Regen Ray: Hello. soil lovers, and welcome to another episode of Secrets of the Soil, I’m ‘Regen Ray’ your host and I am so excited because I know that our guest today is a lot of people’s fanboy and he’s also my fanboy. Welcome to the podcast, Charlie Arnott
Charlie: All right. Ray, stop it. Now the feeling is mutual. I’m loving what you doing out in the world, Ray And I think the more of us who are in the space talking our truth and telling about our experiences and sharing what we what we know and what we’re observing, and I think that’s a good thing. It’s a very positive time for the farmers and farming right now. Very exciting times.
Regen Ray: Absolutely. And I was on the phone with a friend yesterday, his Liz, and he said to say hello. Even though you don’t know him yet. So he was a fanboy as well. And I said to him that I’ll say hello and I did it on the airways. So Charlie, I think you don’t really need hello.
Charlie: Hello, this is excellent.
Regen Ray: I’m sure that would make him very happy. So if you email into the show, we will do your requests. Tell us a little bit about who you are. And you know, I know a lot of people know you already, but we’ve got a lot of new soil lovers after the pandemic. So who is Charlie Arnott?
Charlie: Ray, welcome to your Soil lovers and thank you for the opportunity to have a chat with you and them. Look, who am I am? Well, I guess maybe I’ll start with who I was many years ago. I grew up in a commercial farming situation that being at Boorowa sort of in our household, the Canberra conventional farming, lots of inputs, lots of afterwards sheep cattle crops, hay, you know, lots of activities. Very busy but not unique farm at Boorowa’s farming. So then I changed to I started having a few reflections and thoughtful moments and tension events in my life, which made me think about what I was doing, whether I wanted to be a farmer, whether I wanted to be sort of continuing to be to be the type of farmer that I was at that point in time, which was which was based on what I’d learned at school university, my life on a farm and growing up. So that was my background. And then through a number of tension events and sort of epiphanies and meeting a few people, a few people who had certainly I had not met before and which doing things I have not even heard of before I started my regenerative journey. At that point, not that word regenerative was really as much at the end of six,ten seven years ago. Yeah. And so I got to a point where things that we do think very differently now are used biodynamics . Really, it’s one of our cornerstone practices and philosophies with just two sheep and cattle. Now we don’t do all the cropping, and we also run biodynamic workshops and we’re advocates for what we do. And we’re still very experimental too. I have to say I don’t have all the answers. I’ve never been profess to be an expert. We’re always experimenting and trying to trying to do better things. I was just talking to someone a minute ago about an experimental sheep and heifer drench. We’re going to use on Friday, a couple of days before the full moon. Now, if you’d said that to me 15, 16 years ago that I’d be making some adventure out of herbs and drenching, I should be careful with it on a full moon probably shot you know. So things are very different now, right?
Regen Ray: Excellent. And it’s beautiful to see unfold. And yeah, I definitely agree that the times are changing and our mindsets and paradigms are shifting. And I love the work that you’re doing to educate and move forward that narrative. And I think regenerative principle is that continual learning like it doesn’t ever stop. It’s experimenting. It’s what if this what if that and farmers are born innovators, you know? And so I really love that, you know, this world of regenerative, even experimentation and farmers tinkering in this shed solving problems, welding stuff together kind of brings our physical world to the mindset world as well. So your regenerative journey is, is is great. And your podcast, which you also have, is called that the regenerative journey. What got you that bug to educate people when you started learning this information? Where does that need to educate and inspire come from?
Charlie: Yeah, it’s a great question, Ray I it’s probably a couple of things. I guess I’m naturally curious. So, you know, I guess I was always in the first place. I was curious to understand what else. You know, what else is the other answers, other outcomes, other ways of doing things. So that was, I guess, the starting point. But why did I share that? I guess again, my personality of, I guess, maybe being curious about what other people would think of that and if I would like to have a go at it, it certainly wasn’t about being boastful because again, my God, I’ve made some rules. So amazingly, one of the mistakes along the way, you know, which I’m happy to, I’m happy to share and have shared. So I guess it was almost felt selfish to not not share. It was like, will it work from me or hasn’t worked for me? What, why? Why wouldn’t I just be, you know, transparent and open about that? Which is what I also found Ray when I stepped into that world and those people who were the pioneers and the people who’ve been doing this stuff for years. That was what they did. You know, there was there was an atmosphere and attitude of of sharing and collaboration. I was it’s pretty hard to ignore that. So it’s just like the natural thing to do. I also think Ray, there was probably a there might have been some sense of guilt as well around, you know what the crimes I’d committed in those paddocks years ago? You know, that was that the know and I know every paddock and every tree in every Steiner post and every gully. And what I’ve done in those environments in terms of the spraying and the chemical use and the, you know, the plow or whatever else was detrimental. And so in sharing my journey of healing of that land, it may be appeasing my guilt. The idea of doing that somehow, I don’t know. There’s probably some psychology around that we could dig into one day Ray. But you know, I think it sort of freeze up, you know, for free, probably, you know, freezing up a little bit from from from that sort of a, you know, attitude. And it’s also about being man on again, I’m not the expert. This is what I did. It worked. It didn’t, you know, hands up, anyone else has got a better idea or another idea or another observation. I’m really happy to hear it because it’s as you just mentioned, it is a journey. It’s not a destination, I believe. And you know, the day that I start, you know, being on that journey and contributing to my farm and and that I’m not intentionally trying to heal or enable that healing is the day that I’ll be put in a box.
Regen Ray: Yeah, I love that. And Charlie, I think it’s such a great distinction. And even to call it out as in like, you know, the crimes that you had done on the farm, you know, because there is a lot of death and killing that comes to that, the conventional conventional farming. And, you know, maybe it is a bit too heavy to call it that. And on a one point, I wanted to kind of say that, you know, farmers need to go through a rehab program because they’re addicted to the use of chemicals. No different to, you know, someone, you know, addicted to a drug and you’ve got to wean off like that. That’s the same psychology. I think there is a lot of psychology of what you just explained, and definitely we would probably have to get another expert in that because I definitely don’t know enough in that area. But it is that heavy. You know, it is that kind of paradigm of seeing everything as a kill culture rather than as a heal and and a life culture, you know? So I like the fact that you’ve labeled it that, and maybe that is what soil lovers need to hear to wake up and go, Oh, I’ve never seen it like that or I’ve never thought of it like that, and now it hits home.
Charlie: Well, it’s about it’s about having that responsibility. You know it as I you know that word. I like emphasizing the fact that word is two words. It’s its response and ability. So it’s your ability to respond. And my response in those situations many years ago was, yes, it was about death was about pesticide herbicide fungicide. It was the death sort of response to the landscape and the products I was wanting to extract and create and sell from that. So, you know, that is a different responsibility. Now the way I respond is very different and I’m able to and it’s really about what am I in control of as a distinction from what am I not in control of? And if we focus on what we are in control of, then the results are very much more our responsibility and all they are doing and more likely to be on purpose with our life and our own. Why we are farming and what and and you know, what is it we’re actually trying to do and most may also be, you know, what are we going to be in this world? You know, we’re trying to be farmers who are extractive, you know, or we’re going to be farmers who are who are collaborative and proactive and productive and effective.
Regen Ray: Charlie, I love the fact that you broke that word up because I feel like sometimes the answers are right in front of us, like in order to take responsibility and the ability to respond. It’s right there in the word. I had a very similar situation with healthy soil. It was like, Heal thy soil. You know, the word healthy is heal thy, you know, heal the body, heal. mind, Heal the soul, heal the soil. You know, it’s right there in front of our face. If we slow down to stop and look at it and look at the many parts that make the hole and so, you know, soil lovers out there, like take that moment to just slow down and reflect. And Charlie, I’m interested in knowing like that guilt. You know, it takes a type of personality to kind of possibly stand there and admit and go, Maybe I’ve been doing it wrong, and maybe my generational farmers have not hit the nail on the head. How can you inspire someone to kind of put that ego aside and just charge forward with this new paradigm? Because I do see and hang out with people where ego plays a big part because it’s like, you can’t tell me that what five generations have done is wrong. Maybe it is. How do you do it?
Charlie: I get, yeah, not so good for. And Ray, if nature becomes, I guess, if we look from a business point of view because we are running businesses on a farm, that’s not if we can, if we can see that nature is our most valuable ever present, powerful and generous business partner, right? Imagine sitting beside your business partner and your ego is bigger than than theirs, you know, or thinking, you know what I mean? That’s not a that’s not a partnership in the first place. So if we consider that and we walk hand in hand with nature into decision making and literally into the paddock, what I do is I think it’s a very good idea to lie to yourself or to try and try and fool nature or try and, you know, if we don’t go on a battle with nature, which is what I used to do, you know? So I guess getting back to your question, it’s it’s really it’s just be honest with yourself and going, look, you know, it’s about picking your battles and going. I have a choice. Every morning I have a choice. And once upon a time, I chose to kill staff every morning. I now choose life. I choose the do no harm or do less harm. And I choose to to to to partner with with nature. And again, it is the most generous. It is the most forgiving. Is the most powerful. And if you if you if if I guess if you can’t see that and you can’t, the one can’t have that perspective. As a farmer looking at the landscape, then you will always be at war. You will always have a bigger ego. You always think you’re at the top of the pyramid is a beautiful diagram of land on top, and everything else is underneath. We are in the middle of the whole thing. So really, it’s all about attitude and one’s perspective. So I’m not sure if I really directly answered your question there, but it is. It’s it does take a bit of thinking. It does take some reflection and it also, you know, it’s about accountability. You know, I’ve been entirely accountable for ones actions. You know, no farmer. I don’t think really intentionally, I’m coming off. You don’t should really. But I don’t. In my majority, farmers don’t intend to go out to destroy landscape. Their intention is generally very pure or very positive. You know, they want to do the right thing. I want to grow my sheep and grass and trees and so on. But it’s in the execution. How much of the ego gets in the way that execution and how much of an emphasis are they putting on? And how much? How much community does I have with nature to come to help make those decisions? So it’s about letting go, as you say, about letting go of your ego and also breaking a lot of those old paradigms, you know which my old paradigms did not include anything to do with nature apart from me being a resource to be used, beautifully said.
Regen Ray: And I think you did nail it. I, you know, putting it aside and focusing forward and even doing those positive steps doesn’t matter what label it is biodynamic regen, organic seed tropic. The label doesn’t matter. It’s the intention. And if you wanting to do the right thing, you know, and it’s a process, it’s a journey like sometimes inputs need to be around. It’s not. You can’t go cold turkey on this stuff. The soil would not appreciate that, and neither will your farm and your financials and your bank managers and all those people in the mix. So, you know, it is definitely a journey. It’s about taking those small, positive steps in the right direction. When when did you realize that biodynamics played a big part in your farm management system? And what does a day look like for you now on the farm with this biodynamic mindset?
Charlie: Cool. Well, I guess the first real direct involvement of Vitamix was when I heard Hamish Mackay , who’s now the Great mates, just got off. A webinar with him We run our biodynamics workshops together was probably 15 years ago and a farming conference resource consulting service conference. And Hamish spoke for an hour and a half and he blew. It blew everyone’s heads off. It was incredible. He went hard. We was in the conference with, you know, pretty up the kind of top five, 10 per cent top of farmers and inside of the heads were popping. You all vote for this guy who was going pretty hardcore with this sort of stuff. Yeah. And I, my head exploded, too. However, one thing I was left with was really resonated with me because it was kind of a, you know, I mean, I guess something I’m curious. I have a science background, but I’m a farmer and a human being. So I also have, you know, I feel like I’m originally in touch with nature because that’s my that’s my that’s my playground in my my in my office. And so there were parts of me that resonated with in a corner where I was thinking, You know what? That kind of makes sense. You know, you can’t. I couldn’t explain it. A lot of science science is not good at explaining everything and never will. And thank God it won’t. Because if we knew all the mysteries of the world and had all the answers, that would be pretty boring. How so? It helped piece together a lot of things I’ve been observing and feeling. It kind of didn’t give me all the answers, but I was thinking out. What is something in this, there was something quite profound. And of course, that was when I hosted a workshop with Hamish and John Priestley very long after, and it was really compelling stuff, not just the practice of it, but the the cosmic side of it. The the the way that we are part of this massive universe, cosmos. And to think that we’re just operating down here in isolation, doing our citizens by staff is what I just couldn’t. That wasn’t that couldn’t gel with me anymore, you know, even with my science background. So it’s become a big part of what we do. Again, I’m not no expert. It’s a journey that in itself, you know, it is such a big topic. But again, if it’s if you if you take the if you have the mantra, don’t say no, say, oh, you know, so when you hear something kind of crazy, don’t go dispel it, you know, just just maybe put it to one side and say, Oh, that’s interesting, you know, and these things tend to grow on you. And as you then you hear something at one of our workshops, for instance, where you raise up in a book and then you go and ground truth and you go out so they can actually, you know what, that did happen in that time of the year or that season or something. It’s really interesting how these things start coalescing. So what does it look like? Well, in terms of the biodynamics or the bottom side of it, generally, we do most of our activities in autumn and spring being us and about warm all this time of year. Not too hot, not too cold and hopefully not too dry. And we use just in a basic sort of a routine. We use soil activator, which is a number of different soil preparations made with mainly cow manure and a few other minerals and different techniques to make that you soil lovers is left to come to one of our courses, Rea, to understand that the bolts of it all. But nonetheless, it’s you know, so we make our own own products, right? Let’s call them fertilizers was one of the better word. And in the afternoons when the Earth is breathing in, we we we spray these preparations out in our paddocks, and generally we spray in paddocks where the cattle are shaping the plane. So the grass is been eaten down a bit more open and the plants are responsive to it. Having said that, if we are making sheep and cattle, you know the bulls and rams, we spray it in front of them a couple of days before because we’ve found that that is that is some correlation saying science causation, but certainly some interesting correlation with fertility rates and pregnancy rates and land on the ground and calves on the ground. If we do that so and we use that, we have a story machine or a plow form and stirs up the liquid. We mixes these fertilizers in these preparations and we just throw it in the back of the Earth in a tank water pump and we burn around paddocks. And just for one thing to know in terms of our day and what we’re doing in those activities, right is it’s very intentional in my old days of conventional farming where I would look at my list of chemicals I need to get from my agronomist and I would buy them and they’d come at a tub like a drum or a bag, and I would spray them out. And it’s very, very like a recipe. It was very prescriptive, and I had no real insight. I wasn’t in touch with the process and all not on. It is probably something to kill, something to get to the next step of this production cycle with biodynamics. And, you know, pretty much and I suggest any other regenerative practice, it’s a very intentional thing, you know, you’re thinking about. Why are you doing it? You know, this is about healing, this is about help, this is about fertility and fecundity, and this is about production of healthy food and helping to heal an environment. And so we don’t burn around and think of where we are going to the pub that night. You know, we think about what we’re doing. I think about the crimes of committed. I think about the love on bringing to that landscape, on bringing on thinking about the gratitude I have that this land has given me a sanctuary. It’s an opportunity for me to express my creativity. It’s given me the opportunity to to grow food that I’m going to feed. I’m going to sell to people and they are going to be healthier for it, you know? And it’s an opportunity to be compassionate. You know, it is a real biodynamics getting back to a question earlier there. For me, it gave me some structure around how how can we how can we build a relationship with nature? And this is an art. This is a quarter ritual and without any sort of crazy connotations, it’s a practice and it’s about, you know, it’s an act of compassion saying, You know what? I’m really grateful for what you’ve done or what you’re giving me. And here’s a little something back for you. You know, I’m just going to give you a give. We’re going to give you a birthday. And so that’s what the day looks like. We do a couple of hours of spring in the afternoons, and there’s lots of other different things in terms of animal health. And I was just thinking I mentioned earlier there before about the natural drainage. You know, we’re giving some some goose and some heifers on on Friday, and it’s a mixture of a couple of herbs like, I think there’s rosemary and that is wormwood is garlic. This is a is a mature olive oil or some other oil brown rice bran. It smells just like pesto. It’s amazing. And so we’re going to show our use in lambs and heifers on Friday with it again on the full moon. Excellent. So that’s a that’s a bit of a snapshot, but there’s a lot more to it, really. But and it’s all about, you know, if I can say whether it’s the biodynamics or it’s, you know, permaculture or it’s any sort of practice that is term regenerative, it’s for me, it’s all about how you adapt that to your farm. It’s not about having a recipe. Some of that or he’s doing it. I mean, it’s doing exactly the same way because it’s something different variables and so many different reasons why you are doing it and they’ve got to align your values. And so, you know, that’s what we do in terms of biodynamics the principles like anything principles. By definition, they don’t change, but it’s how we how we how we use those practices and what our little rituals that we have in the day than the day and the week in the month and the year. That’s more important for individuals to to actually create themselves.
Regen Ray: Charlie, your farm life sounds magical, to say the least, and it smells like pesto. Like, why wouldn’t I want to be there?
Charlie: I swear to you, I kid you not. It was amazing. Tessa, who do worked with this day and she’s amazing with the horses and she’s been training horses with different things for some till apple cider vinegar they need to. I think we will be. I think we’re going to be doing a little video on it at some stage. She’s fantastic. And so, yeah, she she did it sort of a sample benchmark the other day. And I mean, I if she hadn’t told me, I have been putting it on the committees to make a little bit of tomato for sure. And some of it was just delicious. It smells
Regen Ray: lovely. That sounds amazing. soil lovers is there you go. And it doesn’t have to be just on a paddock on a farm like these are, you know, we’ve spoken to a lot of people with biodynamics that are doing it in their own backyard and the neighbors go, Wow, you’re your backyard. Look so green and it’s glowing. And maybe it is. So on that note, we’re going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we’re going to talk about the paddock between your ears and how buyers are more connected to the source. All right. Welcome back. You’re hanging out with Charlie on it and Regen Ray , Charlie, I know that you’re a big believer or you’ve got a quote that you have kind of coined and made big . But this paddock between your ears, what is it? Tell us. Tell our soil lovers what is Paddock between ears
Charlie: what is the paddock is nice one Ray will look. I guess it was something that I think Charlie Massey got me thinking about it some time ago, and I think you want to call it the field. But I know that that square foot of real estate between your ears. Yeah. Anyway, it’s morphed into Paddock is in my mind. You know, we’re so used to as farmers doing stuff in the paddock, you know, and it’s like, Oh, we go to a course and we go on to do that and we show in the paddock next time we’re doing it, which is great, we’re experimenting and so on. But the thing that really struck me in early on in my journey was that, you know, the tool in the hand of an inexperienced or ignorant person can be really dangerous. And it’s not about just grabbing hold of a recipe or a tool you know you’ve heard about or read about and going into. I mean, that’s not a bad thing, but in terms of why are you using it? What is the what’s the intention behind the use of that? And so for me, it was like, Well, maybe we just go into the paddock straight away. Maybe there’s another paddock. We need to change and we need to bust some paradigm so that we can be more accepting of even thinking about that tool in the first place and then having a better foundation, a better mindset, the better motivation for using that tool in the paddock. So, you know, so it’s in the said. It’s a pedigree 20 years where, you know, there’s probably if you were to break it down a couple of sort of stages of of what happens in that in that in that paddock there of breaking paradigms because there’s only so many parents, there’s only room for so many paradigms in their paddock, breaking a few being curious enough to want to learn something differently, identifying that there’s maybe a better way to do it. And that’s that’s tough. And it probably relates back to your previous questions, Ray You know, admitting to yourself that you probably start a few things up and you’re probably not doing as good a job as you can. And when you do that, the other thing that often pops up in a farming family context is, you know, when you get to a point of saying, maybe I need to do things differently or I’m doing something not very good, or let’s even say bad right now, you’re, you know, the son or daughter of a farmer, then that in some way can be confronting because on some level, you might think that you are a sign that you’re making your father or your mother, your family roll, you know? Yeah, and that’s a big thing. So you know, it’s about how do you how do you how do you reconcile that in your own mind and in your relationships with your family? So that’s what I suggest people think about is, you know, yes, gather information, be curious, talk to people. You know, there’s there’s a gap there, I reckon, between, you know, finding that and then implementing it, the execution. We have the intention, but there’s a place for some reflection. Hmm. Because it’s a it’s a good investment of time and energy, I think to just stay in hiding between your ears for a little bit longer than you’re probably used to just to get clean. Does this new practice a lot of my values, does it lead me to where I want to go in terms of the vision for my business? You know, there’s a whole lot of questions you can ask yourself about. Does it? Is it something I want to be doing or I feel I should be doing? Is it? Is it something I can bring my family along for the ride on? Is it actually going to be creating a better outcome for my family? You know, these are all things that people should be asking themselves. Is it going to be more profitable? Is it going to create different relationships, you know, before they go on wolf into it, you know, straight into the paddock? But again, having said all that Ray, sometimes the best lessons we have and we need actually are because we skip that part and we’ve gone straight out and done something. And that’s fine, too. But there are hard lessons to learn. We don’t have to keep making the mistakes other of made. We can learn a bit of a Tony Robbins is you learn from other people’s mistakes. So it’s a route from the time and the money. But don’t think you’re never going to make this stay.
Regen Ray: Yeah, the permission to make mistakes is definitely there, and that’s where innovation happens, and that’s where we all learn. And you know, I think sometimes some of the techniques that we do now came from mistakes or came from, you know, and mixed up formula. And then it’s like, Oh, hang on now, does this, you know? So definitely embrace that curiosity and to think outside the square. And you know, I think for the soil lovers out there, you’re doing the best thing you can right now. You listen to a podcast that’s, you know, riding your earbuds, that’s the paddock between your ears and Charlie on it. You have your podcast, the rigidity of Journey. So hanging around great minds, if you can’t be in the room physically, then hanging out virtually. And you know, while you’re doing other tasks, you know, in a podcast now your podcast is called Regenerative Journey, and I’m really curious to know from your point of view, what does the word regenerative mean to you?
Charlie: Yeah, it’s it’s it’s an interesting one. Isn’t it Ray? That mine is pretty vague and broad, not the vague, because I don’t want to sort of have an opinion on it more that it’s, you know, the definition my definition is is broad because I think it’s reflective of the actual, you know, the the world of regenerative and agricultural regenerative anything of being so mining in very simple terms and is, you know, any practice or philosophy or principle that is building the quality and quantity here, there anywhere. And also just to add to that is and I and I saw Charlie Massey’s, you know, five landscape functions here as well. Any thoughts we practice and and a practice that is that is helping to build a build upon and restore the function of solar cycle, mineral cycle, water cycle, the biological cycle. And I’m simplifying Charlie sort of breakdown of the functions and then the people cycle as the communities are. Anything that’s in what you were doing that is improving, that the the individual function, you can’t escape the the the collaborative function or the synergistic functionalized that’s regenerative. Now I a lot of farmers who are doing things very regenerative, they would never even think that they do. Being a regenerative farmer would like a word, and that’s absolutely fine. Yeah, I think, you know, it’s not in the spirit of the kind of farming is working with nature. When we try and pigeonhole things too much, it’s very reductive and it’s very it’s getting back to the sort of dragging some of our old paradigms, the baggage of conventional farming into the now when we need to define things. And, you know, some people need a definition of that, that’s fine. And then we took a step in the water certification certification. I’m not certified. I’m not a particularly big fan of it. You know, I’m not saying, don’t do it to farmers or I’m not saying to consumers, don’t don’t source certified food. I’m just saying that, you know, that agent holds things in. And I know a lot of certified producers or answer don’t a lot. I know a number of certified producers and I’ve tasted plenty of certified food that I, if you were to go on farm, you would go to court where it’s pretty clear that that certification system is based on taking the boxes about practice. Know I’m not using chemical, I’m not doing that. It doesn’t necessarily evaluate what they are doing. The positive inputs, what they’re putting back in the account is taken down. Is this going to suddenly, miraculously produce the best food in the world? It does take time. It takes, takes an input and takes a lot of intention. You know, a certification, whether it’s organic or diet and ethical, regenerative. I think there’s the number of different type of regenerative certification down to me. It’s all about what happens at the other end. What’s the quality like? What’s the nutritional what’s a chemical thing? So look, I’m yeah, I get a pretty vague Ray and anything. I just I mean, it’s not like I’m a cop-out . It’s more, you know what? It’s it’s what you’re comfortable with an IOU. If you’re only going line yourself, you’re only lying to yourself or, you know, having a land. If you if if you just try to sort of manipulate that definition to suit what you’re doing because, you know, if you’re cutting corners, you’ve got to have found out if you know you’ve got to sleep at sleep at night. And if you’re not internally comfortable, what you’re doing is going to it’s going to pop out. So I I just think, you know, whatever blows your hair back in, you know, in yourself, you know, as your soil lovers with your liters of food, which we all are or the producers of food that you know, you’ll know, you’ll know if you’re doing it originally and others are doing it to your taste buds and probably the thing that’s going to kill you. So that’s a a marina we’ve just acquired as the rescue dog.
Regen Ray: Randy Bradshaw sounds of nature.
Regen Ray: What I I want to focus on the fact that you use the word improve, and I agree. The reason why I ask that question is because we don’t want to define it. I’m trying to highlight the fact that it is very unique and it’s meaningful differently to each individual guest and person that I speak to. And I think putting it in a box and creating a checklist of things that it needs to be is the problem. And so getting people’s take on what that word means to them is part of the intention of that. What I’m trying to highlight is that listeners out there, our soil lovers, can hear that it does mean something different and it’s up to them to go and find out what regenerative means to them. And so that word improving. I think he’s a really good kind of kind of distinction to say it’s improving it. We all know that we need to go to the gym, but we don’t do it. It’s that action. You know, we all know that we need to eat healthier, but we don’t do that in our buying decisions. And I. And I want to. I want to visit this whole connectivity to the source, and I know that you play a big part also of being an advocate to buying better quality food. Can you speak to that a little bit? Like what does what needs to happen in order for us to be more connected to better quality food and not just food?
Charlie: Yeah. Well, look, I mean, that’s a that’s another big conversation there Ray in itself. I think in terms of people eaters, everyone who’s looking to buy good food, asking better questions of yourself, you know what? I really need to be eating to be healthier. Let’s not kid ourselves. And also, more importantly, to what what our children need to be getting to be healthier. What are our what are what are our health parameters now? What are our indicators of health? One of those is what are the mechanics with nature and the and the natural sort of preparation for that is, well, how often I’ve been to a farm because farms are natural or the ones you want to take their food from is their natural. So getting on farm and actually talking to those farmers, understanding it. Kids love that stuff. And I lap it up and I actually know. And they need to be in touch with animals, they need to be breeding the biome of where the foods from, which Bush would say so. You know, having a direct contact, not just putting it in you, but being in the environment that is made. So it’s it’s within you and without you, you know, you’re you’re there with your family. And and again, we, you know, children, it’s a really sad thing when children. It’s a massive part of their life that trying to get to part of the humanity or the being human. Yup. If I don’t get to express themselves and I see it time and time again, whether it’s children eating good food or children in the environment, that is a natural sign. You know, and you know, you can you can. You can pinpoint a lot of child illness and mental dysfunction, if I can put it that way in children, and it can trace it back to a lack of good food and the connection with with the world in terms of labeling. Ray, you know, I’m a big fan of the idea that labeling needs spin 180, you know, we need to be going into shops and saying labels and type food. Right? Did they actually not even label it is like this is broccoli, this is carrots. And the other bunch of food is label chemical food. But why do we have to identify the organic food and what it is or is identified? I’m not saying it shouldn’t be. But why is it? Why do they grow the organic food need to be paying, you know, a certification system, you know, and putting more time and effort into that. When they’re growing food, that’s actually the food we should be looking at and the people who are growing food, the chemical-laden or produce food, they should be made accountable for what they’re doing and it should be identified as that. And we’re going to spin that 180 degrees so that people go, Oh, maybe it’s all like all organic foods, too expensive. I’ll eat this other stuff. It should be while eating this other stuff. It’s got chemical and oh actually, you know, that’s the stuff like Michael Michael Pollan talks about. He talks about, you know, being a great grandmother does really pretty good advice. And I didn’t have labeling back then. I just knew and I just the taste buds on kids learning to use their taste buds from a young age is the best tool they’ve got and their eyes. And there ears, and their senses
Regen Ray: yes, 100 percent and I love. I was at a conference that you shared that idea of labeling things that aren’t food. And, you know, and I think that, you know, that’s the harsh realities that people need to see. You know, we need to walk down the aisles and call out the poisons and the chemicals that are in the food, you know, and not wait until it’s too late. So many people who are waiting to prove that something dangerous, it’s like if there’s an inkling that this is no good, that should be the warning signs. That’s the red flag. That’s you know, and the question of why is organic and regeneratively growing food so expensive? The question should be why is the other stuff so cheap? You know, both arguments are so important, you know, so I know you and I both on the same page with that.
Charlie: And just on that, you know, Joel Sullum has a great line in idea. You are amazing with all your stuff. He talks about enough. No, you want to pay your farmer now, your doctor later. You know, if you don’t pay your farmers for good ingredients now and and you know the value and identifying, acknowledging the value of food and then not willing to do that. And then you will have to you will suffer the consequences down the track when you are spending a whole lot of money on that on doctors at the end because you just neglected to think about, you know, I love the expression, be kind to your future self. You know, and we don’t do that. You know, there’s all this is this is the still the the philosophy of being here B and B now and loving myself in this present moment. But I think if we think about, you know, that person who will be us or is us in 20, 30 years time, you know, whether it be retirement or you just have your first kid or whatever and you think about, you know, will I be proud of the way I treated myself now when I look back, you know, I don’t know. There’s probably know there’s not a whole lot of people will be going, Yep, I am totally on point there and I will be thinking to myself, you know, in 30 years time. I just I think that as a reference point and also your kids to, you know, the kids are asking kids, How did I, how did I get? I got it as a parent, you know, now hopefully they will know more about food and sort of the origins of another producer down the track. But, you know, getting some critical feedback from your children and being dis honest with yourself. We fall my kid. What would I say in 10 years time for time?
Regen Ray: I love that. That’s a great reflections. soil lovers think about how you can bring that into your daily or, you know, for daily thought today and. I think that’s a really good question, and I’m assuming when you say your kids, you mean like young kids or adult kids, like when they’re born.
Charlie: I’ve got sort of either I’ve got children at 25 21 and I’ve got personally 11 year old and the nearly four-year-old . So, yeah, look, it’s any, any any person younger than you now, I think. But again, getting back to one’s self, it’s like, you know, think about who you want to be and what health you want to be. And look, you know, we all have parents who have had parents and we often, you know, we travel on that journey with them as they become more elderly. And that, to me, is also a good reference point for, you know, you know, what have been eating or what is exercise regime been and how they treated themselves. And, you know, because you share the same genes. So that’s kind of you can take their boxes. Okay. I’m sort of genetically, we’re genotype is is pretty similar, but the phenotype is the thing that is is is the thing that we have much more choice of once we leave that nest. And I have another great not certainly a quite a mine. I cut my where, pick it up from something I’d always bang on about is, you know, our job as parents is to prepare our children to leave us. Yes. And if I leave at 18 and are not prepared emotionally and physically and mentally and nutritionally and I haven’t the habits of life that will leave them in good stead or keeping in good stead, you know, that’s our responsibility to that point. And if they they’re leaving school and they don’t have no idea how to feed themselves or budget or, you know, behaving, you know, what are the social norms and have those productive and positive rituals, then we can’t blame ourselves so. And food. Food habits and buying habits. And the connection with nature is all piled up to.
Regen Ray: Absolutely. Charlie, are you ready to become the voice of our soils?
Charlie: Yes. Yes, yes. you prime me for this from Private though
Regen Ray: If you were soil, the voice of our soils? And, you know, I want you to embody the soil. What would you tell us on planet Earth?
Charlie: I would just say tread lightly. I think, you know, tread lightly on me and tread lightly on the Earth, and that’s not being passive, that’s just being respectful. That’s been that’s, you know, that that is a that is a way of showing reverence. You know, it’s like, Wow, we’re pretty lucky to be on this Earth. We have it in our power to keep screwing it up or. And as individuals, especially, you know, I’ve been privileged to have to be stewarding landscape at this moment. You know, I’ve been listening to that soil, you know, and and and and to tread lightly and to do no harm. And having reverence for it changes everything. So I think if I was the soil and and I could if I was able to, if I if I have, that’s what I would say, because I don’t want to be too descriptive either. You know, people, people have ways of expressing themselves, you know, so it’s just a it’s a it’s a prompt from the soil for those with a conscience to do, do what they feel is right. And if people do have a conscience and they do have reverence for the land and landscape on the Earth, they will do the right thing, you know. So I think that’s. Is that okay?
Regen Ray: Nailed it. Nailed it. Nailed it. Charlie Arnott, it’s been an absolute pleasure hanging out with you today and digging deeper into the wonderful world of soils. And so if the soil lovers are out there and they want to tread lighter and be kinder to themselves, how can they hang out with you more?
Charlie: Ray, thank you. Look, I’ve got a website, Charlie Arnott dot com dot AU . We have a number of different things that people can to dig into there for my podcast up there with some with many fantastic guests, too. And it’s not just about farming, it’s about meditation, it’s about health. It’s about all sorts of different vocations because we all have our own regenerative journey. And it’s interesting. The more people I talk to, the more it’s emphasized how food and farming and nature are central to to those regenerative journeys in different ways. So jump on what you’re using and jump on podcast platforms for that on the website, there’s different. If you’re a farmer or or a feeder, you can have little trips down and find feed it from little things out there. I’m on Instagram, Charlie Arnott1 on Facebook. There’s lots of ways to get in touch with me and we are running today. Biodynamic workshops in southern Australia over the next couple of months in Victoria, in Boorowa, where we’re all started there. Boorowa, that’s in. They got their websites all the dates there will be in Tassie up to the end of October and WA in November as well. If all goes well and the borders aren’t shut completely
Regen Ray: awesome or they go soil lovers, that’s how you can hang out more with Charlie on it. The links will be all around the show notes, and if you’re watching on the Social Learning Centre, you the video experience, you will see the links as well as I go and check that out. The workshops I’ve done, the intro to biodynamics and it was mind blowing and that was just the scratch at the scratch, at the scratch of the surface. And so I’m super keen to hang out more in the biodynamic world. We’ve got a lot of members in our community who are biodynamic farmers or just landholders or garden people, and they can’t speak highly of it. And so there you go. That’s how you can definitely get outside and get your hands dirty and be kind to your to yourself by hanging out with great minds and with, you know, with COVID. I have to say your Instagram does keep me very entertained. So know, head over there and follow. Charlie does amazing content and just, you know, last week there was a question about why is the grass greener under this dead tree, you know, and then say, you know, the comments was just so fascinating to see how people are viewing the landscape these days, and it was really, really magical. So that’s a little bit of a taste of what you can get if you hang out more with Charlie, and he’s been so great talking to you today. This is been a podcast that I’ve waited a very long time to do so. Thank you for coming on and sharing the secrets of the soil, Ray
Charlie: Look, it’s been a pleasure, and thank you for inviting me to share some stories and then beyond and things and good, good on you for doing what you’re doing and helping peoples share their voices and their stories and making it easy for people to understand and get their head around the topic of regenerative farming and good food and health. So good on you for keeping from maintaining the rage, and especially at a time when I think that it’s really important with COVID. And what’s not been talked about with COVID is the health side of it. We can all there are. There are things that we’re being suggested that need to be done in our lives, but there’s also not the conversation you shouldn’t be taking place about, well, how do we put them in the first place? So it’s all part of the mix. So thank you for being advocate for that, right?
Regen Ray: Absolute pleasure. Absolute pleasure. Well, thank you. There you go. soil lovers. So now you’ve got a lot more things to think about with your paddock between your ears. So get on outside, get your hands dirty, keep digging deeper, and tread lightly. I’m Regen Ray.