Foxhole’s desire is to have a positive impact on the real world. One way we will do that is through Regenerative Agriculture. Regenerative Agriculture could be described as: interconnected productive systems mimicking nature’s ecosystems. The outputs from our systems simultaneously provide benefit to people, ecologies, animals and economics.
We maintain the integrity of our values by using a set of decision making tools. This ensures that our actions care for both people AND the earth. Including the people we serve such as Veterans, customers and staff, as well as livestock, wildlife and the landscape. Each major decision is looked at with a specific and global context allowing us to arrive at solutions and techniques rather than imposing them on landscapes or people.
You may have noticed that our definition of Agriculture includes people. But isn’t this about food production? Well, agriculture is a human system and Regenerative Agriculture is a meeting point between human systems and natural ecosystems. Therefore, the system must take care of people and land (the Earth) in order for it to be considered regenerative agriculture under the Foxhole definition.
Ultimately every physical need comes from the Earth. Therefore, we believe repairing land increases the opportunity for personal healing, restoration and physical health.
Like a person who is thriving, a regenerative farm is doing more than just getting by. This is important at Foxhole homes, because we are dealing with living things and real people. Someone on life support is sustained, but a healthy person regenerates, heals from wounds, overcomes sickness and is able to exercise and work. Therefore, we strive to do more than merely sustain people and productive systems; we seek to continually enhance them. This way the designed ecology has the resilience to create abundance even if we are not able to actively manage each aspect.
This kind of agriculture is achieved by integrating: water retention landscapes, interplanted orchards (food forests), Agroforestry, Silvopasture, non-timber forest products, Aquaculture, Aquaponics and paddock shift livestock management. We intend to combine these and many other cutting edge techniques in a whole system design providing numerous products and market opportunities that may be capitalized on by the people we serve.
At Foxhole, we are not affiliated with any one land use or food-producing system. We are open to all the tools in the toolbox as long as they aid in restoring vitality to people and the Earth. Our resources and inspiration come from all corners of the sustainability movement.
Some of the key approaches that will be used to accomplish our vision include:
Working with nature – To achieve abundant productivity from plants and animals we foster an environment that naturally provides for each living thing we cultivate. But what does it look like for a life form to be cared for verses being stressed? Whether it is a tree, animal or even a person it could be defined this way:
We selectively place infrastructure, earthworks, trees and animals to work together. Thus, each living thing is acting beneficially by being allowed to do what it is naturally inclined to do. We arrange things in relation to each other so desirable products are encouraged and undesirable results are discouraged.
When working with living systems, species selection and development is extremely important. You wouldn’t ask a lapdog to pull a sled through the Yukon, or cows to sniff for drugs. We choose the plants and animals that are predisposed to do what needs to be done. We select genetics AND develop the plant and animal biology specific to each site. We are creating a system of systems where, as much as possible, everything is right where it wants to be to thrive.
This philosophy carries over into the social aspects of a Foxhole food system. We don’t want to force an unnatural function on anything or anyone.
Plans are great, but seeing is believing. Since there is nothing quite like Foxhole homes already out there, here are links to a few inspirational resources:
Behind Greening the Desert
Permaculture Landscape in Portugal - Water Is Life with Sepp Holzer and Tamera Community
7 FACETS 2012 Darren Doherty
An Oasis in the American Desert
Allan Savory: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change
Bill Mollison Global Gardener 2 Dry lands
From Desert to Oasis in 4 years
Greening the Desert