Aaron Perry


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Stewardship & Sustainability Series
Episode 100 - Aaron William Perry Interviewed by Artem Nikulkov

In this special episode, Aaron William Perry, founder of the Y on Earth Community and host of the Y on Earth Community Podcast is interviewed by Artem Nikulkov, founder of Earth Coast Productions and member of the Y on Earth board of Directors.

Celebrating 100 episodes, Aaron discusses highlights from past episodes, collaborations and accomplishments, and looks ahead to new resources and partnerships being developed. From regenerative economics and the Y on Earth Approved ecosystem of affiliate partnerships to biodynamic soil restoration, and from organic herbal tea to understanding our collective deep history, Aaron contextualizes the essence and urgency of the Y on Earth Community’s mobilization work for climate action, soil regeneration, neighborhood resilience, health and wellness, and the cultivation of a culture of kindness.

Recalling past episodes with Brook LeVan and Stephanie Sysons from biodynamic farm Sustainable Settings, to Nancy Tuchman of Loyola University – Chicago’s School of Environmental Sustainability, author Judith Schwarz, Green Faith director Reverend Fletcher Harper, Ecosystem Restoration Camps founder John Liu, and the Capital Institute’s John Fullerton, and David Beasley of 2020 Nobel Peace Prize recipient World Food Programme, Aaron shares a comprehensive view of regeneration, stewardship and sustainability – across both ecological and economic domains.

Aaron discusses several key initiatives and campaigns in the works for 2021 and beyond, including resources for Home Owners Associations (HOAs), the third children’s book with artist Yvonne Kozlina’s beautiful paintings (“Celebrating Water”), the completion and publishing of an epic novel currently in the final writing stages, video and resource production in collaboration with Nick DiDomenico and Marissa Pulaski at Elk Run Farm and Drylands Agroecology Research, and many more great podcast episodes to come. He also announces a brand new partnership with Patagonia and Patagonia Provisions – adding to the Y on Earth Approved ecosystem of companies like Earth Hero, Purium, Zeal Optics, Vera Herbals, Growing Spaces, Liquid Trainer, Wele Waters, Soil Werks, and Chelsea Green Publishers.

Sipping biodynamically grown herbal tisane with nettle, dandelion, chamomile, hemp, and calendula, Aaron discusses the essential importance of our direct relationships with plants, soil, water, and community, and shares how heart-centric action is necessary for the transformation of our global economy, culture and the restoration of our shared Earth.


(Automatically generated transcript for search engine optimization and reference purposes – grammatical and spelling errors may exist.)

Welcome to the YonEarth Community Podcast. I’m your host, Aaron William Perry. And today,

we have a very special episode for you as we’re visiting here with Artem Nikolkov.

Hi, Artem. Hello, Aaron. How are you doing? Doing great. And I’m visiting with you here

at your location. It’s an honor to be here. Thank you. Yeah, I’m just thrilled to have you here.

And this is the the writers cottage here at Elk Run Farm and also the headquarters for our

work at the YonEarth Community. And today in celebration of our 100th podcast episode,

Artem and I were talking and thought it would be great for him actually to interview me.

And so without further ado, I’ll hand the reins to you, Artem, and take it away. Yeah, thank you,

Aaron. It’s truly an honor being here. And congratulations on the 100th episode. That has

must have been quite a journey. I know it has been a journey because I’ve been part of it editing

the various episodes and the number of interviews that you have held with so many amazing individuals.

So I’m really curious to hear where you personally feel right now with the Why Honors

podcast and what your vision is for the future for the podcast itself and maybe in the larger sense

for YonEarth Community. Yeah, it’s exciting to sort of be at this milestone and both

reflecting back on the last 99 episodes and also thinking ahead to what’s next. And this time

of year being kind of the depths of winter is really seasonally speaking a perfect time to be doing

that kind of reflection. But I got to say one thing which is this that Artem, a huge thank you

and sincere gratitude to you and your company Earth Coast Productions and your team,

Jordan, Josh, everybody over there. And for those who don’t know, Artem is on the board of directors

of the YonEarth Community and has been tremendously integral to everything we’ve been doing the

last few years. And with Earth Coast Productions has been incredibly generous with his time and

expertise helping us do all the stuff that we’re doing with digital media and web resources and

all that kind of stuff. So there’s a certain rhyme and reason behind the fact that we chose to

do this together. And of course you’re also through Earth Coast Productions. You’re doing video

work with all kinds of different great organizations and thought leaders engaged in these questions

of stewardship and regeneration and sustainability and health and wellness and community and culture and

art. And so it’s just really fun to be a part of your growing body of citizen journalism

you know as you’re doing your work out in the community. So thank you.

Yeah, you’re welcome. And it has been fun being a part of that journey and supporting

Why an Earth through the website and making the iterative changes there, seeing how you are really

developing the vision for Why an Earth and continuing to build out the community and

communicating, connecting with so many diverse individuals. It’s incredible listening to the

number of topics that you bring up from biodynamics to sustainable farming to

getting into energy and economics. And I mean it really seems like there’s a topic that you

haven’t touched or won’t touch and that’s incredible because what the world needs right now is

for people to understand that this is truly a holistic approach. This change that we’re all

talking about and bringing and stepping into a livelihood that we can all be proud of

of the way that we step on this Earth, it takes that holistic approach where we’re looking at

every facet of our lives from a new perspective through a new lens, you know using media terminology.

And you do that really well and I’m really excited to see where you go next with it.

And as we are coming out of this COVID moment culturally, you know the vaccine is out there,

people are getting vaccinated and people, however you may feel about that, I think the world is

opening up and it will still take a few more months but we will be gathering in person soon

enough it seems and I look forward to seeing why on Earth on the road and visiting conferences

and engaging with folks in that way as you’ve continued to do so digitally through visual means

as much as possible. So I’m curious what you see what’s around the corner there.

Yeah it’s an interesting question for me to think about and partly I think provides the

opportunity to talk about how this whole podcast thing got started in the first place, right?

Because it’s not like we sat down with our other board members that’s Brad Lidge and Katie Garcis

and said oh we should launch a podcast like that strategically makes a ton of sense. That wasn’t

actually how that happened. Instead it emerged and evolved very organically and I know you and I

were up visiting sustainable settings, one of the sort of mothership biodynamic farms here in

Colorado for a workshop and an interviewed Brook and interviewed Brook Levan and interviewed Stephanie

Seisen and suddenly we had a couple episodes and then you know through Zoom I interviewed Nancy

Tuckman from the University of Loyola at Chicago and she has gone on to found an entire college

there now the sustainability school and you know Reverend Fletcher Harper and Judas Schwartz those

were the first five episodes we did and thought gosh huh this is actually a really interesting way

for us to compliment our on the ground community mobilization work where we’re doing things with

permaculture and biodynamics and soil and fermentation of fruits and vegetables and

and this digital communication allows us in a very succinct format to help share and amplify

the voices the wisdom the knowledge of so many different educators thought leaders scientists

farmers herbalists authors and it just kind of kept rolling and it’s been so much fun

uh connecting with all of these different folks that we’ve had on the podcast thus far and with

with an eye to how important community is especially in these times it’s actually a very potent way

almost like Macylia in a forest to network with a variety of different thought leaders organizational

leaders and folks who are are also committing substantial parts of themselves and their lives and

their professions to this regenerative and stewardship work and so the community building aspect of

all of this is really what I think has surprised me most about the podcast series and so now thinking

about the next 100 episodes it’s like boy this is this is going to be absolutely tremendous because

I think we’re going to continue to network and link up with folks not only for the purpose of

the episode but also to figure out how can we best collaborate going forward and that those kinds

of conversations have been emerging more and more as we’ve been doing different different episodes

with folks I think about John Lew the founder of ecosystem restoration camps and now we’re in

conversations about collaborating with that global network to help launch restoration camps right

here in Colorado right here at Elk Run Farm with our friends Nick and Marissa with drylands agro

ecology research and others in the region similarly you know our 99th episode was with David

Beasley the executive director of the United Nations World Food Program which was awarded the 2020

Nobel Peace Prize and we’re beginning conversations with them about how do we help their efforts how

do we collaborate with them around regenerative work in these communities all around the world

that absolutely need to do soil regeneration work absolutely need to do water stewardship work

absolutely need to create more food security in their communities and so there are very real

reasons to take action flowing from the conversations that we’re having in these episodes and

that’s really what I think I’m probably most excited about and of course we’re cooking up a handful

of exciting developments in the why on earth community that we’ll be sharing through the course

of this year and you know we can talk about that a little later on in our conversation but I’m

really just feeling a lot of gratitude and enthusiasm Artem about what’s what’s coming next with

the podcast yeah definitely exciting times ahead so you mentioned regenerative camps

what is that all about what’s the concept behind it yeah the ecosystem restoration camps movement

is now in many countries around the world the count may be around 30 and they are experiencing

explosive growth right now which is absolutely wonderful and needed and also you know create some

challenges but the basic idea is that communities come together for direct action to restore

landscapes working with permaculture techniques by and large some are incorporating bio dynamic

practices silver past year holistic management creating Eden’s essentially in different spots

around the world many of which are our our deserts or have been desertified or our severely what’s

called brittle in an ecological sense which means are on the front lines of expanding desertification

around the world which is one of the severe challenges and risks we face as a global society

right now and so these camps are hundreds and thousands of people mobilizing on the ground with

the soil with plants planting millions of trees and restoring landscapes and in many cases bringing

back greater rainfall and precipitation and helping restore balance to the water systems in places

that thousands of years ago or even hundreds of years ago were known to be more lush and fertile

and so it’s a great honor and I think very important for us to collaborate with ecosystem restoration

camps here in our region and I think part of what we’ll be doing through our ambassador network

is encouraging others in Colorado around the United States and globally to engage and get involved

and help create even more of these camps as we go forward hmm yeah um and what is the

wineryth ambassador ship program for those but that might not be aware of what what that’s about yeah

yeah this has been another one of these really fun sort of organic uh things that have evolved over

the last couple of years we now have something like three to 400 people engaged as ambassadors

of the wider community many many are in the United States but many are um all around the globe

and as we’ve been growing as a small nonprofit organization we’ve been developing more tools

and framework and infrastructure uh to help support our ambassador’s work in their respective

communities to do this community mobilization work for climate action soil regeneration

culture of kindness health and wellness neighborhood resilience and so we’re having a lot of fun

now at that point of critical mass where we’ve got um our ambassador badge system where ambassadors

can get you know acknowledged for different accomplishments if you’ve taken a permaculture design

course that’s a badge for example um we’ve got a lot of ambassadors publishing their own videos

in some cases even podcast episodes even art and in papers that are all available for the public

on the wider.org website uh that’s the ambassador publications page and then we also have ambassador

resources where we’re sharing some very special behind the scenes resources with ambassadors

that are fully activated to get to those you have to become a fully activated ambassador and there

are a few requirements to get to that level but essentially we’re we’re now engaged with you know

a few hundred folks and not only are we going to deepen what that means for that uh initial

network in our community but we’re also going to be expanding bringing in more and more new

ambassadors to our ecosystem and this is where partnerships and collaboration with organizations like

the ecosystem restoration camps becomes even more potent uh essentially amplifying our efficacy

as an as an organization we don’t want to reinvent every wheel we want to collaborate it’s time

to mobilize on a planetary scale and you know we’re we’re living in a moment right now where

these next few months and few years literally these next three years are are critical in terms of

what we’re choosing as individuals as communities and as society yeah i know observing the

ambassador ship profiles and network grow has been really exciting for me seeing some of the

names and faces pop up on on the site and knowing that there are people all over the world that are

contributing and uh really getting turned into what you’re doing uh it’s spreading that message

more importantly um activating their own networks in locations where you’re you’re not so that’s

the wonderful thing about technologies we can use it for good and continue to network and really

connect with people do with them otherwise we would just not really be able to connect and yeah um

it’s so true and i want to give a shout out to our couple of our interns and uh one is Jake

Matias who’s studying um environmental studies at the University of Oregon preparing to go into

environmental law and the other is my son hunter chestnut parent these two young men are doing so

much to develop our ambassador resources and we’ve already gotten a number of these profiles

launched in live that folks can go through the website to see what individuals are doing in

different locations um and see some of their videos and so on and uh so yeah we we’ve got i think

at this point artim a really solid foundation that we’ve developed uh with you primarily these

last few years and now are at a point where we can really uh help to cultivate the growth

and the expansion and the amplification of all of our efforts uh within the ecosystem yeah and

what what are some of the other uh parts of the ecosystem uh i know you’re also very focused on

why aren’t the proved uh what is that all about so within all of this regenerative work

there there really are two categories i think that we can think about broadly and this is sort of

trying to distill it down to very sort of simple frameworks and and so it’s naturally oversimplifying

something that’s actually rather uh complex and nuanced in reality however i think it’s helpful

to understand that part of what we’re doing with our regenerative work is with living systems

this is soil and plants and food and of course the living systems of our own bodies and physiology

the other part of our regenerative work is with human constructed systems like economics

and like uh psychospiritual frameworks and this is where we get into realms like

psychology and uh the the deeper uh reaches of of economic science and theory and you know for

some of us that might sound horrible uh but for others there’s actually a lot of really important

innovative work happening right now in these fields and we you know for instance recently had

John Fullerton on from the capital institute talking about regenerative economics and he has put

fourth eight principles that he sees as uh identifying and properly describing what it means to do

regenerative economics and uh i’m actually deep in a lot of writing on this topic being presented in

the uh the form of a novel and screenplay and i know we’ll talk about that a little later but

the the economics piece is so important in our word economics comes from this Greek word

echo smidge which means home and has implied in it the concept of community and relationships

right and it’s also where we get our word ecology so we have to figure out as a global society

can we do regenerative economics can we do economics without exploitation of humans can we do

economics without exploitation of the living biosphere and we’ve got to answer those two questions

in the affirmative as quickly as possible to get where we want to go and if we don’t answer those

two questions in the affirmative as a global society we’re probably not going to like at all

what the consequences are associated with the alternative paths so we’ve got a lot of work to do

times of the essence and uh the realm of economics is absolutely critical right now now

to for us it probably do the work in the economics sphere comes back to our human psychology and to

our heart and as cliche or cheesy as that may sound as some i i implore you to consider that it’s

actually literally the most important factor at this stage and without the heart and without the

cultivation of compassion and without the opening of our willingness to feel and to heal

the the technical aspects of the economic questions may not by themselves give us where we want to be

hmm yeah and taking that into account i know for some folks out there they are very inspired by

the notion you’re describing and we obviously don’t have a whole lot of time time is of the essence

you know all that and how would you recommend or what would you typically say to individuals who

might be thinking that their efforts might not go as far or it might be a drop in the bucket or

just what what is that one action that some might do to keep steering the ship towards regenerative

and ecologically sound if you want to try to boil it down to one that’s a so so and i noticed

as the person who’s ordinarily sitting in the other seat doing the interview i actually didn’t

answer the question you asked previously about why on earth improved um which is funny and

you know sometimes when they’re interviewing folks it’s kind of hilarious the way the conversation

weaves and flows like a river mate right but uh you know just getting to the why on earth a

proof question for a moment because i think it does uh provide a segue into the question you just

asked um one of the ways we’re experimenting with regenerative economics within the context of the

why on earth community is through a number of uh financial and economic partnerships right so this

is where we’re working with why on earth approved uh companies and organizations like earth hero and

earth hero has thousands of products that are fair trade environmentally friendly non-toxic that

we can purchase for our home our kitchen our our bathroom uh as opposed to all of these other

products out there that don’t have the same social and environmental stewardship uh guaranteed

in in the companies making them and uh earth hero you can click through from the why on earth

dot org website on the sponsor partner page click through the icon to them get a discount when

you shop with them and a portion of the proceeds comes back to the why on earth community right and

we’ve got liquid trainer with a really fun home exercise um set up that deals with water um we’ve

got growing spaces the geodesic uh grotum greenhouses that are really wonderful purium uh organic

supplements and uh uh uh other products that are helpful to your your physiology and zeal of course

doing sunglasses and goggles from plant-based plastics and recycled plastics and are very

excited to announce now that uh we’re officially connected with Patagonia in this way and uh we

haven’t made this public yet i guess the podcast will be part of the the announcement but uh we’re

thrilled to have this partnership uh with Patagonia as an affiliate so similarly you can click through

the Patagonia logo on our website on our sponsors and partnership page and uh shop with Patagonia

and a portion of those proceeds will come back to us if you spend a certain amount you’ll get free

shipping as as a benefit in a bonus and this is all part of our uh nonprofit regenerative economic

ecosystem those of us in the nonprofit world know that uh the ongoing financing of our efforts

is one of the great challenges we face as organizations in a lot of our support comes from

the generous and ongoing donations from folks like the Brad and Lindsey Lidge foundation and of

course earth coast productions is tremendously generous as well artim and and others and uh through our

expanding wider to approved ecosystem of partnerships this basically means you can go in and do

your shopping and a portion of those proceeds comes right back to help fund our community mobilization

work and our podcast series along with our other uh resources um and and so it’s a it’s a segue

to talking about that there is so much we can do as individuals not only in terms of how we’re

spending our dollars as conscious consumers but also about what we can be doing in our own

communities and i think most importantly cultivating that relationship with the living biosphere

with soil and trees and water and engaging in the practices of stewardship and regeneration at

whatever scale uh is easy for us to do and if we’re already at a certain scale to think about

helping to scale beyond that a little bit and it seems to me artim that we have so much power each

one of us to do that regenerative work in the biosphere and in the economic system and to help

transform how we’re doing humanity here on the planet as rapidly as we can and it’s so great to

be connected to so many different organizations and leaders who are helping this whole thing

to emerge and develop and it’s truly a movement with thousands and thousands and thousands and

millions of people all around the world already and i think these next few years literally

these next three years are where many more of us are going to choose to lean in and engage and

be a part of this regenerative and healing work that is underway yeah thank you and it’s

definitely important for people to consider that no space is too small to grow your own food and

if you have an apartment you know getting a window planter and getting some tornadoes going

it’s also hugely beneficial to have your hands in the soil for so many reasons uh and to have

that meditative practice and just that closer connection to to nature to be able to grow your own

food and if it’s you know enough for a salad but of course if you have a backyard and kind of

your standard American household scenario there’s so much that is possible there including transforming

lawns into edible food gardens and working with every type of organization to help encourage

that and to continue to let people know that we all need this to desire this and it’s honestly

the only path forward we can’t afford to you know water lawns and these green spaces without

actually also receiving nourishment from that and and also continuing to foster a really diverse

bio system in the place where we live to really be part of our home I hear that encouragement to

drop into the oicos and stand in one place and that means rooting down literally growing roots

and helping nature to take root where you live and how important that is to the restoration

to the environmental movement and to encourage others I think that’s one one way that it really

is taking shape in that way is because of those thousands of people who are

living examples of how it’s possible yeah absolutely right yeah and I would say that like in

many of our communities you know this this thing the environmental movement so-called

environmental movement has been so politicized our our entire lifetime that that politicization

you know goes back probably to the 50s and 60s back to when Rachel Carson wrote silent spring

and certainly in the late 60s and the 70s got highly politicized and so it’s the human movement

right it’s not just the environmental movement it’s the human movement this is about the

future in the near term quality of life health and wellness of our families our loved ones our

children are offspring our neighbors our pets right and so there’s so much we can be doing just

to stop putting toxic chemicals into the home or into the yard you know we don’t need more cancer

in our pets or our loved ones we just don’t and you know interestingly we think about growing

outdoors a lot but we can do a lot growing indoors this little simple little bider plant I don’t

remember the Latin name off the top of my head is wanted to show some of the most drastic

uptakes of toxic airborne chemicals of any plants studied it’s like the superstar really of

indoor air quality so we can put a lot of these inside to help improve our our health and wellness

and also these are relationships right here’s a plant like to introduce my friend Maxwell

I’ve had this plant since I was a high school student I know it might be hard to believe but that

was some 30 plus years ago and so you know this plant and I have a real relationship and when I’m

in here writing and working and corresponding with folks this is a relationship that is that is

meaningful and I care for this plant of course I give Maxwell water and some biodynamic

juju here and there and but Maxwell gives me so much in companionship and clean oxygen

and in in sharing that subtle biophotonic life force energy that hildegarde fun being in

called VeridiTos a thousand years ago right and my buddy David Giswoldo recently made this VeridiTos

placard on a piece of wood with this beautiful capillary mycelial lightning-looking

effect he etched into it I’m assuming with electricity somehow and you know these are all

about relationships and here’s the thing this isn’t just about like we should do this for other

people somewhere else in the world or we should do this for the climate 150 years from now this

is about our own personal quality of life and if you want a lousy quality of life like keep doing

the mainstream stuff and don’t be surprised by the outcomes if you want a great quality of life

connect with soil grow things eat things you grow and grow with your friends and community

and you’ll have an improved quality of life as a result of some of these simple steps now we went

ahead and created this guidebook called the soil stewardship handbook as a real simple set of

opportunities and actions and you know you can go and buy this on the website you can buy the

e-book version if you want to get the e-book version for free use the code free the word free

f-r-e-e and you can access all our digital resources free of charge but if if you can’t afford and

want to pay that helps support all the work that we’re doing and one of the things we’re putting

together this year is another handbook for homeowners associations right and it turns out that

there are over 50 million households in the United States of America living in HOAs homeowners

associations and that over 50% of owner occupied single-family houses in the us are in HOAs and HOAs

of course are primarily concerned with quality of life and property value and what that has meant

for the second half of the 20th century is lots of poison lots of lawn no dandelions got for

bid right and and spending money on essentially poisoning our pets and our children that’s the

reality so we’re putting together a resource to help folks in their HOAs to to encourage a cleaner

happier healthier way of doing these things to to loosen the per the false narrative that having

compost is somehow bad for your property value right or that having dandelions which is really

important food for the pollinators early in the spring is somehow bad for your property value

so we’re really excited we’ll be collaborating with the uh people and pollinators action network

peepan uh Joyce Kennedy the executive director over there and a number of organizations just on

that resource alone and um you know these are some of the ways we can help to still down a lot of

knowledge and expertise and scientific research into very approachable easy to understand and

and take action uh resources for folks so you just wanted to reiterate soil stewardship handbook

right and uh this will help i promise that’s a guarantee yeah so it’s really building the

regenerative communities throughout our entire landscape um especially in places where we live

yeah um the yeah the the importance of people understanding in HOAs the people who

are responsible um for building those communities uh understanding that property value is

human value and we’re coming to a place where we have to be growing our own food and be connected

to the soil in that way um and so i’m curious uh how that’s going to be rolled out um once that

publication launches then the new handbook yeah yeah no it’s it’s really exciting to be

uh doing the early planning work of what will amount to a significant campaign that that we do as

an organization um of course there’s the the writing of the book bringing together the images

and a couple few graphs maybe just to help convey information as concisely as possible

then we’ll probably be doing some short videos to go along with it and probably a handful of

podcast episodes with folks who have subject matter expertise in that arena to to further enhance

our our communications around these these needs and opportunities so it’s going to be a lot of fun

and we’ll put it out as a digital resources resource and a print book and uh of course however we’ve

got a massive writing project underway that needs to get to a certain milestone before i can

turn to um drafting another handbook and i’m just thrilled that we’re recording this episode right

in the small writers cottage where i live and literally a foot behind these cameras is the

computer where i sit for hours and hours most days um working on this epic novel and screenplay

has been bubbling through and it deals with these themes that we’re talking about it deals with

these times that we’re living in in a narrative um with with a female character who has to go on

a hero’s or heroine’s journey and there’s a lot of action twists and turns some of it’s in

New York City some of it’s in Colorado you know some of our good friends and colleagues are

given little cameos here and there is a way to celebrate community and i’m just i’m thrilled to

be in the kind of late stages wrapping that card gans you in effort up and um really excited

that once that’s wrapped up we can put even more time effort and energy into things like the

HOA resilience and uh stewardship handbook and uh some of our other um resources that we’re

working on and i got to give a shout out also to ivan coslina who is the artist who does our children’s

books of course uh i think some of our audiences are where we’ve published so far two of these

beautiful uh creations one is called celebrating soil probably not a surprise uh that we choose

such a title and then celebrating honeybees is our second lovely and by the way that’s a painting of

honeycomb behind us and uh the third celebrating water uh should be out in the next month or two

and this is the original artwork i’m holding ivan’s paintings that basically become the book

and in this uh in this one brother and sister are african-american um their Caucasian in

celebrating soil they’re Hispanic and celebrating honeybees and uh they go on a great adventure

learning about water and uh uh how it is so important to our health and wellness um here’s them

driving you know from brooklyn upstate and uh so we’re just thrilled to get this out there and

i wanted to give a quick shout out and just share that um you know behind the scenes this is this is

some of what it takes to put something like a simple little children’s book out there.

Of course, in the back of that children’s book, like we’ve done with the other two,

there will be resources and calls to action for parents and grandparents and educators that they can do with the kids,

regarding the water and the soil and the honey bees and other pollinators.

So that’s also part of the community piece, Artam, and it’s so fun collaborating, right?

And I like to make art, but I don’t do paintings nearly as beautifully as Yvanda,

so it’s so fun to be able to collaborate with her and help feature some of her amazing creativity and talent

through these children’s books.

And it’s a joy when interacting with families when they’re getting the books

and the kids are looking for the little honey beyond every page, so fias on every page.

Yeah, it’s just a joy. And I think Artam, that’s another key aspect of all this work we’re doing.

Yes, we’re facing extreme risks right now.

Yes, a whole lot of humanity is going through a terrible hardship right now.

Right, not just in places like the desertifying regions of North Africa and the Middle East,

but also in places like Texas, whose infrastructure, because of, let’s just say,

lack of foresight by leadership, was not properly equipped to deal with the extremes and weather

that are unfortunately likely to become the norm going forward until we can restabilize the climate,

which is going to take a lot of doing. We can do it, but it’s going to take some time.

In the meanwhile, we absolutely have to take care of the resilience of our communities

and this means bolstering infrastructure.

So even just a few hours drive from here, folks are suffering just because we got a severe cold snap

through some of the disruptions in the way that jet streams are moving right now

because of the energy loading of the atmosphere.

And so it’s not just somewhere else in the world.

This is right here with us, right in our own communities.

And while we’re facing these challenges, it’s really important we keep our eyes open

but that we also cultivate the joy, the gratitude, and the celebration of art and beauty and community.

That’s what we want to create more of.

And I would say particularly in the American culture, that’s one of the things we’ve really done a lot

to undermine in the last few generations.

Right. Yeah, it is in our backyard.

This is so much in our backyard now and has been for years, it seems like,

without maybe as potent of signs as they’re now appearing with increasing storms and wildfires

and all kinds of very strange, quote unquote, weather patterns, of course.

We all know how that all is connected.

And hearing you talk about the children’s books, it’s truly phenomenal and inspiring

that you’ve taken, again, this holistic approach from that perspective of the education piece of all of this,

that it’s not, you’re focusing not only on educating the public and the masses

and connecting with the communities and with the HOAs, understanding the importance of teaching kids

and teaching families around what is really important being alive in this planet,

that water is essential, that soil, really good soil, healthy soil,

is important that the health and wellness of bees and the flowers and the pollinators

in a larger sense is so critical.

And connecting the dots, truly connecting the dots, between how all of this is one ecosystem.

Yes. It’s all one planet, right?

And I know you mentioned there the novel that you’re working on.

I don’t know if we can call it by name yet, but…

Well, we can use the name we’re probably not going to actually publish it under.

Oh, okay.

The book that shall not be named at this point.

I can refer to it as Auto, OTTO, which is the name of the super computer that is part of the story.

And the story tackles artificial intelligence as a trope.

It’s really not about AI, it’s just using that as a way to tell a story.

Because the main character, she’s this super smart computer scientist

who goes through a profound transformation in the course of the story.

So yeah, we can call it Auto.

But there is another name.

I know you know it, but we can’t say it.


Okay. And I know that that’s something that has been a very large focus for you.

And I mean, it’s just incredible to hear how much you’ve been working on truly prolific

in terms of writing the novel and working on the children’s book and working on the HUA manual.

And all of these other efforts that are very much part of why on Earth day-to-day operations.

And so I’m truly excited to see when the novel gets launched.

I know you’ve been working on it for quite some time.

And that’s something that you are wonderful audience, have something to look forward to.

And I await it with patients having read just a tiny little bit about what that’s all about.

And I’m curious how I know for why on Earth by dynamics is very central theme

to all of this.

Why is that so central?

I’m sure that is a big part of the story of Auto as well.

It is.



Biodynamics is a very interesting, advanced form of organic agriculture and land stewardship.

And it works with different plant medicines and different cycles,

like seasonal cycles and lunar cycles.

Things that our ancestors, by definition, were themselves very attuned to

and that helped them cultivate health and wellness in their lives.

So we’re working in this very rich framework of practices that were set forth by Rudolf Steiner about 100 years ago.

In fact, the 100-year anniversary is right around the corner on his agriculture lectures.

And he lays out a system of organic agriculture, land stewardship, detoxification and regeneration that is truly powerful.

We would use the word potent.

Part of why it’s so powerful is that it focuses on the relationship between the human,

the individual and the community and the landscape, the soil, the food and the water.

And that is a sacred relationship.

I think one of the most interesting challenges we face in our society right now

is that among our technocratic, scientific communities who are often doing very important work,

there can be a narrative that the spiritual aspect of human experience is either a like not measurable

and therefore not discussable or be not relevant.

And I think that’s a huge mistake.

And I think that great writers and thinkers like Steiner and Gertav before him,

who was a huge influence on Steiner, speak to this.

And I think it’s imperative in these times that we’re digging up more of the history of the spiritual traditions of our species

and re-incorporating that into our modern life ways.

I actually believe that our survival depends on this.

That’s one of the themes there are many in the book Ahto.

It’s going to be a big epic sweeping adventure, right?

So if you’d like to read, I think you’ll like it.

We’ll probably eventually do an audiobook too, so we can listen to it.

But this phytonamic piece is really starting to grow around the world.

Has been global for a few generations, but is now starting to get more mainstream awareness recognition and understanding.

Curiously, the wine industry in California has adopted biodynamics in a very significant way

because they’ve been dealing with blight and other challenges in their vineyards.

That conventional approaches hadn’t been effective in dealing with,

and the biodynamics have actually been quite effective, relatively speaking.

So we have an opportunity to incorporate more biodynamics into our own lives, our own yards,

our own gardens, our own neighborhoods, and part of the all-in-the-ground community mobilization work

that we do at the Y-Earth community that I absolutely love,

is we do biodynamic soil activation stir ceremonies,

and it’s a wonderful way for us to get together in relatively small groups,

3, 4, 5 people, 20, 30, 40, 50 people, a couple hundred sometimes.

And we literally stir up this beautiful plant and soil medicine

and then spread it around the landscape where we’re gathering,

and also usually everyone gets to take some home to their own house plants and gardens and yards and neighborhoods.

And we will continue to help share in that way.

We’ve done over a hundred of these already around the United States,

and we’ll do a lot more of this, and one of the things I’m most excited about

are ambassadors doing a lot more of with the biodynamics.

What’s really cool is it’s super potent, similar to how homeopathics and probiotics are super potent.

A little goes a very long way, and that is getting out the nature of nature.

And there’s so much exciting science happening right now around the quantum and sub-quantum realms,

and what’s really going on with life and life force and photosynthesis and these things that have frankly mystified us,

sure we might have neat little models in these books we look at in 5th grade.

But the truth of the matter is that these most precious functions,

like how the chlorophyll molecule here is converting sunlight and other photons into sugars to feed the soil micro-organisms,

these are mechanisms, it’s not even the right word, these are relationships that our science is just starting to

detect the awesome magic and mystery of.

And it’s some of those forces that are being worked within biodynamics that allows us to be potent stewards

with our hearts and our minds and our intention and our will,

something that Steiner spoke quite a bit about.

In fact, I thought it would be fun to quote Steiner just while we’re on this.

Here’s a little set of notes for the book that I’m working on.

And Rudolph Steiner said something in 1924, right? So what is that 97 years ago?

He said the most important thing is to make the benefits of our agricultural preparations,

the land medicine we work with are called preparations,

to make the benefits of our agricultural preparations available to the largest possible areas over the entire earth,

so that the earth may be healed and the nutritive quality of its produce improved in every respect.

This is a problem of nutrition.

Nutrition as it is today does not supply the strength necessary for manifesting the spirit and physical life.

A bridge can no longer be built from thinking to will and action.

Food plants no longer contain the forces people need for this.

Now some of us might be scratching our heads and thinking what a bunch of rubbish.

Clearly it’s a mechanistic system you only need so much vitamin C and so much protein and you’re good to go.

Perhaps that view is not sufficient and perhaps that view is actually inaccurate in certain profound and essential ways.

So I would encourage and invite any of our audience who are not yet familiar with biodynamics to connect and engage

and probably you’ve got a biodynamic farm not too far from you, hopefully, that you can visit and check out.

Certainly through the internet you can get to resources.

We’ve got a number here at the Weiner community website, Weiner.org.

And one of the things we’re excited about having moved our headquarters to Elk Run farm is that with Elk Run and their nonprofit

drylands agroecology research we’ll be putting together a series of short videos this coming year on things like biodynamics so that you can get a nice introduction that way as well.

So yeah, biodynamics and it’s a big theme in the story I’m writing.

So in the course of a story it’s really fun to be able to share certain knowledge coming from the biodynamic tradition and literally

kind of recreate these workshops at places like sustainable settings that you and I have been to.

And I know when one of my dear editors Mora Stiles was reading some of the early chapters she responded by saying,

oh my gosh, is this real? Like I want to go to this place and I was like, oh not only is it real, I used to work there and it’s like three and a half hours drive from your home.

And it’s called sustainable settings.

6107 highway 133 outside of Carbondale, like you can go there.

I mean with COVID you might have to call ahead or something but the point is there’s so much in our world right now that is absolutely real.

And most of us aren’t aware of it.

Growing numbers of us are becoming aware of what’s most essential right now in these times.

One of the most extraordinary moments in the entire human journey and experience.

And as more of us engage in what’s real and become agents of positive, regenerative change,

we absolutely will transform our world, our economy.

We will heal our environments and our bodies and relationships.

And that’s already underway.

And that’s what we get to participate in more and more as we go forward.


Yeah, something you just mentioned the way that you phrased it was right on point with the truth of the matter and the truth of the matter is that matter is alive.


And we’re all surrounded by a living organism.

And being in relationship with that is how we honor ourselves.

This is how we bring out our true human form that we are to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be.

Be healthy in that way.

And the way that that relates to plants and the food that we eat, you know, as you were mentioning that when something may contain vitamin C and all of those things,

but, you know, is it by available and those are types of things that we can all understand and research.

And that’s something that everyday science does research and understand very well how our bodies are actually able to access or not access the nutrients in it.

And restoring that relationship is so vital to how we commune with nature and with the food that we eat.

So by dynamic farms and just having an understanding of where is the closest farm in general, I think could be a starting point for a lot of people.

And the importance of CSAs or, you know, there’s always starting points that are available to connect into in your local community.

And I know you’re doing that in leaps with why on earth and continuing to build out resources for people to see in their own local areas, what is around them?


And that’s on the website as well and continuing to be a much larger resource.

Yeah. Yeah. I’m really happy you mentioned this.

We have a map resource on the website. It’s a map of the globe where we locate a number of biodynamic farms, apothecaries, podcast guests, ambassadors.

And actually our intern team, Jake and Hunter are working on some big updates to that right now too.

I’m really thrilled knowing it will become an even more robust resource in time.

For any of you who are connected to biodynamic farms, apothecaries, et cetera, and you would like to get those listed, just reach out and let us know.

And we’d be happy to add that in. And of course, the biodynamic association and demeter have lots of great resources as well.

Again, we’re not trying to reinvent wheels. Collaboration is key in all of this.

But yes, building that knowledge and awareness, I think, Artem is not only important, but it also is fun.

And if you haven’t been doing a biodynamic farm, check it out.

You might be surprised how much fun you have.

And some of us biodynamic practitioners know we can identify one another because we tend to smile more than the average person.

And there might be something to that.

I want to mention that this reductionist approach to food and nutrition and health and wellness is part of a legacy of our civilization that is dealt with in a very comprehensive way in the book that I’m writing.

This legacy goes back hundreds and hundreds of years to the rise of a…

We might call it a patriarchy consciousness that there are some challenges and shortcomings in calling it just that, but a lot of folks think that way.

Essentially, the rise of civilization saw with it the rise of militaries, of agriculture, and of slavery.

And over time, that transformed as the Roman Empire became a very powerful dominant force.

And essentially through its programs of subjugation of the natives and indigenous peoples of Europe, basically set in motion the biases that would lead to the inquisition where millions of women and men were executed

for practicing things like herbal medicine.

Right, so the knowledge working with the plants, working directly with the living biosphere was systematically rooted out as quote unquote evil.

And this spread to the entire planet after the Holy Roman Catholic Church issued the doctrine of discovery, which was their sort of legal document, theological document, several hundred years ago saying that native peoples were subhuman.

And therefore, we’re not entitled to the same legal protections that, you know, basically Europeans were entitled to at that point after Europe itself had been conquered.

And so this is part of the narrative that is explored and unpacked and made understandable to a general audience in the course of the book, Otto, that I’m writing.

And it’s so important we understand this because quickly that time of the inquisition rolls into the enlightenment and into the modern era and into the reductionist and into the modern econometric and economic systems, of course, slavery being a huge, huge factor in all of that over the last few hundred years to get us to where we are today.

And so the way in which the prophet extraction impulse and mechanism was attached to all of this weird worldview construct stuff that grew out of that background has brought us to a modern situation where we’re effectively poisoning the heck out of agriculture worldwide and ourselves consuming things we think of as calories and protein and vitamins without that whole life force energy that is necessary.

And we’re all wondering why we have so much obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

Oh gosh, what’s causing this? Huh? Of course, the toxicity from our energy systems is a big part of this tune. A lot of that toxicity for both agriculture and energy is coming from the same fundamental sources.

So we have to understand how we got to where we are today in order to help create the near future, which is what we’re creating. We’re creating it.

And thousands and millions like us are creating it. And as more of us become aware of the reality of how we got to where we are, then more of us will become very potent actors in creating the kind of future we want to share together.

That is potent understanding that. And in the way that you present that and are rolling that out through the why and earth ecosystem as part of this book and part of the other work, including the soils stewardship handbook, in a very direct actionable way, I think is really inspiring.

And the way for people to pick up, you know, the tools of a shovel or just your hands, you know, digging into the soil truly that way.

And being the leadership showing the leadership in your communities by planting planting food and understanding how planting your own cucumbers and turnips and potatoes is directly choosing this new path that stands a counter to this model that goes thousands of years.

Which is incredibly empowering to do that. And it’s that drive that can only come from kind of that larger perspective, the historical perspective, the flashlight, if you will, with which you’re kind of shining the light of context.

So the importance of that context can’t be, you know, understated.

Absolutely. Yeah. And there’s a great quote etched above the library at the University of Colorado near here in Boulder by a scholar whose last name is Norland and it says he who knows only his own generation remains always a child.

And it is imperative that we come to develop a deeper understanding of our history in order to become full blown adults in the context of the perhaps greatest set of challenges our species has faced collectively.

And we’re not alone in this. The indigenous wisdom keepers have known we would be walking into these times for ages.

And there are prophecies about these times, right? The eagle and condor flying together, for example, the eagle is the symbol of empire has been a long while.

And the condor and what that means for them to be flying together is this rebalancing, rebalancing of masculine and feminine, rebalancing of mind, heart, body, soul.

And we’re living in a time where that is underway. And as we choose in our day to day lives to more deeply engage in this healing work, we are helping to send all of this adventure and journey in a particular direction.

And I think, Artem, that’s really the core of our work and mission is helping to go in a direction that has us ending up where we want to end up.

And there’s a great old proverb. I forget what it is. If you don’t change where you’re headed, you might end up where you’re going or something like that.

Right. And, you know, let’s maybe think about that a little bit.

Yeah. So taking that into account of by dynamics and relationship with our food, relationship with everything that is supporting our livelihood of just being alive on this planet right now.

And the larger historical context of all of this, what would you wish upon the world if you’re, let’s say, to wave a magic wand and have every person truly understand and grasp fully a concept, if you will, or maybe an understanding.

What would that be that would get us closer and kind of really help move the needle? Imagine the entire population of the United States understanding this one key thing and being on the same page or obviously larger in the world.

Yeah. Yeah. I love this question. And I want to answer it in part by reading a poem.

And also want to mention that I’m enjoying some herbal teas on this is herbal tea made with biodynamic nettles, dandelion, chamomile, a little bit of hemp in there and calendula.

And this is one of the ways we can really boost our nutrition health and wellness because as biodynamics is growing more and more of the foods are going to be available at quantity.

But in the meanwhile, getting teas is one of the easier ways many of us can incorporate more of these incredibly nutritious plants into our bodies.

So yeah, I think the one thing we can each do is become a potent actor for regenerative stewardship, which means having direct relationship with soil, water and community, which implies plants.

And as we have that direct connection with soil, literally with our hands, those microorganisms, may as well call them angels, interact with our blood and neuro biochemistry they go through our skin, it’s porous at that scale.

And boost our serotonin production literally enhance our immune systems and actually augment our cognitive performance and their science on all of this.

So we humans, our relationship with the humus, the earth, the soil and the humor and the humility, understanding that nexus is a critical point in our work as regenerative stewards.

And it means we start from the inside out with our own bodies, our own minds, our own health and wellness and work out through our communities from that grounded center point of health and wellness and joy and gratitude.

So I thought maybe a little poem would be apropos and this is something we published last year in the midst of COVID on the summertime called poasis and my son hunter has a lot of his beautiful artwork in here.

And so it’s such a fun kind of father son collaboration project that we put together.

The very final poem in this entire collection, which by the way, these are poems from the last 25 years.

The first one in here I wrote, I must have been 18 or 19 or something like that.

And the final one on page 133 is called what if?

And it goes like this, what if humanity is on the brink of a great awakening?

What if there is a pause?

And what if awesome humble healing powers get activated among thousands of us, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands?

What if the great veriditas, the healing green biophotonic light, gets generated and transmitted across millions of nodes worldwide?

What if Raphael and thousands of angels are here now to help us heal?

Will you feel it?

Will you see it?

Will you be it?

What if?


That’s a fun one to read.

But I think that’s the question that we can each answer for ourselves.

We truly stand at that precipice and that’s an invitation for the next 100 episodes.

Yes indeed.

But it’s been truly an honor to be able to record this with you.

And thank you for sharing everything that you’re working on and everything that you’re dreaming into this next stage for a wide-north community in the regenerative podcast series.

There’s so much that is at stake for all of us and the timing around this is truly potent for us to step into the power around food, our relationship with the planet, and building the community, connecting with people.

There are people part of the ambassador network that would be really happy to connect and reach out to everyone who’s on the website and continue to listen and support the podcast as someone who’s in media, give us a like and a share.

I’m wondering if you have any closing thoughts as well.

Well, first of all, Artem, thank you.

And it’s such a joy and honor to be able to have this conversation with you and to mark the 100th episode in this way is so fitting and so perfect.

And just to really appreciate working with you in the ways in which you’re making our work with the wireless community possible.

It’s a joy. It’s a lot of fun. We have calls to action. Yeah, you know, if you’d like to engage in becoming ambassador, do so.

There are resources and pages on the website. It should be obvious. We really appreciate the support we get from our monthly donors and you can join it at any level and just click on that donate button.

And you know, it could be a bucket a month. It could be five bucks a month, 10 bucks, whatever.

And if you want to join at the $33 a month level or higher, we’ll send you a jar of the way they waters, biodynamically grown hemp infused aroma therapy, soaking salts as a thank you.

And that will help your health and wellness practice. And of course, we’ve got these really fun hats.

I wore the brown jacket to match. That one’s chocolate. This one’s called Pacific Blue. There’s another color called salmon and then a fourth color called all of green.

Get a hat. You know, that’s another way you can support what we’re doing. And want to really give a big shout out to all our sponsors who have made these 100 episodes possible.

The Brad and Lindsey Lidge Foundation, Purium, Waylay Waters, Earth Coast Productions, Earth Hero, Liquid Trainer, Vera Herbels, Zeal, Soil Works.

And of course, a big shout out to Dr. Bronner’s for their support and to Patagonia for our new affiliate partnership.

And in terms of other calls to action, get the resources that code free allows you to access all the e-books and the audio book version of YonEarth.

So you can check it all out, right? And if you want to buy a printed copy, do that and I’ll sign it for you.

But more than anything engage and really invite for yourself the time and the space to reflect on these big questions and invite for yourself the possibility that we are living in an absolutely critical moment and that the way in which you respond to these questions that we’re being asked in this critical moment is going to help determine the outcome.

And what will you do with that knowledge? So thank you and Artem, thanks again. Appreciate it.

Thank you, Aaron. Onwards to the next 100. Indeed, Tally Ho.

The Y on Earth Community Stewardship and Sustainability Podcast Series is hosted by Aaron William Perry, author, thought leader, and executive consultant.

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