Ecolution #4: Regeneration

Ecolution reporting made possible by Seward Co-op, which has been a community-owned grocer since 1972: Together, we continue to cultivate a cooperative economy.

We realized all too well in 2020 how tied we are to each other. The connected web of life is easy to ignore — until an invisible virus passes its way from one continent to another, passing as air droplets between strangers, hidden within the touch and breath of loved ones.

What could emerge from this time is a healthier respect for the systems we have built in order to survive — the symbiotic relationship between government, education, small business, philanthropy, creatives, and innovators. And how we will not thrive as community and planet until we have reworked the formula to include everything in the ecosystem, with equity and regeneration in mind. More people are beginning to see how the systems we have built so far are not working. The Ecolutionaries among us are building something new.

One of those new approaches digs down deep into the vitality of our ecosystem — it impacts our water supply, filtrates our air, provides the energy that literally feeds us.

The fourth installment in our Ecolution series is the story of how one Minnesota organization — Land Stewardship Project (LSP), based in Lewiston, Montevideo, and Minneapolis — is doing something about soil health, and why.

Thanks to Ecolutionary Audrey Kingstrom for the suggestion of profiling Land Stewardship Project. Next week: we go underground

Story: “True Independence Lies in Community”

by Jody Lenz, Threshing Table Farm, excerpted from LSP Letter No. 2, 2019
I came to Farm Beginnings, and the Land Stewardship Project, because I wanted to farm, have a connection to the land, be outside, and feel the healing rhythms of nature. I loved the idea of being independent, living off the land, and seeing what I could do. To me, farming was a challenge that I could shape the outcome of by what I did.

Our neighbors quickly taught us about independence. Mostly, that we were not independent. They showed up the first spring after a tornado to make sure we were okay. They showed up to plow our driveway for us the first winter. Every snowfall. And still do. They brought us their bad hay to use as mulch. We are deeply connected with our neighbors and we couldn’t imagine doing what we do without them. My kids get that.

We also can’t do what we do without our city neighbors. They buy our Community Supported Agriculture shares. The hardware store keeps our animals fed and our water heaters operating. Our chiropractor keeps us going. Our t-shirt printers, brochure designers, photographer, and chef friends highlight what we do. Businesses buy our shares. The United Way, food pantries, County Family Resource Center, and other nonprofits benefit from us and we from them.

As my children grow older, I know that they have been given the tools to live in a community and support one another.


Land Stewardship Podcast Sampler

Join the Conversation

What solutions are you part of that create cooperative economies and regenerative ecosystems in Minnesota? What story can you share about how it works?  Contact ecolution@womenspress.com with “Ecolution” in the subject line.

Future Topics
Suggested by Ecolution survey takers:

  • Fresh Energy
  • Renewing the Countryside/Regeneration Farms
  • Dream of Wild Health
  • SotaGrown, Staples
  • Towerside MSP
  • American Indian Community Housing Organization. Duluth
  • Women’s Environmental Institute, North Branch

Suggested stories we have written:

Ecolutionaries report they are passionate about: clean energy, public health, community gardens, regenerative agriculture, micro food systems, emerging farmers, revitalizing rural areas, regional food systems, soil health, cooperatives, permaculture, zero waste, and more. If you haven’t participated yet:

What Is Ecolution?

Collaborative, collective partnerships generate community-based wealth and health.

Ecolutionaries (and yes, we made that word up) are not passive readers who simply “like” stories. They have ideas, resources, and storytellers to share — and are consumers who want to put their dollar where their values are. They tell us: Who should we learn from next? 

With your input and support, each month we look at an Ecolution topic from different angles:

  • Week #1: Overview
  • Week #2: Profile
  • Week #3: Data, research
  • Week #4: Action

COMING IN 2021: Your recommendations

Please share this conversation with at least one friend, family member, or colleague today.

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