Which Paradigm are you Working In?

Adapted from Paradigms of Regenerative Agriculture by Ethan Rolan Soloviev

A PARADIGM is a set of concepts, thought patterns, and standards that we apply to something, and a paradigm shift involves altering those preconceived notions to reflect a more holistic or expansive view.

At Kiss the Ground, we invite land stewards to reconsider the typical model, or paradigm, of agriculture. Bring into your mind a particular farm and farmer that you know and care about (it could be yourself). Consider the following questions as a way to begin to explore the underlying perspectives and mindsets behind what farmers do on the land and why.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

– Albert Einstein

What does success look like for you and your farm?

What forms of value do you need to obtain and produce? How would success in these forms of value production impact yourself, your family, your community, and the land and its wildlife in ten years, twenty years, fifty years…

What resources do you depend on and how do they inform your decisions?

Is it possible for you to source all inputs from the watershed or bioregion your farm is located in? Can you close any input or waste loops on your farm that are currently open? How would this impact how you manage resources and what you prioritize?

Can you identify all the plants and animals (species) that are thriving on your farm?

What relationships can you draw between them and what benefit do they serve? Are there any relationships that may be lacking, one-sided, or missing altogether?

If you were to describe the unique character or story of your farm, which relationships, species, patterns, systems, and functions would be at play?

How does it feel to walk through the land with this awareness? What forms of value can you see the potential to produce, even if they don’t seem possible now? What does the full potential of your farm look like and how could it evolve over time?

Do you know what paradigm you’re sourcing from?

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