Regen Ray: Matt Powers welcome to the Secrets of the soil podast. Hello, soil lovers. I’m super excited to dig deeper today with our podcast guests because I know you’ve seen all the stuff that Matt does on his Facebook and socials that he really gets his hands dirty. So welcome to the show, Matt. Tell everyone a little bit about who you are.
Matt Powers: Hey, I am an educator. I was a high school teacher. Before that, I was a professional musician, but I found that teaching turned something on in me and I couldn’t turn it off. Love working with people and empowering them, giving them the answers and providing solutions and providing them the tools and skills that they can solve problems themselves and improvise and be creative with the primary tools that that that drive our world. And I was originally an English teacher, but then I became a permaculture teacher, and then I got kind of hooked on soil.
Regen Ray: I feel I feel you.
Matt Powers: Yeah, yeah. And so I was I was a teacher where there was no, there was no there was no curriculum. We had to create it all from scratch. And so I started doing that for permaculture and then I started doing that for soil. And I love soil. I’ve been working with soil for over a decade. I’ve been seed saving, gardening and writing about all of this and studying it. And it was interesting. Ray, you said that you know, you’re always wanting to learn more. The amazing thing about soil is we know, we know enough to participate in it finally and prove the right actions. But we’re in a relationship where we’re learning from soil, healthy soil. It’s still something very new to so many people and in so many contexts, we’ve not really seen it have its day. So we’re we’re in the seat of just learning so much for what’s possible. Like, like we don’t know how much plants can produce, really. We don’t know how fast they can produce, really. We don’t know how we know that they can be resistant to pests and diseases and viruses. But but to the extent that like he could affect everything, in fact, the entire food supply. We, we we haven’t seen those things happen. And and when we do, I believe that not only will we see completely different soil, but we are going to see that our food truly is our medicine. And and and the insights that we’re learning right now in soil are actually affecting medicine, actually affecting our what I eat. And and so and so yeah, I feel that we’re we’re learning and it’s so fun because there’s always something new to add and it’s thrilling. And, you know, I didn’t think that like five 10 years ago, even that that it would be thrilling, but it’s so cutting edge it affects everything. It’s as linchpin of understanding, and it makes sense because it’s look, we all came from where all the plants, you know, live and we eat plants or we eat animals that eat plants. Everything revolves around the soil. Everything returns to soil. And so I really love exploring these ideas. I love talking about different methods. I love interviewing people who do it on a farm scale, on a garden scale, all the different methods because the whole merit of context and and of course, caveats. But but we’re all learning from each other. So I love it. I can’t get enough
Regen Ray: and I’m addicted there with you, and I can’t get enough of it as well. And I agree, like the more that we are discovering about the connectivity of all our soils and the food and the animals and the ecosystems. It’s like I sit here sometimes and wonder how did we end up with a system that we have when you know the solutions were so in our face and right there in front of us, and we’ve really complicated it as a as a species. And so that’s why I’ve created this podcast is why, you know, I’ve gone all in on, on, on soil and basically turned my life into what can I do today to make soil better than what it was yesterday? You know, so much so that we’ve made our avatar in the business because it’s living is soil now, not who you are on the planet, but what you’re doing to serve our soil. And I’m super excited to hear your experience and even like knowing that you’ve come from and teaching and facilitating background and that education, that’s one of my core values as well. And so when these worlds collided, I got really, really excited about how I can use my skills of empowering and educating and mentoring people and coaching them, but applying it to soils and that living organism. So I know you’ve got a whole book about fun facts of soil, but what’s something that blew your mind, I think is behind you? Yeah, for our watchers, there’s a book on the screen. If you’re listening to the podcast, the link would definitely be around the video and in the show notes, and it’s called regenerating soils. So what? What tell me why you decided to write a book?
Matt Powers: eSo the longest chapter in the permaculture student 2 was on soil, and it was the fungi section with Peter McCoy was a close second in the scientific rigor, but Ela Ingham work with me one on one on that section. And so it was very, very deep in the biology and soil food web perspective. And she she’s fluent. You know, I mean, she started looking at microscope like she started doing biological assays for her father at University of Minnesota when she was six. Wow. So the fluency that that develops and I’ve seen it in my son, my son’s fluent at music because he started playing when he was a toddler. I mean, around my 12 months old, maybe a little bit older, started playing music. And so there’s a fluency that comes from that that. Sometimes they know things and they can’t even explain it, and it’s been pretty amazing to see the new science emerge and like like Elaine Ingham’s principles for why the soul food website works the way it works. The principles for the benefits have remained true, even though she didn’t say she couldn’t see The Invisibles. The end of whites and the microbes sucked up by the roots themselves that are eaten by the roots because it took a mycologist who did. They like stains so they would think of ecologists to find that, wow. So it’s it’s all of these people working together, and it’s this constant. And those stains were just in the past three months created to prove the final step of of race and say, Wow. So it’s currently unfolding story. And I got just this huge download from Elaine and worked a lot with her one on one. And it was like this connective chapter in the heart of my Big Purple book. It’s over a 400 page book, the first peer reviewed permaculture book in the first sighted textbook on permaculture since 1989. Bill Mollison, a permaculture designer’s manual. And so it was the heart of that. And so I was like, OK, what should I write next? They put out a poll. It was like permaculture, gardening, go all general, you know, go back down a step right, right and more general instead of more specific and consistently people are just saying, keep going, keep going up. And so that’s why I did the advanced program student online. That’s why I did that Big Purple book, a peer reviewed and all that stuff. And then it was the first accredited in North America. And so overwhelmingly, people are like, do a book on soil. And so I was like, Oh, this is going to be either I’m just going to flesh out that forty five page chapter, it’s going to be a lean book. Oh man. So he’s the pocket size. No, no, no. It did not turn out that way. It ballooned into almost a 300 page book. And it. I had to learn to illustrate because I was there was no way that a I could afford to pay for the revisions constantly because I’m like, Oh, wait, I read another article that would fix that. I mean, this is why it took me so long to finish it because I had to make things visual and then run them by the experts, like several experts, because a. I mean, you guys know how science is done. It’s like there’s a guy who studies this aspect, but he doesn’t study any of that aspect, but it’s all happening at the same time. But they never talk to each other. So the chemist you’ve got there, you’ve got the biologist, they know you’ve got the internet, you’ve got the geologist who’s all minerals and they don’t talk to that. And these silos that our education system have created is exactly what permaculture, regenerative ag and a lot of these new innovative, innovative ways of thinking are addressing. They’re actually looking at the connections and overlaps between the sciences. Yeah. So it makes a lot of sense. And it’s it’s really once you get past like the permaculture or other lingo, you know, it’s it’s really just that it’s it’s a connecting sciences that we’re siloed and and sometimes, you know, like histories that weren’t, weren’t shared and stuff. Yeah. And so I basically wrote it because folks said they wanted it and then it did a Kickstarter. And then I like got into the research you was like. I got to learn chemistry. Oh, no, no, I don’t, I don’t. Oh, no, I didn’t sign
Regen Ray: up for this.
Matt Powers: I got scared. Wow. For real, though.
Regen Ray: Yeah, yeah. I know it’s
Matt Powers: at out there where I got really worried because that was like, I remember being not so good at this part. You know what I mean? Because high school chemistry, high school biology, the way these things are taught is not in a way that’s empowering. It’s on the way that’s memorable. And like as an educator, I would say that they didn’t understand what authentic teaching and authentic learning was. Hmm. This is why, you know, when I was a teacher, I would tell teachers that they’re paid to do their job during the time they’re allotted. That means during the classroom, you don’t need to spill over their job onto family time and after hours with homework if they’re actually doing their job. They didn’t like that, but I had the data to prove that if you actually taught people and authentic empowering way, they loved it because it connected to what their passions were and the goals they had in their lives. Mm hmm. And so suddenly, hey, I didn’t need to teach to the test. I didn’t need to assign homework. They did homework. I mean, they did work at home for themselves independently using skills they learned in class. So it was a complete paradigm shift, and I was getting higher like scores and the the state standardized testing. So so I’m a passionate educator, and I encountered these amazing science teachers and professors and and researchers like Dr. Elaine Ingham and Dr. Olivia Hussan, Dr. James E. White or James F. White. Excuse me. And they they all took the time to educate me one on one and gave me the fluency and the confidence because I would make pictures of these things and they would be like, Oh, no, no, no, Matt, you got the right idea. But no, no, no. Wow. And like, so I got like, schooled over and over and over again until I really understood it. And that’s the beauty of this book and of the way that I really had to understand it visually so that it was real to me because otherwise it’s just numbers. And I’m just like garbled words and you know what I mean . Yeah. And so I feel like I just kind of I got asked to do this book in a way. And then I got really scared and asked for help. And then I got so intrigued by the answers that that led me through the difficulty. And then when I got through the difficulty, it was like learning a new language or learning about permaculture and opened up everything in my life. And so I changed the way I eat and we’re healthier than I’ve ever been. My stomach, my Crohn’s doing better than it’s ever been. I’m not a doctor, but these realizations are pretty unbelievable. Like just for instance, when we look at like really red or purple or rich anthocyanin blushes on tomatoes, you know those are antioxidants, right? The reality is antioxidant. The opposite of oxidation is electrons, which is electrical, which is energy. And so it’s like once I began to realize that whole foods that are high antioxidants are high in energy, and that’s why they’re so good for us. It changed everything and created this new land, the very simple lands that changed everything for me. So that’s I mean, I’m in it all the way now. Yeah, it’s it’s it’s changed everything about me.
Regen Ray: I love it and it’s a pure gift to the to the planet. And I’ve seen so many raving reviews about it. And I, I see climbing up the charts on Amazon. And, you know, I would love to get a physical copy here in Australia, and we chat offline about maybe doing a bulk delivery here because I know the ship into Australia is astronomically expensive at the moment, but
Matt Powers: it’s on your Amazon, it’s in your and it’s on demand. Yeah, because I wanted it to be all right. So it means so much to me that these books are printed on a continent where people are getting did. Oh yeah, like for real, it freaks me out. Like, I mean, ocean travel now is already so risky. It’s like people lose ships like now. So that aside, it’s just too much waste. Yep, too far. Too expensive.
Regen Ray: Well, I’ve got the digital version, but a physical copy. I just think it will be magical. So I’m going to head off to Amazon and check that out. And of course, the links will be around this podcast and the notes. You’ve mentioned the word regenerative a lot, and I’m very curious to hear everyone’s view on what that word means to them personally, because there is a bit of a mixed opinion in the space. And what I love about this movement of regenerative, even tying it into what you’ve just spoken about is what happens in the lab. And then there’s what happens on the field. And, you know, sometimes what’s happening on the field speaks volumes. And so I love that people are now starting to bring that science into their own backyard and experimenting on different paddocks and different spaces. Balcony pots, you name it veggie patches, gardens. And there’s this word regenerative. What does that actually mean to you?
Matt Powers: Yeah, so let’s look at the range and then I’ll tell you where I am at because on one side of the range, it’s like, well, regenerative ag, I guess a certification proposed by the Rodale Institute that is going to be a government policy that will become political football, probably like organic did. Absolutely. And so it’s like a strict definition. It has politics layered in or infused. And then it can change once it’s in, once it’s absorbed by the politics, the political field, and they’re like, OK, we’ll give you this certification. Their hands are on it. So things can change. Because of that. I don’t I don’t use that definition. Me neither. Yup. So I’m on the other side where the definition can feel open and accessible to everyone. And all behaviors and basically permaculture like is a noun and regenerative an adjective, right? So regenerative is consistently making things better in terms of the holistic ecosystem that includes our interests, that includes the interests of the planet. And then those interests on into the future. So it implies that things get better over time. And when it comes to soil there, there’s there’s very specific indicators of those things. But when it comes to everything, I mean, we’re all trying to make the world a better place. Like that kind of simple thing like, I just got a chill. And and it’s because that literally is like what we all really want. We’re all just trying to do that.
Regen Ray: Yeah.
Matt Powers: And if we can make making the world a better place. You know, just something that we all like value that’s going to change the world in a fundamental way. Absolutely fundamental. And so I really care about that. I mean, like, I love that we’re trying to do this regenerative, you know, ag and organic certification on some level. But then the reality, I mean, I’m the son of a state politician. You know what I mean? So I know political footballs when I see them. Yeah. And so I just just can’t like, you know, put any weight on any of that because already, you know, people are, you know, having all these concerns. And so I really just wanted to stay open as a term that everyone can be like, Oh, yeah, well, you know, picking up trash on the beach is regenerative, you know what I mean? And it’s like, and then we’re taking it in and recycling it, and now they’re making toys or like, they’re making, you know,
Regen Ray: jewelry, everything.I know,
Matt Powers: everything, anything. I mean that that was something that I learned when I was filming advanced permaculture online with Eddie Garcia was like, Well, if we just had the plastic sorted. It’s like there’s a huge proportion you can just heat back up and then like, make G.I. Joe is out of it for kids to play with or whatever you want, you know, and it’s like, Oh, wow, it’s just that normal and we need it in. That’s regenerative thinking, right? It’s like, Well, how do we like capture this energy and like, keep its use or recycle it in a way that leads us on into the future? Not, you know, not having those things go and go somewhere where they cause harm. Keeping them in the system while we we get better at turning them into other things. Yeah, right. That’s right. But but but with the soil and specific, we’re talking about organic. I mean, all right, so let me get a visual. So the thing is, I like boiling things down and and don’t mind my my notes. I read all over my books. Because I like to think about what I could have done better all the time. I’m a teacher, you know, get out the red pen, right? So I consider regenerative soil from these perspectives. You need to have the right minerals, the right biology, the right organic matter, the right plant roots and photosynthesis and air and water. And when those things are are all together when those things are in. Incoherence. That’s that’s when we really have soil that gets better and better every year. Yeah. And so you’re like, well, OK, what is that pragmatically mean? And again, this is this is very, very direct and straightforward. We need all the different levels of organic matter, not just like organic matter, right? So we need the long term stable forms, but we also need, you know, the soluble forms and then we also need the exchangeable form. It’s like, right? We need things to be cycling and also have a long term savings plan in there. And and I’ll I’ll circle back to that as I start connecting things, but with soil biology. So much of us, so much of the talk for the past 10 years has been about compost and the compost tea. When you compost microbes, you need the right microbes. But it’s more than that because if it was just compost, I mean, farmers would be like, Oh, we’ll get compost tea, you know, to get my peas modulating. We don’t do that. there’s rhizobia . inoculate those things. So compost doesn’t have them. Yeah.
Regen Ray: So it’s the whole need of the many parts.
Matt Powers: oYeah, right, right. But Riseup is just one another, one that recently, you know, in the past decade came to us was mycorrhiza. Think, of course, you know what I mean? You’re not going to get mycorrhiza from a Thermopylae process. So the right soil biology and there’s a bunch more. There’s biology that goes up inside the plant and lives there, too. So it’s really important that all of these actors and players are included. And then the minerals, you know, it’s like LED Zeppelin, Robert Plant, right? Like mountains flow into the sea, right? It’s like, so this erosion has been going on from time immemorable And yes, tillage, agriculture, chemical, synthetic chemical agriculture has sped that up because it’s like biochar. Like when you got charcoal to something, it sucks up the humans. These purifying minerals, these synthetic minerals, they’re made out of organic compounds, nitrogen, you know, carbon phosphorous, all these things. They’re part of our bodies, so we want to eat them so that plants eat them. And and so they want to bond with things when they’re purified just like that biochar does. And so it would strip the minerals, strip your organic matter, and that’s what’s killing the soil. Mm-Hmm. And in the microbes, they’re the ones that are releasing the right minerals and and nutrients. Because I mean, when you get down to the nutrient levels, they’re are collections of elements. And the other ones really seen it in the forms exact forms that the plants want, the exact times so. So so it’s this incredible ballet that happens. The organic matter is where a lot of these minerals are stored. The organic matter is where the size is. Soil biology lives and stores energy and then plant roots. They’re conducting energy down and putting these sugars. They’re sending protons down plus and they’re also, you know, when they’re stressed, they’re doing hydroxide, which is which aren’t good. But but they’re pumping out energy from photosynthesis and sugars from photosynthesis. And it’s that relationship that is so critical it’s actually more than compost when you when and when they actually look at it because they bring the soil organic matter in the form that’s proper and at the highest levels of plant health. The plants actually return lipids. Fats, there were turning the highest energy storage unit that we know of back to this soil. And when we think about like rain washing things away, not not like the lipids we colloids, right? So. So it’s truly amazing. And then we circle back finally to air and water, right? Well, you’ve got fourth phase water that water is going to be holding there. It’s going to be holding things together, creating structure and allowing mobility to conduct nutrients, microbes and more. And then air, you know, how are they, you know, fixing nitrogen? Well, it’s from the interstitial station spaces, interstitial spaces. That’s hard to say. So it’s this overlap of all these things together. Just have enough aeration having enough water, not too much, not too little. And all these things together and your soil will get better and better and better because the plant roots will continue to bring down carbon from the air and exude it into the soil and energy from photosynthesis and water, right? Because it’s hydrolysis really that releases the edge. Plus the proton and the organic matter will continue to build the soil. Biology will be fed and will continue to grow, and the minerals will continue to be unlocked because, you know, despite they’re saying peak phosphorus is around the corner, sources like everywhere. Yeah, though, though in Australia, you know, zinc and cobalt and other things are deficient. So it’s really it’s in an over crop area. So this is also true, but it’s really important to note that like compost doesn’t have everything. We need to bring in some of those minerals slowly and carefully because just like adding a tone of compost to unstructured soil, you’d have a lot of stuff leach away. We need to incorporate these things as the biology can structure them.
Regen Ray: Yes, yes. And I love I love how you’ve explained that and articulate it. And I just want to say that that diagram. Did you ever watch The Carter and Captain Planet? You know
Matt Powers: my word. It’s like.
Regen Ray: Yeah, but so many people died in the line. That’s right. Ah, captain. I play that sometimes to hype me up and my team calls me Captain Planet as well. Sometimes it is nice. Never shared that, but but it’s like all our powers combined. It was like the water in the minerals. And that diagram just really made me go back to my childhood and dumb and combine all those powers. And it is when we come together and understand it that it really makes sense. And the the fact that like spending some time with different social scientists and agronomists and people who look at soils, you know, sometimes having a high reading of a mineral or a particular result isn’t a good thing. Like excessive is also bad. And sometimes what’s better isn’t available to the planet just because it’s a day, it doesn’t mean the plan has all the tools there to bring it up. And your point of with the roots giving as much as they take, I think it’s probably give more than what they take. You know this this schooling mindset that roots take from the ground and create the tree. And really, that is not in the way that nature works. The trees taking so much stuff in from the from the air and putting gifts into the soil that helps them on the underground world survive and thrive. And your explanation of that does, you know, does it so, so perfectly and what? I get super excited the more I start learning about this wonderful world under our feet.
Matt Powers: Yeah, I mean, I think it really depends on the plan. The ratio of what they take versus what they give. I’ve heard it said that corn is 50 50 and then over 94 96. I can’t remember which one, but it’s well over 90 percent. It’s in the mid range of 90 percent of the corn body. They are above ground. Physical form is made out of the air. Yeah, crazy. So in it’s I’m not saying like molecules are mostly just space. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I mean, it’s literally made of carbon from the air. So when they go through with glyphosate and desiccated and and they’re gassing off the nutrients and then they’re gassing off a lot of the carbon, it’s desecrating it. So yeah, there’s a huge amount of carbon core and actually takes down 400 times the amount of atmosphere increase in CO2 every season. So, so like, these plants are just working overtime for us to have incredible powers. And when we go to that higher level when they started getting fat like to start getting lipids back. They are literally investing in the future. At that point, they’re like, we did so well. I’m going to start giving you gold back. You know what I mean? And it’s like gold bullion. And it’s this long term carbon sequestration pathway that has only been noticed more recently because we’ve got healthier soils to study. Yeah. So that’s what I was saying. It’s like we’re learning. We’re in a learning stage now where, you know, pioneers like leaning pioneers like the Rodale Institute, like like farming secrets, coal sites and all these people have have opened a door. And now that we’re able to study good examples, we’re seeing different things then.
Regen Ray: Yeah, yeah. And that’s one thing that blew my mind is when I started seeing the content that farming secrets captured 10 years ago. And we’ve spent time with a lot of the experts that you’ve mentioned. And I go, What are we doing?
Matt Powers: What are we waiting for?
Regen Ray: Like, why is this content out there for like 10, 12, 13 years? And and now we’re starting to see more case studies, and it really blows my mind when we survey people how many people need to see the results. You know, we still have an underlying number of people who say, Does this work? Will it be financially stable? Like, How do you prove it? And there’s so many doubts of people needing to see results. And I think, well, if you just Google it, you’ll see all these case studies of people who are regenerating their their their soils. There’s documentaries on Netflix. There’s, you know, so many things. You know,
Matt Powers: I think a lot of it comes to reading comprehension, though. I think that, you know, one of the things you are seen like, you know, or one of the things that came up was, you know, why are we why we should be doing this now? We should we should have been doing it earlier. I think that like there’s this like fear that we constantly used to live in. I think there was a lot of fear. And so and there was a lot of ignorance. There was a lot of misinformation. And now we’re getting ahead or connecting or seeing the positive or realizing how powerfully bad fear is. And so because of that, we’re now being like, wow. We’re like holding up the bars in our own cage. Why didn’t we realize this before, and we’re like, oh, there were these outliers who were like crying out in the wilderness being like, Hey, you’re doing this wrong? And we just kept going. And one of the arguments was like, Oh, no, no, no, it’s business as usual, you know, or or things were good, so we didn’t notice or, you know, all that stuff. But I think I think, you know, in the context of America, all those people that returned all those adults or had PTSD, like realistically like why was the 50s the 50s PTSD? Yeah. And so you have a lot of people who are like structure like by the numbers, don’t think about things much like this. This is a generation that suffered an intense amount. A recently I heard people say like, Well, when you look at Henry Kissinger as someone who like felt like like his, he and his whole family was almost exterminated because they were. And so it’s like, oh, oh, man, what an injured person in any mean. And I mean, so many of us not like, you know, doing any excuses for his actions or anything, but so many of us are like, Wait that or we’re coming out of like a hard time, not just COVID, but so many of us in our lives, our understanding of things. When I discovered permaculture, it was it was the end of anxiety at a high level. For me, it was like, Oh, I don’t need I don’t need to watch the news in like freak out because I know better than they do now. Yeah. And and it was this who who? All right, we can do. We can do this. Yep. And I think that we we really are at that at a point now where we mentally can take on these things without going a panic cause the panic button because we’re actually at a place where, yeah, there is relative abundance. Yeah, I know there are shortages, you know what I mean. But we also know how to farm properly now, and we all know, we know about permaculture and agro ecology and localization. So, so we have the piece like like we literally have the pieces, and I think that that’s the biggest game changer for me. I think we started with like, what is what is regenerated on
Regen Ray: this, this conversation is going exactly where it needs to go. I’m very, very I’m very grateful of your time and what you’re sharing, and I just find so much comfort in your, you know, sharing that so many people are changing and empowering themselves to do things a bit differently. And that’s one of the things that I realized recently as well is that more and more people going, I know what they’re saying, but this way of farming feels better. This excites me to get on my farm or in my paddock or into my garden and know that I’m around less chemicals. I don’t have to stress about where the next money’s going to come from to pay the import bill that someone’s telling me that if I do X or Y and years after years, it’s kind of showing that days diminishing returns and that’s degenerative and degrading of our soul and our spirit and the quality of the food and nutrition. And so I love this. So many people see those virtual prison bars as you kind of created that, that cage and going, Oh, they just made up. I can move forward to what feels right and I want to go down to our permaculture. I want to go see entropic. I want to go whatever you do above the ground, but it’s weed, the mindfulness and the intention of what’s happening below the ground. And then that is where the transformation and that’s why we’re genitive to me, is an inside job. It starts at the human level. The paradigm shifts, which you mentioned at the start of this about seeing the world and looking at even permaculture and that changing your paradigm. And now all of a sudden, there wasn’t that news article in the panic response. There is this. Hang on, I see what’s happening here. Oh, there’s the other side of the coin, and oh, there’s the edge as well. And it’s like, Oh, you know, there’s so much more to explore when you change a paradigm and your mindset. And you know, I want to check in with the audience that are watching us live. And if you’re on the podcast, you know, maybe think about the question that I’m about to ask, but share something that’s kind of blown your mind that you now know about soil that you didn’t know 20 minutes ago. You know, sharing with Matt and hanging out here and exploring this wonderful world of soil and regenerative. What something that kind of blew your mind that you didn’t really know of. Well, something that you’re going to get more curious about and go and explore and feel free to share this video into other Facebook groups. Because the more people who watch these and we can inoculate our planet to learn this new way of thinking about soil where it’s not even new, it’s it’s traditional. It’s been here since. You know, nature started. So. And if you’re on the podcast, think about who needs to hear this conversation and make sure that you’re sharing the love around the love of our soil. Matt, I know that you’ve got lots of educational products in your education spirit is definitely high impact and you said you’re passionate about education, but I will put it the restrictions. Are you passionate about everything that saves the planet? Because I’ve seen the content you do and you always busy and end up producing some amazing quotes and all your graphics are awesome? Have you did you work on all those graphics yourself? Like, Are you the artist you like, right? Are you the the the generalist that does it all or do you have a team behind you?
Matt Powers: I OK, so for the permanent student one and for the student to I had two artists and another, there’s the third artist, the three artists and I grew up drawing and so I was drawing drawings for them to to spruce up. And when I came to regenerative soil, I was like, I can’t do it again because I knew how many revisions it was going to take just by looking at the like like I was looking at like 40 papers and I was like, Wow, so there’s like a lot here. And like, like I just was like realizing like I was going to have an evolution. And like, I would have to draw it over and over again myself. So it’s like, you know, you just got to figure this out. And I’ve done it as a kid. And so I just started drawing on the computer and I just figured it out. So the picture is all the photography is me and the pictures of me or my what my way of doing it or my son. And yeah, I do everything myself. I do all the writing, all the technical. I do everything myself.
Regen Ray: I love that because it’s like the connectivity, like a sea, you share these these diagrams on on your Instagram and your Facebook, and they make sense, you know, there’s a visual aid to the complexity because I think sometimes even mentioning some of the words that you’ve mentioned during this podcast, it can be a bit daunting and it can be a little bit overwhelming going, wow, I can’t think of all these terminologies and how they connect and plus this and minus that. And so knowing the complexity of the soul like what’s a low hanging fruit pun intended that people can do like today, tomorrow in their backyard, on their paddocks, on their farm, in their mindset that can get them thinking soil first and regenerative and not get stuck on the complicated woods that I can’t even pronounce to disclosure.
Matt Powers: Well, number one, the we are, we are often dealing with soils that either are getting too hot or too wet, so drainage is an issue. And then and then not being able to hold water is an issue. Biochar helps with both of those things. And the wild thing is, biochar can hold up three times its mass and water. So on those hard years. Oh my word. It’s going to hold water much longer. You have to use less water. I mean, if you do, you know 10 percent of your soil profile is suddenly like, let’s say you mix in as you’re as you’re building your soil, you’re establishing a site. You do 30 percent biochar and you can do this. Absolutely. I test show that up to 85 percent. There’s the plants grow healthily just fine. So which is wild? Most people don’t know that. And so if you did 10 percent of your soil profile in biochar? That would hold as if it was 30 percent, three times its mass, so it’s like unbelievable. So you have this huge increase in water and then biochar is bio, right, bio charcoal. And so that means you get inoculated before. And you know, and I say, inoculate it, not just Kansas people. Ah, there we go from the phone line, but not just compost could compost scrape, but compost is also a medium biology. So this is your opportunity for your mycelium to develop so mycorrhizal inoculates, you could be adding as well. Bio fertilizers of all sorts, free living and root associated and end of phytic. So you can. And the reason I know that it’s cool is because I’ve done the research. These things that are under phytic, you know, how are they given to you? Like you can buy in a store in the stable little bag, like you put them in your compost or your biochar like? They suddenly disappear. They no, no. I mean, they’re in a stable form in the bag. You know what I mean? They’re going to persist. That’s why there’s expiration dates on these things. Usually, the microbes last without a host for over a full year, which makes sense that they miss a season. There’s microbes that are in the soil and fights free living and soil associate and so root associated they’d still be there. Yes. You know so. So add everything to this. This charcoal, you know, add the compost. Get it. Get it. So ready, so charged. Maybe you add your soluble kelp at this point. You know you’re rock dust go crazy. And and then add that in, and it’s going to hold those things much, much better. Then he just added yet on top, especially and just adding them alarm vouchers, that magnet because it’s purified car but not purely purified, it’s like 90 percent pure carbon. OK, some pure carbon in an impure things are hard to come by, and that’s the headache stuff with synthetic chemicals were sold like crazy because nature is like, what is? And it’s like, you know, so so I would say the biggest win is to do preloaded bio char additions to your soil that helps it drain, but it’s also filtering the water that comes through for further nutrients. Right. Because I mean, rain, there’s thunder and lightning. I mean, there’s nitrogen now in that rain. So. So there’s a lot of good stuff. And there’s also biology. That’s what forms clouds, they discovered. So. So much going on. But it all gets locked up in that tiny little package that is now like a seed ball. You know what I mean of life, but microbial life, and you’re just sending that out. So that’s that’s what I would say is the biggest.
Regen Ray: Encapsulated when love that, and I think that’s, you know, even just your way of explaining that it’s like just pick one thing and focus on that and monitor that. And because it can get overwhelming, like exploring that 12 different principles of region AG and all these other different frameworks, it’s like, No, I think I want to explore this. And you know, I recently, I’m buying a microscope because I’m so curious about looking at that life in our soil. You know, like maybe, maybe just educating yourself and watching a bit of different programming, you know, different different things. Instead of watching Netflix, watch a video, listen to an audiobook by a book, you know, educate.
Matt Powers: I think that works for like design the whole like the twelve steps of this, the twelve principles of this. But it didn’t work that way for soil natural nature. It’s not design. That’s right. It’s like we need to sit down and like, look at what nature is trying to tell us and then be like, OK, I can dance like this and like this. But if I go like this, I’m going to headbutt it and it’s going to hurt me. It’s like, Yes, yes, you. We’ve been headbutting the wall for like 200 years, actually, like ten thousand, depending on where you are in the world. But, but but for real, though, it’s like we need to look at these things so that we actually can see what nature’s doing because I took that, that that that overlap is real on so many levels. It’s like, well, the plant roots, they’re putting out protons, you know, electrons, but they’re also putting out sugars, right? So there’s chemistry happening. There’s, you know, bio electricity happening. There’s, you know, there’s so many things happening all at once. All these things are deeply connected and we can very elegantly add like as children participate in rock this. And so it’s really fun to go micro to macro and go back and forth. But at the same time, it’s so, so basic, so simple when you can look at it. And that’s why when my stuff is so visual, because I really wanted to get out of the way instead of like telling people what to do or what’s right, I want people to see it. Yeah, and then they could they could start creating new, new methods to format, which is already starting to happen.
Regen Ray: I love that and I can tell you visual and we were both dancing then when you were talking about the dancing. So if you’re on the podcast listening, if you head over to our soil learning CENTCOM, you can watch the video version of these podcasts because that’s where the best experience lies. But if you’re listening along, we really love to thank you for being a soil lover listener. And I wanted to ask you our signature question which are we ask all our guests on the show, which is if you were the voice of our soils, what would you tell us on planet Earth? Hmm, let us be the voice of our soil.
Matt Powers: I think the voice of the soil would would honestly sound a lot like the the indigenous and Aboriginal leaders. And how we need to like slow down and and recognize again who we are in the ecosystem and the holistic world. Because we’ve got. I mean, on the whole, not as individuals that aren’t, you know, don’t take offense. So what we’re doing, it’s like we got a lot of nerve. To be honest, what we’ve done is like, horrific. Mm-Hmm. And so. I mean, the soil. Is is. Is on the ropes, I mean, it’s going extinct, it’s being. So. But it’s no noble, and that’s why I think of those, you know, the Aboriginal leaders and indigenous leaders. Because it’s. I mean, we we owe everything to soil. And that. A culture that doesn’t respect the soil doesn’t respect itself grade. And so it’s like that, or it’s like a mother. You know, and I’m a dad, so I can’t do the mom thing perfectly. But. But it’s like a disappointed mother. Mm-Hmm. Because sources provided everything like this, Earth has provided everything. And we just took advantage. It’s like it’s like humanity stole money from the mama’s wallet. Yep. And she knew. And let it happen because she loved us so much, but we were that bad kid. You know, I get emotional thinking about that because that’s what it is. You know what I mean? And so we really need to, like, bring this back and realize that like all of our health, our kids, our grandkids, the future of all of our families. It’s all tied up in that smell. So, so for me, I mean. Hard to answer that question.
Regen Ray: No, man, I think you’ve done a beautiful job, and I think that, you know, you started off with that slow, you know, and I think that’s we live in a culture now where everything’s fast, bigger, better, fast, you know, whatever 10x this. And we just need to slow down and observe and listen and watch and and have the finger on the pulse and the rhythm. And, you know, we’ve lost that connectivity to it all. And I think, you know, even when you was explaining that and you were the voice of our soil, you know, my mind showed images of ALF. You know, First Nation people caring for the soil. All that memory is in the soil, and it is holding on to that hope that it will get back to that stage. And, you know, the soil doesn’t forget, it just keeps on providing. And we are getting to that point where we are creating a worrying tipping point of the soils becoming past that tipping point and on the verge of of of extinction. And this is why this gives me so much hope, because just the more converse with people, I don’t have to live in this doom and gloom world. I can see all the amazing projects that people working on and the, yeah, you know, the solutions that are being presented. So I I love that and and I don’t I don’t want to knock. Netflix is one of the people in the comments. As sad as I think, Netflix has got an amazing amount of documentaries, so it should be more clear on that and go, you know, be selective with what you watch on these different platforms because even on YouTube and even on any platform, you can get, you know, down the rabbit hole of the wrong content, but you got to have that filter and be selective. And so I think that’s our that is great. Also making a jump into some Q&A questions and this is like the bonus part. So Matt, thank you so much for coming on to the podcast, and I’d really love to dig in deeper into the wonderful world of soil. Now we’re not going to wrap up for the live audience, but we’re going to wrap up for the podcast version of this so many. What how can people hang out with you more and know get to download your knowledge and your brain. I believe you’ve got a course coming out as well saying.
Matt Powers: Yeah. Yes, so I have taken this book and gone through section by section and turned them into videos, right? Dive deeper. And then it created audio. I’m creating audio book version of this as well. I’m sorry. And it’s actually a slightly newer edition of this for for the course release, because as I said in the past few months, things have changed and we’re getting new discoveries. And I also talked and interviewed and gone to visit and filmed the folks that inspired this, the actual scientists, the actual farmers, the actual researchers. And I’ve been able to gather all that together to create a course that has a weekly live Q&A so that we can go through this because, like you said, it’s complicated. But at the same time, it turns into very simple and clear actions. And when you have that clarity of understanding each of the lenses and you put them together. There’s nothing like it. You instantly know what you need to do, and it opens up all these new possibilities for how you can do it. We’re it’s a game changer, and so I’m really excited about it will be going through weekly this for 16 weeks.
Regen Ray: So, so much.
Matt Powers: It’s going to be overwhelming. That’s why. That’s why we’re taking so much time off so that everyone included. Everyone keeps up. We’re alive every Saturday or Friday for Q&A so that everyone gets their questions answered and then we can apply it to our actual sites and our actual soils. There are some incredible examples in that book in the course and in the world newly emerging that, you know, maybe they’re listening right now and they’re just starting out, but people are figuring it out. They’re realizing that it’s the soil that determines the health of the food, the health of the animals that eat that food and the health of the people that keep out of those plants or those animals. And so it all starts with soil and it all ends with soil. So we have to start respecting soil and working with it.
Regen Ray: Amen to that. Thank you so much, Matt. And for those listening on the podcast, thank you for joining us for another episode of Secrets of the Soil. You’ve been digging deeper with Matt and region, right? And we’re so excited for you to be on this journey with us if you want the extended bonus version. Head over to WW Dot Soil Lending Center dot com, where you can get free access to the extended version. With that, matt, we’re going to keep digging deeper on the bonus part of this, which is with our live audience on Facebook. This is the first time for me, so I’m kind of winging it and I don’t even know the scripts I’ve dived. So you’re hearing a raw and unedited version of this, so it’s super fun and I see the viewers coming in and out. So if you are here live with us today, we’re going to jump into some Q&A. And so I thank everyone who’s been popping comments along the way. I didn’t address them during the podcast because it doesn’t really create a great experience for someone listening to a podcast. I was just mindful of which part of content is going to go to where. And so I, you know, Matt, people have been commenting on how amazing your Smalling’s overlook that and probably shows that on the podcast. Yeah, that could have been the link to come and see us. See you on that. So learning center. I’m sorry, I I. One of the comments I was here was about peer pressure, and I guess it’s, you know, one of the things I realize with people transitioning or moving into a more regenerative mindset is that kind of aloneness feeling and being a bit isolated in their in their community. How how do you overcome that peer pressure and like, do you like, how do you get so confident in what you’re doing that you let the neighbors not worry you anymore? I feel like that’s a very big thing. Maybe he more. In Australia, we have a tall poppy syndrome, people less confident to just charge forward and stand their ground.
Matt Powers: OK, yeah. Number one, we are the people we surround ourselves with, right? So if you are around low energy people, it’s going to be a lot of energy for you. For the most part, if you were on high energy, high performance like the winners, you’re going to be naturally pulled up. Yeah. And so I would say. You have a community, right? I mean, secrets as a community. Yeah. This is a community of farmers that get together, that share their secrets, that help each other. There’s there’s a similar thing in America if you sign up for both and you mean even more people kind harvest. John Kamp, of course, he’s I mean, John Camp is all about collecting as many case studies as possible. And and I would say he’s just on a mission really to help farmers individually, and it’s his business. So he’s selling them the the regenerative AG inputs, accumulated minerals, the biology, the mycorrhiza. And so and he’s doing the testing. So he’s got the actual results. And and it’s stunning what we’ve been able to see and realize. So kind harvest is an incredible community. I think it’s seven dollars a month. It’s something very affordable. Incredible. Everyone should check it out. Farming secrets in another incredible average to check that out to you guys are amazing. We did the golden ticket giveaway with our future with you all. Love that said,
Regen Ray: we have lots of fun.
Matt Powers: Yeah, yeah. And so and so I would say those are farmer communities and being. And in my course, I have gardeners, I have farmers, I have horticulture as I have cannabis growers, I have the full spread of people. And I really like to go my micro and macro how people have a fluency so that if they wanted to go into our culture, they could better. They wanted to go and to the composting they could, but to have that fluency that they can go anywhere and rocket. So and my goal, of course, is like, you know, Dr Laming is like a microscope, microscope, classes and everything. So there’s a lot of communities that will give you the confidence that you need wherever you’re at. And all of those are going to feel a little different, you know, like mine is going to feel a little different than John’s, you know, you’re just going to feel different from from from all of ours, too. And and that’s why it’s so great because we’re going to reach different people and we’re going to and people are going to find a home and they’re going to find friends and they’re going to be like, Listen, you’re two hours away. But but we’re friends now, you know? Yup, yup. Calling you up every week or even talking about ourselves, you know? Absolutely. And it’s these relationships that give us the confidence. Hmm. You know, I mean, sometimes it’s just like reading a Joel Saladin book for someone and they’re like, Now I can do it, you know? But but for most of us, we need to be around other people. I I go to high performance events. I go to the, you know, Brendan Machado’s.
Regen Ray: Yeah, totally
Matt Powers: random. I read all his books, events, I bring my son, I get special permission and bring my son. That and so I I love being around people that love to grow up to challenge themselves. I want to go to the next level in life, you know, and so and so yeah, I mean, get find the one that resonates with you.
Regen Ray: Hmm. You’ve got to find your trade. That’s right. Yeah, yeah. And I love what you mentioned there about two about cross-pollinating, you know, like in this group, I learnt this and I’m sharing it to another group. And that that is that’s where the momentum of, you know, magic newness happens, where you get to cross-pollinate and share wisdom and give and take, you know? And yeah, it’s definitely a great like hanging around like minded people is is a game changer and definitely. And unfortunately, with COVID, it’s not all physical world anymore. But, you know, definitely a lot of energy can be transferred in situations like this hanging out in the right webinars, in the right rooms. Zoom, you know, there’s so many platforms now where you can just hang out with cool, you know, cool people, like-minded tribe people, you know, find your tribe. We call them soil lovers. And so much so that we, we we launched a whole new platform called So Learning Center, which I’ve been banging on about. And we’re so excited about that because we’re bringing a lot of that connectivity features into our own platform. A lot of people wanting to move away from Facebook, a lot of people want to, you know, not knowing who’s listening where. And you know, all these other, you know, YouTube people’s videos getting removed and so forth. So we’ve got to be careful about where we’re putting content and what we’re saying and how do we continue to have that voice of our streets and being able to to to share that. And so we’re bringing a lot of that in-house, I guess, into our social learning center and what we call social TV, which will be our new kind of platform for YouTube videos. Because, yeah, we’ve we’ve had a couple of our videos where we might talk about the keyword. Healing, it’s like that’s demonized now, it’s like, you know that to say something heals, it’s like really like, it’s crazy what the world we’re living in. So. And here we are broadcasting on Facebook. But you know, I feel like our time is limited to continue sharing this information. And, you know, it depends who gets to control the narrative. You know, at the end, I think everyone is realizing that maybe there are people dialing, they’re turning dials to make more of this narrative, be more. You know, in your face rather than the other. So. So yeah, we’re excited about that whole community aspect and bringing people into a platform where they can connect to each other and see each other on a map and be like, Oh my God, we’re a couple hours away. Let’s do a road trip. Let’s visit each other’s farms. And you know, we’ve got years and years of virtual farm tours for that reason, because we always want it to be that bridge between here. We’ll take you on a virtual farm tour so you don’t have to drive kilometres and come out and see it, you know, so we still do that, and I have a lot of fun and meet that. I meet people that way as well, so I love that. So your your your the other question that I wanted to address here was like your analogy about stealing from my mother was awesome. And how long can we allow that luck? Where is enough enough? Like, do you feel that there is a bit of a time frame that we still have up our sleeves? Or have we gone beyond that tipping point and we really need to like, start backpedaling?
Matt Powers: Well, OK. So the the the global perspective on too far. Is it impossible to say? Mm-Hmm. I’ve looked at the research forward and backward. And I know there’s constantly these new things coming out. I get that. Yeah. But we can’t predict. The grand scale of things. What we can say is the most degraded and unsuitable soils and landscapes. Can be turned into. Arable soil and water holding transformed landscapes that. Inspire, you know, stir the heart and. And I think that when we see like the work of Neil Spackman in the al-Bayda project in Saudi Arabia, and we see. You go from desert to to rolling. Rolling fields of grasses. I get chills it, just it. I mean, we think back to biblical times of when that place was turned into a desert at the time of Abraham, right in the Bible, like that was the fertile crescent not being fertile anymore? Mm hmm. Right. That’s that’s what that was. And so it’s like, this is the moment that we fixate. War so powerful, it’s so deep, it touches all of our stories. And and so and in China, it’s the loss plateau, and they’ve proven it. And, you know, advocates are dancers and they’ve proven in small places and small plots. But it’s this it’s it’s truly inspiring what we can, what we can do, and so. Yeah, I think that I think that if we if we look at the individual examples that are the worst case scenarios we see, we can do this, we can pull back from from what looks like desolation. Mm-Hmm. And nature’s writing and willing to heal. Come back. To regenerate you and and as as we’ve seen in history, after every great extinction, there’s an explosion of life. Well, not everything dies in these great extinctions, so we don’t have to die. Nothing more has to die like we started this. We could start this party now, you know, and bring it all back online. And so I really feel like that’s where we need to look and be inspired by if you look into how they calculate the numbers on everything. It gets so screwy. If you want to measure carbon, we measure it in the soil and in the photosynthetic capacity of the Earth. We don’t do it through CO2. Think about this. We’ve destroyed the soil. The majority of soil, like 30 to 50 percent of soil, is fungi. If we kill the fungi, fungi exhales soil like fungi, exhales CO2 just like we do. You know, and and we lose that much, and they’re going to be exhaling way more CO2. So what’s really going on here is the photosynthetic capacity of the Earth needs to be in situ with those the fungi. And what happens that never reaches the ice cores in situ? Carbon release because carbon is heavier than oxygen. Oxygen goes up and CO2 falls. So all the exhalation of CO2 by animals would fall. And I know in the heat, you know, they mean heat rises. So if you’re in a cold climate, it’ll go up at first. But if you watch long enough the moisture and it’s cold enough that you actually see it go back down. Mm hmm. So, so CO2 actually falls. It’s a heavier molecule. When you think about, it makes sense. And so it would fall on all the plants and there would be intercepted by all the plants above it. So we actually the CO2 thing isn’t going to help us when we start fixing things. It’s the body in the soil. We can measure it and it’s awesome. And that’s the right place to measure it, right? Because that’s where it’s actually something. That’s where we’re putting the money in the bank. So so that that’s what I would say to that. So it’s difficult to go from that perspective, especially when 90 percent of, you know, climate change or global warming, you know, greenhouse gas effect is actually soil, it’s actually moisture and that can be trapped in the soil. So water vapor, to be specific. So, so we can do all of these things. We can turn these things around. It is not. It is not yet to lay. But. We need to act really fast. Because all that being said. The actual things that I’m looking at. Like the fact that, like the kelp forests of the Earth are dying. And like this, oceans are warming, so photosynthetic capacity, the oceans are dropping, that’s where half or more of the oxygen comes from. Mm-Hmm. And then and then the soil is our health some things. Ninety seven percent of the nutrition has disappeared from that food category in the past 50 years because the soil, it just sucks so that you can’t grow anything. You know what I mean? You can’t grow nutrient dense food. So, so I really feel like we need to just focus on healing the actual watersheds and soils and photosynthetic capacity. In other words, the forests and the plants in the grasslands bringing those back. And we’re going to see the world heal. We’re going to see wild fluctuations of weirdness and CO2. But it’s going to be cyclical and tied to the seasons, so it won’t be like that. It won’t be like it won’t be like they’re talking about in that in terms of the healing process, though. There’s this guy in draw-down Paul talks about like, if we got rid of all the smoke all at once, it would actually not be good because we’d get more UV radiation. And then it would heat up even. In fact, there’s all these different things. So if we do it the right way, we’re creating cover for shade. We’re trapping more moisture in the ground. It actually touches and touch. It touches and fixes everything. Sorry about the 10 year old. I love it. I love it’s important to understand. Yeah, I just really think it’s important to understand that like you, it’s we are not doomed. We got some messes. We need to clean up and we need to honor our ancestors and honor very specific cultures that have done things right that we like, destroyed, buried all these different things under the rug that needs to happen. Yeah, yeah. But we’ve got we’ve got our marching orders. We got the road plan, we got the path, we’ve got the solutions and it’s in. It’s healing and it’s going to be awesome.
Regen Ray: Loved up. Yeah. And I’m really mindful of your time to let us know when we need to kind of wrap up a little bit. One of the other questions that is sitting here on your good.
Matt Powers: I love lives. I don’t know if you that. Oh, I’ve seen it. You know. Well, this is a different thing when we’re live. Actually, I love being live, and I think it’s because it feels like I’m actually with a classroom of students. I feel like we’re we’re actually together and I’m actually helping people. Yeah, like when it’s just the camera, sometimes it’s like, you know, I get to like, try to motivate, you know, but like this, this is the best.
Regen Ray: I love it, too. It. I love diversity. It’s the best way for me to get content. And I feel like when we were in those like live situations or panel talks, it’s more from the heart and not the head. You know, I feel like having slides and all that’s all over curated sometimes, and it’s a bit of a head presentation. Well, I’m more about like what comes from the heart. Sometimes I finish these things and I don’t even remember what I said, because it’s just so me in flow from the heart out of the voice. And I just don’t know, you know, it’s just coming intuitively in and out, and I love it. It fires me up as well. I know you’re wrapping up the day, but this is firing up my day. Like, I know I’m going to be more productive after doing something like this. So hopefully you get to sleep. But financial failure is one of the big things that people worry about. I think I’m going to change this on my farm. I’ve done it this way for six generations. I’m following my grandfather’s and great grandfather’s ways of farming, and they just worry that if they change through this, it’s going to be like financial ruin for them. What do you say about that? Like, like I know, sometimes people say drop in yields and they see, you know, changes in their growth patterns and the their profitability on the first couple of years. But long term and mindset. What do you say about people who are concerned about financial ruin by changing to a more natural way of OK?
Matt Powers: Yeah. So what I suggested, right with the bio char and all that, that’s like a vegetable farm, right? Right. That’s not that’s nowhere in the reality for someone doing wheat, right? No, that’s never going to happen. But the people doing wheat might inoculate, you know what I mean? Those people might put the biology on and that that’s that’s the that’s the big change. I think a lot of this is adding the biology. So, so the first thing I would say. Is that if you’ve already been doing it a certain way, you need to respect the fact that this is hard. That you’re going to naturally not going to want to change. So like acknowledge the fact that like even proposing changing what like your grandfather did is going to be weird and painful, like just acknowledging that as part of the process that I think it’s vital and then looking for the least change for the maximum long term effect that is, you know, a permaculture principle from David David Holmgren. And I think it really pays off financially when you do that on a farm. And so I would no one do a plant SAP analysis of your current crop. And run that against your soil tests, they know your idea that your soul test if you’re a farmer, but plant SAP analysis you might not have done. Run that against each other and see what you’re actually missing and then see what it would cost for the biggest controller. What do I mean by that? So like if you’re like, Oh wow, so I don’t have manganese. Well, manganese actually is connected and it is a controller. It’s like your governor on phosphorus. And so and then you’re like, Oh, I have no cobalt. Well, forget about your biology. They won’t be able to persist because the 12 can’t form. So actually, you might want to focus on and cobalt, you’d need so little. Cobalt makes all the other things more bioavailable. I think I theorize through making the biology more vibrant makes sense. But they haven’t made that link yet, so. So I think that you would see things from that perspective, especially if you’ve got like, you know, like my book is in Cipher, my books are cipher. You look at this cycle, you look at the page and they show you what that looks like. You look at the page and you’re like, OK, where am I? Page? OK, that’s available, but it’s showing that this is happening and then you’re like, OK, where am I in the actual cycle? What’s going on here? Hmm. And you start to pinpoint things and come to understanding things in a different way. So I would say that you might you might find like, Holy cow, this is what’s going on. I don’t have enough of this. And if I do this, yeah, I might still need zinc. But this will make whatever zinc I have, they’re more bioavailable. Next year, I’m going to do zinc and and and you might do this piecemeal because guess what? The soul wants it done slowly anyway, you know, so so be strategic about it and then also realize that the foliar sprays are going to save you a lot of money if you can get access to them and if they’re affordable to ship to you, of course. But they’re so small and they’re dried. And so you could be and obviously, you know, there was recommended a reverse osmosis water, not not anything harder by carbon or anything like that. But if you can get if you can get the right minerals, the right related minerals that you can add, this is a foliar spray, not even worry about the soil fix the plants than the plants are suddenly exuding properly and then the soil. It looks as if you added compost inches like inches deep, but it’s actually you getting a plant online. So I would say as a farmer, the number one thing is getting your your plants and online and your seed started, right? So inoculating your seeds so that you starting off your seed code in biology and nutrition and then fold like plant a plant SAP analysis in situ while you’re going in tandem with with their soil, like understanding what’s in your soil, then using foliar sprays to treat it. You’re going to see your your soils improve so fast while you get a better crop, while you get disease resistance and past resistance, and then you won’t need to use pesticides, fungicides or insecticides of any sort because your plants will be resistant to all that. And so suddenly you’re like, OK, well, I’m saving money not buying that. And as it develops, you’re going to be like, Oh, wow, there’s more nitrogen being uptake in. From the biology. And so you don’t need as much fertilizer because your bio fertilizers, the microbes themselves. And suddenly your bill starts going up, so first that the first thing that goes down is your your, your pesticide, your your, you know, your poisons, right? So suddenly you don’t have to worry about, you know, protecting yourself. And then and then you’re like, OK, I’m adding less fertilizer and and ideally you’re adding fertilizers that are microbial friendly because if you’re adding anything synthetic, then knock you back. And so there’s this going to be this and and you know, if at first that’s what you’re doing, you at least get the get the pesticides out. And then next season, you start shifting more and more. But start with the poison, start with the low hanging fruit because it’s actually the low-hanging fruit when you’re doing full-year sprays. I mean, it’s like a bit of this and a bit of that, you know, it’s like molybdenum so that your nitrogen fixation actually happens because without it, it doesn’t. You know what I mean? Like, like like these little things, these micronutrients, you know, maybe you’re doing a kelp foliar fuller spray or something, and that’s cool. But but maybe it’s later on in the season and and you don’t want it to be having those certain growth stimulants, the branching stimulants at that time. But but yeah, I would say, look at it and then evaluate, and you can get there very fast if you’re strategic.
Regen Ray: Mm hmm. And there are all great action items and things. And you know, I think that those soul tests like expanding on that and and just like there are things that people can do, you know, that might already be doing stuff. They just need to ask for the advanced soul test, you know, like you might already be doing it like get the more detailed one, you know, find an agronomist who understands the regenerative model and the regenerative way of soil. And one thing that I want to just, you know, from my experience is like sometimes and I probably am a little bit of these type of personality type where I go all in and it’s like, I find that sometimes farmers go, are tilling is bad. Sell the tractor. It’s like, No, no, no, no, no, no. That’s not going to set you up for success. And I think like sometimes these financial failure mindset comes from other chemicals are bad. I need to throw all the chemicals out and stop using them tomorrow. And you articulated quite well before where soils build a pattern and a rhythm, and they’re used to a certain way and doing a shock. It’s like going and doing a cold bath. If you’re used to being in a climate control and everything’s 20 degrees Celsius, I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit, but and then you go into a cold bath, it’s a shock to the system. Now that could be good for some resilience. And you know what? People have studied about cold baths, but our souls react. The same, like all these massive changes creates a big pattern change or pattern interrupt. So we need to wean things off. You know, that’s the way that whole weaning kind of things comes from, you know, at one point kind of put a video in a rant and a blog together, whereas like, we need region rehab where farmers are addicted to the usage of chemicals in the same way as when you are physically addicted to a substance, you need to go through a rehab program to wean yourself off the soils and the farmer mindset somewhat the same. You know, we need to wean that off and understand we can’t go cold turkey on all things because that’s where it gets a bit more risky and can create a lot of, um, you know, yeah, a lot of pattern changes and rhythm changes. But, you know, sometimes when you learn this stuff, it’s hard to continue putting inputs into your property when you know the effects. But you’re looking for the long term, you know, rocking up to the gym every day is hard to, but you got the eye on the prize, you know, and we got to, you know, flex that muscle and work it all the time. And slowly it builds up, you know, and I think that mindset of the farmer and people working with soil and growing needs to be somewhat around. The same analogy is that it’s OK to learn something and say that this clashes with my values, but you don’t have to be it, you know, three seconds later, you need to learn how to integrate that and wean it off. So have you seen
Matt Powers: a physical side to it? Because I mean, like, let’s bring in like like a foot of compost because it’s not structured, it will go anaerobic if it’s to think of a layer just like it would in a pile when you don’t turn it. Mm hmm. So, so we can’t have that all organic matter incorporate instantly like and because not structure. And that’s why, you know, so often like people add things in and I tell it, and then it turns into concrete is because there was no structure to accept those things. And instead it created a new structure and it just created a fine structure. That’s that porous, they mean. And so I really think that if we do things properly in biology is encoding everything in. It will build soil structure rapidly, but still at its at the pace that valid you go, is that an our pace?
Regen Ray: Love that. Well, if you’re listening live and you want to ask a question, feel free to pop it into the chat, we’ll probably hang around for now a little while. What are you sipping on there and say?
Matt Powers: It looks like they’re just lemons. Lemon water, mass energy. Antioxidant, right? Mm hmm.
Regen Ray: Yeah, I know and like just, you know, to your point on that, like, you know, the Rhine in the skin of so many vegetables and fruits have so much nutrients, you know, that’s the, you know, other thing that’s touching the the air that where it’s creating a lot of, you know, minerals and vitamins from and in the soil, you know? And so like I, you know, sometimes people say, Oh, how come you don’t peel this so you don’t feel that it’s like, Oh, well, I don’t know how to explain this without being, you know, because it’s like a process to talk to the right person. We spoke about tribe before. Like, it’s so comforting sometimes being in a room where everyone gets it and you just can talk the same language, but you know, having the tools not to start an argument with. So when they want it their way and you want it your way,
Matt Powers: you know they’re finding out. So many of these things are either created by the microbes. They’re, you know, my microbial metabolites inside plants or they’re actually the microbes themselves. And so medicine, natural medicines are often that we’re just eating these microbes that are and acidic the plants.
Regen Ray: Yeah. In the air. And what I love about this space is the more I learn, I can’t unlearn it. You know, it’s just like in my brain, it’s in my DNA. And, you know, put in those those principles in like, I live in an apartment. So for me, it’s very limited about some of the things I can physically do in the soil. But I get my fix by seeing what other people, as our students or members going through and what their aha moments and going on part of their journey, you know, that’s really uplifting and amplifying for me as someone in this space, you know? And yeah, and so I want to talk a little bit more about the course. And just for everyone who’s watching us at home, I’ll share the screen. So you got to be a little bit of a visual aid and that link is in the chat. So if you haven’t already go over and check it out now, it says it started in July. I believe you have set the date. Twenty six. Is it only a live kind of experience or will someone in a year’s time who watches this video that we have left online as a gift watching? Can they still call to action and go through it at their own pace?
Matt Powers: Yeah, absolutely. And I think I’m going to do what I do with the advanced personal costume line is do it every year again, animals and everyone that has always been in it. Because what happens when we repeat these things, when we include people, when as a community is people make deep connections, people have deep insights and the community and and the groups around it really benefit.
Regen Ray: Yeah, I love that. I think that compound in and refresh. I always love when a course gives me that bonus value or this program to say come and do it with us again. You know, as a past alumni student, we want you to refresh and compound that learning. And I think it’s always really magical when someone’s gone through the process. I’m going to take my magical music when students become mentors and teachers and give back, you know, going through that, that circle of education and being a student and learning and then a year later being like, I did this, and now I want to share a photo of my paddick or my land or my soil or my my tests. And they’re a product of that of the of the program. I think that’s really, really magical. And I do believe that that is what we all should be doing. You know, learn out loud is what I call it in, like, learn something and then learn out loud and teach it to someone else because that means that you truly get it. And that comes from a space of confidence. And if you can get out in the paddock and do it now, it’s coming from a space of experience, not knowledge. And so that’s the part that I go and do farm tours with and learn with other people because I want to do more experiential learning as well. And I hope one day soon we have a physical soil learning center that’s actually a place that people can meet and dig up soil and get their hands dirty in a physical and hopefully post COVID, we can do that sooner than later. So your course, like what walks or what are some of the key takeaways? Are people going to get left with?
Matt Powers: Well, you’re going to learn how to diagnose, how to understand and how to interact, build, restore or regenerate and remediate soil. Wow. So it’s a deep dive into the science, but it’s also a deep dive into the pragmatic actions that you can take. And I link it back to those those those five levels that that connect so that everyone can really gather all that information fluently, understand it and then make very clear, simple actions. For their season, for the next five years, the next 10 years, they’ll be able to project out where they want to go, how they want to do it and and from the farm level down to the garden scale or even the large restoration scale. We can partner with soil, make the world a better place at the same time. Oh, I love that.
Regen Ray: I love that partnering with soil, it’s just it’s like work together, work with each other. And, you know, I feel that’s been something I’ve learned is that humans got in the way really of our soils and tried to control it and go, I know best and we can do this and we can do that. And it just has proven over time that that’s not going to work. So we just need to move out of the way and let nature do what nature does best and let the soils heal and forgive and repair and and keep giving in in abundance. Yeah, I’m really excited about this space and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. I am going to be doing the course with everyone as well. I feel like, you know, I am just as much as a student, as a mentor and educator. I love learning. One of my principles is Shop in the Soul. The previous podcast was all about razor-sharp show. It was all about sharpening. The saw seventh habit of seven highly effective habits is chopping the soul
Matt Powers: always reading to
Regen Ray: Yeah, yeah, I got I do more audiobooks. That’s why I love seeing that you’re converting your book into an audio. I was like, Oh, I love how you just dripping it out. You know, you’re just doing it bit by bit, you know, and you’re giving it one, chapter one and then Chapter two and then and so forth. You’re not waiting for it all to be finished and then delay that process. You know, I love that, that that that way of doing things, and I’m an audiobook type of person. I love watching things and listening to things on double speed and and I just downloaded it into my brain, you know? But that’s a process that’s taken me years or years of personal development to get to that point. I think we have to wrap up soon. I know you’re getting to your late night. I’m getting to my midday, everyone. So lovers, it’s been absolutely a pleasure having this conversation. I see it as an absolute gift to everyone to just keep learning and digging deeper and hustles, Matt. Any final words for our soul loving community?
Matt Powers: Grow abundantly. Learn daily and live, regenerative, Lee, and hopefully I will see you in the new course regenerative soil. Excellent.
Regen Ray: Excellent. Thank you, everyone. Get outside, dig deeper into your soils.