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Join us a live for a live, interactive online course
with author and educator Didi Pershouse.
Learn a blueprint for land management that can dramatically reduce the risk and impact of extreme weather events while building working relationships with our international community of practice.
It's hard to watch communities and landscapes around the world struggling with drought, wildfires, flooding, heatwaves, forced migration, and other crises. It felt especially hard for me when I had no idea how to change things, other than hoping that policy makers and experts would figure it out, come to agreement somehow, and do the right thing. That all changed for me when I understood the concept of the soil carbon sponge.
Healthy soil acts like a sponge: it can soak up rain, store and filter water, and provide resilience for farms, towns, and businesses. Restoring healthy soil structure and function provides many interrelated benefits such as:
- Abundant clean water
- Reduction of wildfire risk
- Resilience to flood and drought
- Healthier crops, animals, and people
- Cooler regional temperatures
- Reduced conflicts over resources
- Reduced erosion, dredging, and road repairs
- Prevention of algae blooms and dead zones
- Improved local economies
- Increased biodiversity
- Putting atmospheric carbon to work--creating the natural soil sponge infrastructure that supports all life on land.
My teaching style is specifically geared toward creating “communities of practice,” working groups of closely-connected people with common goals. If you are committed to creating a world that works, and are ready to learn a new way of seeing landscapes, water, and people, then you are the right person to attend.
SPACE IS LIMITED in order to facilitate small group discussions. The last course filled up with people from around the world within one week of posting it, so if you are interested please do sign up soon. If the course overfills you can either be first in line for the next series, or get a refund.
— Rebecca Burgess, Founder, Fibershed
The soil carbon sponge is the basic infrastructure that supports life on land. Humans can't build it. Technology can't build it. Only plants, fungi, microbes, animals, and insects can build this infrastructure, but we can learn how to support them in that work by creating the right working conditions.
- The tools to make a convincing case for soil health and the regeneration of the soil carbon sponge
- A clear picture of soil's central role in addressing current economic, social, and environmental pressures.
- A scientific understanding of living matrix of the soil carbon sponge, and its relationship to carbon, water, and nutrient cycles.
- A deeper view of the soil health principles, and why focusing on principles first (before "Best Management Practices") will create dramatically different outcomes.
- A community of practice: deep discussions with people working towards similar goals.
- Facilitation skills and materials to help you share this knowledge with others.
This class will meet on Zoom video conferencing from 12:00 - 2:00 pm Eastern Time (New York, USA) (with optional discussion time from 2:00 to 3:00 pm) for six weeks, on the following Tuesdays:
February 26, March 5th, March 12, March 26, April 2, and April 9. (No formal class on March 19th.)
Extra discussion time for an hour after each class from 2:00 -3:00 Eastern. Many people stay on after class for extra discussion time. This is a great way to develop connections with people working on regenerative projects around the world, learn from each other's wisdom, experiences and resources; and dive into more detail on specific questions.
Participants will gather on Zoom Video Conferencing for these interactive online classes. You can join by computer, smart phone, iPhone, or even telephone. All of the classes will be recorded and made available to course participants.
*If these dates or times don't work for you, please complete this online form, as we will be offering additional courses in the future (additional iterations of this course, as well as additional courses on related topics).
*A few spots in every course are reserved for participants who need to pay less or cannot otherwise afford to attend. Please do contact us if this is you. We are particularly interested in saving spots for emerging leaders from the Global South.
“I recommend this class to anyone interested in learning more about soil health.”
— Kristin Ohlson, author of "The Soil Will Save Us"
Didi Pershouse is the author of The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities and Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function. She is a contributing author for Health in the Anthropocene, and the Regenerative Economy Collaborative.
As the founder of the Center for Sustainable Medicine, she developed a practice and theoretical framework for systems-based ecological medicine—to restore health to people as well as the environmental and social systems around them. After 22 years of clinical work with patients, Pershouse now travels widely in North America and Europe as a speaker, teacher, and consultant.
Pershouse is a skilled facilitator, who brings people with diverging views together into effective working groups with common aims: improving soil health, public health, food and water security, and regional resilience through simple changes in land management. Both online and in-person, her participatory, inquiry-based workshops engage farmers and ranchers, policy makers, investors, and scientists in living-systems thinking and deep listening, to allow for emergent strategies. She was one of five speakers at the United Nations-FAO World Soil Day in 2017.
In 2018, she founded the Land and Leadership Initiative, and the "Can we Rehydrate California?" Initiative. She is currently a Planning Commissioner for her town, a member of the Vermont State appointed Payment For Ecosystem Services and Soil Health Working Group, a working member of the Northeast Healthy Soils Policy Working Group and is on the board of directors of the Soil Carbon Coalition and the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition. She led a successful effort to conserve the Zebedee Headwaters Wetlands while serving as a Vermont Conservation Commissioner.
She is currently working on projects with the UN-FAO Farmer Field School program and the Climate Resilient Natural Farming Initiative in Andhra Pradesh, India (involving over 800,000 farmers). You can learn more about her work at www.didipershouse.com
StartVideo: Slake Test by Ray Archuleta (2 min)
StartVideo: how covered soil impacts infiltration (7 min)
StartPhoto of Rainfall Simulator
StartVideos: Examples of the flour vs. bread demo in action
StartVideos of First Class February 26, 2019 (171:39)
StartChat file from Class #1 Feb 26, 2019