Waking up the Dirt: Lessons in Soil Regeneration
with Gillian Julius, a 4-week course beginning on February 14, 2021.
WAKING UP THE DIRT: LESSONS IN SOIL REGENERATION
with Gillian Julius
Living soils are full of intelligence, with the capacity to self-heal when given the chance. But how can we purposely activate that intelligence?
People across the world at the cutting edge of regenerative agriculture are discovering many different ways to bring damaged soils back to life. Sometimes these approaches seem to contradict one another – some recommend compost, others work instead with bio-stimulants, some introduce grazing animals, some simply grow cover crops, while others get into mineral balancing, biochar, and so on…Yet despite all the differences, they all have, in some cases, produced regenerative outcomes. On the other hand, sometimes the same practice repeated in a new place does not seem to work at all. How can this be?
Join us for an inquiry together into the underlying patterns of living systems. We will go on a hunt for a “decoder ring” of regenerative practices that reveals how the experiences seen in the field are supported by newly emerging science. Every day we are learning more about the complexities of the relationships above and below ground that govern the living world. We’ll also explore how to apply these insights into our own unique contexts, so that you can develop an action plan to heal land you care for.
We’ll start with the basics, but quickly get into more advanced topics and questions. Although there will be some technical topics, a background in soils or science is not required.
There will also be an opportunity following the course to participate in an ongoing group for support with your personal efforts to restore soil health.
Course Time and Dates
Sundays, February 14th through March 7th, 2020, from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST (USA)
4 sessions – 2 hours each, with some (easy) homework assignments between sessions
Course Fee: $375
What you’ll learn:
Session One: February 14 - Repairing relationships BELOW ground: Interactions between plant roots and soil microbes that form the basis for soil and ecosystem function. How to use cover crops, bio-stimulants, composts and other amendments to jumpstart this important symbiotic relationship. Mineral, biophysical, and structure-forming processes driven by living systems and how they interact to form virtuous cycles.
Session Two: February 21 - Repairing relationships ABOVE ground: The role of soil in ecosystem function and the importance of re-incorporating animal presence into landscapes to restart broken cycles and accelerate soil regeneration. We’ll look at how desertification is occurring globally and how it can be reversed, even on a large scale.
Session Three: February 28 - Activating intelligence: Plant signaling and communication – exploring ways we can begin to communicate with plants and microbes using their language. Learning to listen to what plants and soil life are telling us, as well as signaling them to influence their behaviors. Putting together the big picture of intervention points across methods.
Session Four: March 7 - From theory to action: Participants will prepare an action plan for a piece of land they care for. There will be an opportunity to share plans during class to receive feedback.
Financial Assistance: Some financial aid is available. Our intention is to share this knowledge with all those who are committed to taking action to apply it, regardless of ability to pay. If you need assistance, please write Gillian Julius at [email protected] and let her know your circumstances and what you can afford to pay.
Gillian Julius is a soil health educator and consultant focused on connecting those who grow things in the soil with the vital insights and knowledge emerging at the forefront of regenerative agriculture.
She has contributed to several regenerative agriculture educational initiatives through Kiss the Ground, Land and Leadership Initiative, and the One Planet Education Network, a sustainable agriculture program for primary and secondary schools in several countries in Africa, Australia, Haiti, and the US.
Gillian has over a decade of experience from the world of business and software integrating Lean, Agile and design-based approaches to enable experimentation, evolution, and widespread creative collaboration. Through this work, she has witnessed the profound transformations that become possible in human creative endeavors when work is managed in alignment with the principles of living systems.
Her desire to unleash the creative potential of humans evolved into a new passion when she discovered the subjects of ecosystem regeneration and regenerative agriculture. She began a relentless pursuit to learn everything she could about this emerging field and the potential it has to create transformative change and wide-reaching benefits for society. She studied at Schumacher College in Totnes, UK focusing on narrative-based approaches for generating systemic change around climate and other complex issues. As her focus intensified around soil as a critical intervention point, she pursued formal training in the Soil Food Web and explored the work of leading-edge thinkers and regenerative practitioners including Christine Jones, David Johnson, Nicole Masters, John Kempf, and others.
In her local region of Western PA / NY she is active in efforts to promote regenerative local food production, and consults with growers to help them incorporate organic no-till and other regenerative practices into their operations.