Webinar Series: How Can Food Systems Regenerate Our Earth?


A webinar series by Eat Local Grey Bruce, featuring Dr. Thorsten Arnold. For tickets and more information, please visit Eventbrite.

About this Event

Targeted to farmers and non-farmers, this talk series is designed to lay out why regenerative agriculture has massive potential to benefit our planet at large – healthy people, healthy biosphere, healthy climate, resilient community. Recent insights in microbial science give new rigor to what keen nature observers have suspected for long. A series of talks offer a hopeful message that is much needed in today’s world, with many intervention points for communities, entrepreneurs, and governments.

THE LECTURES

The webinar series includes four lectures, hosted at 1:30pm on four separate Sunday afternoons. See content and days below.

Each lecture will take 60 minutes of in-depth knowledge in an accessible format, plus 30 minutes of discussion, questions, and brainstorming. Talks build on each other. While there will be a repetition of core concepts as a refresher, regular attendance is recommended. Payment is on a sliding scale, please support Thorsten’s and our organization’s [Eat Local Grey Bruce] work as you can.



1) How the biosphere self regulates its climate: April 5th 2020

Did you know that vegetation actively builds a soil “sponge” that regulates watershed functions? With a functioning soil sponge of a landscape, rainfall events hardly ever lead to flooding and drought. Also, plants cool their own environment by transpiring water – between 250 and 500 times stronger than the global greenhouse does, at least locally. Temperature, moisture, wind patterns, and rainfall are all influenced by how we manage our landscapes — an overlooked opportunity in the debate how we can confront the global climate crisis.

2) Regenerative agriculture for biosphere self regulation: April 19th 2020

Agriculture covers more landscape area than any other land use. How we do agriculture thus also defines our landscape’s biosphere functions and climate resilience. New findings in how the soil actually works are leading to a massive shift in understanding of how we can grow plants – with deep implications for how we farm and manage our lands. Learn about the mycorrhizal revolution, about regenerative farming principles for crops and livestock, and hear about local leaders in this regenerative revolution!

3) Food systems for biosphere regeneration: April 26th 2020

Farm businesses require markets, and the “rules of the game” of their markets define what farmers can do and what they cannot do. Biosphere regeneration through agriculture can only happen if food systems send the right signals to farmers, or at least do not pose market barriers. This talk discusses barriers, opportunities and steps for establishing a food system that works for regeneration, with considerations for regulators, citizens, small businesses, donors,and regional governance.

4) Transforming land management and ourselves for biosphere regeneration: May 3rd 2020

Humans are very effective in engineering and managing complicated systems – it took us one century form using a steam engine to setting foot onto the moon. At the same time, we struggle with managing complex systems that self-regulate at all scales, starting with our immune system and guts or soil, community and watersheds dynamics, up to the global climate. This talk highlights strategies how we can holistically manage complexity and how we may better align our personal impacts with the needs of our only planet.

Each lecture will take 90 minutes of talk, plus 30 minutes of discussion, questions, and brainstorming. All talks are providing in-depth knowledge in an accessible format. Talks build on each other. While there will be a repetition of core concepts as a refresher, regular attendance is recommended.

The event is Pay what you can, no one will be turned away due to a lack of funds. Please be in touch if you have any questions or access needs.

Who is apart of organizing the series: – Eat Local Grey Bruce – Climate Action Team Bruce Grey Owen Sound – Owen Sound Field Naturalists – St George’s Anglican Church Owen Sound



About Thorsten: Thorsten Arnold has dedicated his work-life to promoting climate resilience in its various facets and seeks to build strong communities by sharing his learnings with others as writer, consultant, and educator. With his wife Kristine Hammel, they co-own Persephone Market Garden, an ecological vegetable farm that produces healthy, fair and simply good food. They have big goals of building the farm into a community hub and have already integrated a summer farm camp, farming workshops, and now a private farm & forest school that offers holistic education in sustainable living.

Thorsten received academic training in environmental engineering (BTU Cottbus) and Earth Systems sciences at the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the sea (ICBM) in Oldenburg, Germany. He later pursued a dissertation in watershed sciences and agricultural economics (Uni. Hohenheim, Germany). His academic training uniquely bridges the two pillars of climate dynamics: the global greenhouse gas forcing and the role of regional land use and agriculture. Thorsten advocated against selling public water utilities to international investors and against some destructive aspects of global trade deregulations and worked with national and international development agencies around climate change and sustainable agriculture.


Some resources sent by Thorsten:

In order to get up to date and understand some of the concepts that I am using, please consider watching the following videos:

If you have more time and interest, some movies I highly recommend, but you have to pay a little for these:

  • Symbiotic Earth (link)
  • Fantastic Fungi (link)

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