 
 
The locations were flagged and GPS logged for future sampling efforts, to ensure consistency in sampling location. We are currently working with Ward Laboratories and the UC Davis Analytical Laboratory as our soil testing facilities.

Samples taken at annual intervals in the future will track the change-in-state of soil health and correlate to the management practices implemented at each of the sampling locations. The first of these new management practices will include introducing beneficial microbial soil amendments and animal grazing systems to increase the nutrient cycling capacity of our soils. 
 


Static Aerated Thermophilic /
Vermicomposting System 


A primary tool in building soil health is the application of compost and compost teas (liquid extract of beneficial microbes from solid compost biomass). The value of compost in soil health is widely appreciated but the resources required to implement a thorough compost plan can be challenging. We've decided to use the Johnson-Su Bioreactor design as a way to reduce the time and labor for compost system maintenance and prioritize the creation of very high quality compost. 

The build process for our static aerated thermophilic/vermicomposting system is underway. Our goal is to increase our capacity to receive local nutrient streams (wood chips, county mulch, beer mash, coffee grounds, horse manure, etc.) and efficiently convert the biomass into a biologically rich soil amendment. By being a static compost pile (no turning or flipping) it allows for the fungal hyphae to remain active, creating a final product that is better suited to support the woody plants, fruit trees and perennial grasses in our bioregion. Now that the our first bio-reactors are built, we are working with the team at Soil Life to determine protocols for testing and monitoring the bioreactor input feedstock and the process of it’s decomposition. Over the coming weeks we will begin filling the reactors and be on our way to a steady and superior supply of beneficial microbial compost. 


Our Community Makes Us Strong


Partnerships are what make this work grow and expand. This month we want to especially thank the local families and local Family Foundations who have partnered with us through offerings of money and land to extend and deepen the reach of Regenerative Agriculture in our region. 

Thank you for investing in us!

Reach out to us if you too want to partner in this work.


Our entire team holds the responsibility, trust, and support of each of our partners in every decision we make – we are committed to creating lasting return and impact from every resource we invest.


New partnerships are developing every day. New training and education partners, marketing and fundraising partners, and strategic business partners all committed to expanding the reach of Regenerative Agriculture globally and into communities locally. Please reach out to us if you too want to partner in this work.

September 2018

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Welcome!

Welcome to the first White Buffalo Land Trust monthly update. I’m thrilled to introduce you to our team and spotlight the work we are doing on our flagship farm, in the lab, and at the Santa Barbara Middle School. Our work is expanding rapidly as the focus on Regenerative Agriculture is quickly spreading to a wider audience. 

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In the coming months we will share details as we add acreage to our land management program, roll-out additional education and training programs, and launch new field research. You will have the opportunity to hear directly from our team members, scientists, and the partners we are engaging with as we grow Regenerative Agriculture in this region.

Of course, we will definitely share events and activities that you can get involved in – getting everyone together makes this work joyful. 

I would like to thank each of you for following our work; and thank again each of our initial donor-investors who have contributed to where we are and where we are going. We are committed to creating long-term return and impact from every dollar invested with us. Thank you for your trust and support.

Steve Finkel
Founder and President


Agriculture

Jesse Smith is our Director of Land Stewardship. He is guiding the development of our flagship farm in Summerland as well as working with the rest of our team, contractors, and partners to grow the amount of land under our management, and the impact within our community.

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We put the principles of Regenerative Agriculture into practice on the land to increase biodiversity, enrich our soils, improve watersheds, and enhance ecosystem services for our community. We capture as much carbon in the soil and aboveground biomass as we can to contribute to the global imperative of atmospheric carbon drawdown and climate stability. 

Successful land stewardship at WBLT optimizes yields from diverse cropping systems, minimizes inputs, increases resilience to climate volatility, improves the health and vitality of our farming and ranching communities, and produces nutrient dense produce and products.  



Education


Daniel Parra Hensel is our Director of Learning & Engagement. He is working with educators, trainers, and students of all ages to increase the ecological literacy of our community, and prepare the next generation of land stewards.

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As we better understand the interconnectedness of the natural systems of our world and the relationship between human health and ecosystem health, we have identified the need for expanded ecological literacy throughout the population. In order to activate the regenerative systems of agriculture, we need stakeholders in all facets of our food system to make decisions that consider the impacts on the larger systems in which agriculture is nested.

Education and training are core facets of our organization and how we develop our team, as well as the community around us. Our engagement extends to farmers, teachers, doctors, chefs, politicians, parents, and children of all ages as we re-envision how we are all stewards of healthy soil through the decisions we make. 




Research

Through our work on agricultural landscapes and in the ‘classroom’ we continue a thread of rigorous scientific research, gathering of baseline metrics and data, and the production and evolution of our protocols and methods of investigation.

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To better understand the causation between agricultural practices and the outcomes of regeneration we intend to document the current state and change of state over time. 

We are working with researchers, organizations, and field experts to undertake studies that are aligned with our land stewardship objectives of soil health, water resources, biodiversity, and nutrient density in our food. We work to inform our community of how decisions large and small impact the health of our soil systems, human health, community resilience, and more broadly the economy and ecology. Our science partners on the Summerland farm are from Soil Life (www.soillife.org), an organization based out of UC Davis and on a mission to change the way we look at soil. 


Regen Co-op at Summerland


As we develop the systems of Regenerative Agriculture within our bioregion, we are also supporting the development of the practitioners who steward the systems and enterprises as they evolve. Human systems are as integral to the systems of Regenerative Agriculture as the plant, animal, microbial and fungal communities that we grow. 

We have partnered with the Regenerative Landscape Alliance (regen.coop) for our ‘on-the-ground’ landscaping duties. Their team brings a set of expertise in rainwater harvesting earthworks, irrigation systems, water management, and water wise, native, and Mediterranean landscapes. Their organization is a member owned cooperative dedicated to a collaborative process that leverages the diversity of perspective, expertise, and strengths to effectively achieve desired outcomes.

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Environmental Education at SBMS


White Buffalo Land Trust and Santa Barbara Middle School are partnering to offer students two elective courses this Fall:

1. “Beyond Gardening: How Your Garden can Regenerate the World” 
This Monday-Thursday elective will take place in the campus garden where students will evaluate different gardening systems and the benefits they have on the environment, communities, and our lifestyle. Identifying microclimate and calculating the sun's path, understanding rainwater catchment, plant propagation, food preparation, and landscape planning are some of the skills students will gain.

2. “Living SB: A Backstage Pass to Santa Barbara's Ecological Hotspots” 
This Friday elective will take weekly field trips exploring santa barbara’s bioregion and meeting the land stewards who are supporting ecosystem health. Site visits will include The Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, The Lifescape Garden at Santa Barbara City College, the Green Lab at Santa Barbara High School, The Monarch Restaurant, and White Buffalo Land Trust. Students will understand the different ways in which ecologically oriented businesses and organizations thrive and support the regeneration of local ecosystems, communities, and economies. 


Onward!


Thanks for reading today. Over the coming months we will be actively expanding our role in Regenerative Agriculture in this region. We will be adding acres under our regenerative land management, increasing our education and training programs, and initiating new field studies and research. Please continue to engage with us on socials for real time updates, on the web, through the newsletters and if you can... let us know when you want to get your hands dirty!