Show #136: Charlie Arnott on Regenerative & Biodynamic Agriculture

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Our show sponsor this week…

       

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And onto this week’s show!

This week my show guest is farmer, Charlie Arnott who took his family farm reigns in 1997 in Boorowa, where they’d been farming for 50 years. After a series of epiphanies through education, steered them towards regenerative agriculture using biodynamic principles. In today’s show we talk about Charlie’s farming journey, his decision to move away from trying to get nature to do what HE wanted, and instead working to learn how best to collaborate with nature – something he believes is key to not only a prosperous farming business but also to a farmer’s mental health and the land’s health. It’s an inspiring deep dive into biodynamics and regenerative agriculture, as well as looking at some of the biggest challenges of our time ethically with factory farming and live export, as well as climate change and drought. Enjoy the show!

 

 

The questions I asked Charlie:  

  1. Arnott’s Bikkies – bet you had a few of the tins at home growing up?
  2. What made your Dad leave the family bikkie business?
  3. What did you see in farming at the time that made you want to stay in it and take the reigns?
  4. Was it a big ‘aha’ one day about conventional farming that you had or did cracks start to show in the system that caused you to question things? (basically want to talk about the mental/educational journey you went on, to the point where you decided to start trying to put it into practice)
  5. When you hold workshops and speak – how do you help conventional farmers see why regenerative agriculture is worth pursuing?
  6. Can we have a basic lesson in biodynamic farming? (some key steps / the why / the how it’s different to organic)
  7. A lot of large scale farmers often think “fine for a small farm to do that kind of thing… I run a ‘serious large scale operation here’ – Is it possible on a grand scale? Profitable?
  8. What were some of the key things you noticed as you moved towards this way of farming?
  9. Most of our country is desert land – many farmers have experienced horrendous effects of drought either now or in the past – how can regenerative farmer sequester moisture / use rain more efficiently when it does   our farms in the adverse weather / global warming?
  10. And let’s talk carbon emissions: The thinking is that we all need to go vegan to save the planet. And while of course, we all need to eat less meat to make way for more plant variety and NONE from factory farmed sources and sources whose feed is creating field clearances for soy fields in the amazon… there’s a place for meat from a health perspective for many people, but also from an environmental BENEFIT stance. Given that seems so foreign a concept to most people – can you walk us through how?
  11. How do we as consumers – or as you put it co-producers of the RIGHT way – continue to put pressure on govt to end things like live export / intensive farming / GMO grain feeding? Seems like such a big issue to tackle?
  12. Education: You’ve moved into a real focus on getting farmers together to talk, to learn from each other, to explore biodynamic/regenerative farming: Can you share any exciting success stories that have filtered through from your students/attendees?
  13. What are you most excited about moving into the future of farming?

Other helpful links:

To find out more about Charlie Arnott and his work check out: www.charliearnott.com.au

Connect with him on Instagram @charliearnott1 or on Facebook

 

 

If you want to click through to iTunes from here to subscribe to the podcast and listen to this week’s show, and the episodes that have aired since our launch in July 2016, GO HERE

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Enjoy the show and thanks again for taking the time to rate and review the show on your app – it’s like tipping the bartender and it means the world.

Low Tox. Happy us. Happy planet

Comments 6

  1. Thank you for this wonderful inspiring episode. Everyone must listen to this! So great to have an Australian forging the way for a better way of doing things on the land. Regenerative farming is often thought to be something only hobby farmers can achieve, Charlie got my broad acre farming husband listening!! Thanks

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  2. This was an absolute gem of a podcast. I was driving as I listened and sat in the carport for half an hour as I couldn’t bear to stop it. So much inspiring information, I want to head out and buy some BD 500. I remember when I first heard about BD years ago, we al thought it was a bit out there but now I have so much admiration for Rudolf Steiner and his work. As a retired teacher I truly think his education philosophy is way ahead of the modern trends. Have two little grandies at a Steiner School and they love it, as do I.

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  3. That was such an interesting chat, Alexx. What a great guy and so impressive how he explained stuff in easy terms. That was 2 drives and 1 long walk worth for me!

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