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Eudaimonia's Commitment to Regenerative Ecological Practices

At Eudaimonia, we are committed to ecological and spiritual stewardship of the land in service of embodying a regenerative culture that can contribute to planetary healing and transformation. This local-global approach – a sort of ‘cosmopolitan-localism’– is one way that we are addressing the complex global challenges of climate change (and the metacrisis at large) on a local level.

In this way, under the visionary leadership of Parker Brown, our community has embarked on a regenerative forestry and agriculture project. Our approach is rooted in a deep intention to ‘listen’ to the land – the sacred nature field – with deep reverence, care, and humility.

As we collectively attempt to discern the silent ‘whisperings’ of the land, mindful of the pitfalls of anthropomorphising and projecting our own ideas on to the land, we strive to attune to the land, increasingly and iteratively bringing our consciousness, culture, and physical systems (e.g., forestry and agriculture) into greater resonance with its (alethic) truth.

We call this central principle and practice alethic resonance: the process by which humans participate in the knowing and creative expression of the truth of things beyond our ideas about what is true.  In this way we attempt to harmonize with the sacred and come into a greater alignment with the reality of the land.

This practice of alethic resonance could be likened to what the Australian Indigenous scholar Tyson Yunkaporta describes as the central principle of Indigenous worldviews, which he describes as follows: “if you don’t move with the land, the land will move you”. Thus, we at Eudaimonia, we are humbly doing our best to listen to the land and move with it - and come into greater resonance with it. The land is always ‘speaking’ to us, activating us, asking us to dance with it, as the flourishing of the land is the condition for the flourishing of us humans, who are a unique expression of nature or the land. 

Regenerative Forestry and Agriculture Initiatives

For the past few years, we have focused on transforming the dense, overgrown forests of Eudaimonia. Due to widespread clear cutting during the gold rush of mid-19th- century and over 150 years of fire suppression (in contrast to the regular intentional cultural burns of our local indigenous people, the Nisenan tribe) the forests have become ecologically imbalanced. And amplified by climate change, our forests have become deeply and increasingly prone towards catastrophic wildfire.

Through the many unprecedentedly devastating wildfires and toxic smoke days of the last 5+ years (including Paradise, Santa Rosa, South Tahoe, and the Jones fire in our own community) we have felt the land and the fire element speaking to us with great power and gravitas. Through our listening, it has become all too apparent that it is time to move with the land - swiftly and calmly - and transform our relationship with the fire element. The forests need to be thinned and the underbrush and ladder fuels greatly reduced in a way that is ecologically sensitive.

This is where biochar comes in. Biochar is a type of processed plant matter that is very rich in carbon. When we clear the thick overgrown underbrush of the forest (which contains a lot of embodied carbon) we fire that material into a lightweight, black, porous charcoal-like substance. But where charcoal is used for cooking and heating, biochar is used to enhance and regenerate soils to help grow crops. When we make biochar, the carbon that we removed from the underbrush of the forest, instead of releasing into the atmosphere, is largely converted into a solid, which can stay sequestered in the soil for many years. In this way, biochar becomes a sort of carbon removal process, drawing climate-warming CO2 out of the air and storing it in the ground. Thus, biochar is a powerful way to help address climate change.

After we create biochar, we weave it into our permacultural compost systems, where it absorbs nitrogen and other nutrients, thereby supercharging the soil and helping to contribute to the conditions that allow our regenerative gardens to flourish, feeding our community. Alongside our biochar initiative, we have implemented Hugelkultur, a german permaculture technique in which we bury large logs from the forest in the earth to help retain water and enhance the soil.

Our Hugelkultur beds have proven exceptional in conserving water and enhancing soil fertility. These efforts have synergistically reduced catastrophic wildfire risks, helped to address climate change, fostered native plant restoration and biodiversity, enhanced our regenerative agricultural practices, reduced our water use, and reduced our reliance on industrial food systems.

But more than that, they have helped us to heal our relationship with the land and reweave us humans back into the field of sacred nature. This is ultimately supporting a healthier ecosystem and hopefully contributing - in our own small way - to a regenerative future in which humanity and nature can flourish together for many generations to come.  

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