february, 2020

05feb6:00 pm8:00 pmThe What, Why, and How of Regenerative Agriculturean Edible Education 101 talk at UC Berkeley


Event Details

Tiffani will be moderating a discussion on regenerative agriculture for Edible Ed 101 at UC Berkeley featuring Dr. Whendee Silver, farmer and seed saver Kristyn Leach (also a #RealFoodReads guest!), farmer Moretta Browne, and rancher Loren Poncia.

Industrial agriculture is one of the main drivers of the climate crisis: we can’t address the crisis without addressing agriculture and land-use. Fortunately, regenerative agriculture is gaining mainstream traction and recognition as a key strategy to mitigate and adapt to a rapidly heating world. 

Drawn from decades of Western scientific research and centuries of peasant knowledge, Regeneration International describes regenerative agriculture as “a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances ecosystem services,” and in doing so, can sequester carbon and build resiliency. 

In this conversation, we are bringing together soil experts and farmers to explore the science behind regenerative agriculture, the people who practice it, and the role of regenerative agriculture in the quest for a food system that is nourishing for all.  


Dr. Whendee Silver is Professor of Ecosystem Ecology in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley.  Whendee’s role on the Steering Committee is to conduct and coordinate the scientific research of the project.  She also participates in outreach and education activities by helping to translate scientific findings to project participants and the general public. Dr. Silver consults on the implementation plan and manages the long term monitoring program and carbon monitoring protocol development. She also holds an appointment on the Geological Science Faculty of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her research seeks to determine the biogeochemical effects of climate change and human impacts on the environment, and the potential for mitigating these effects. She holds PhD and MS degrees from Yale University.


Kristyn Leach runs the organic namu Farm in partnership with the restaurant Namu Gaji in San Francisco, owned by three brothers with a Korean background. Since 2012, Leach has grown vegetables and herbs, particularly heirloom Korean produce, for the neighborhood bistro. An avid seed saver, Leach practices traditional peasant farming methods popular in her birthplace. She began Namu Farm at the Sunol AgPark, home to small-scale farmers growing crops on the urban fringe. In 2018, Leach moved her operation to Winters. She is a member of the Asian American Farmers Alliance and active in community efforts to empower farmers of color. 


Moretta ‘Mo’ Browne (she/they) is moving into her second season with the Berkeley Basket CSA, which she c-manages out of West Berkeley. The Berkeley Basket CSA looks to feed the Berkeley community with organic produce grown right in their backyards. They currently feed 14 families with their produce and with the start of the next season, that will grow to 20. Moretta also co-leads conversations around queer ecology with her two farm mentors, Clare Reisman and Edgar Xotchil. “We Are Natural: California Farmers Reimagine the World through Queer Ecology” is their latest feature written for the Good Food Jobs blog. In addition to farming and queer ecology, Moretta is putting together a podcast, exploring meditation and attempting to pet all the neighborhood cats she can. Moretta credits all her earthly work back to her late grandfather, Melvin D. Fields and all their times spent in nature together. 


Loren Poncia of Stemple Creek Ranch is a 4th generation Marin County organic rancher who has redefined small-scale family ranching. Loren started Stemple Creek Ranch with the dream of raising quality, grass-finished beef and lamb to work with, not against, mother nature. His ranch had the first carbon farm plan in the U.S. and Loren is proud to be part of the Marin Carbon Project. 

A graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a major in Dairy Science and Ag Business, Loren always dreamed of coming back to the family ranch to pursue his passion in agriculture. He oversees the entire ranching operation and spends countless hours carefully studying genetics with the goal of raising grass-fed and finished beef that is tender, well-marbled, and tastes great. Stemple Creek Ranch sells its products to grocery stores, butcher shops, restaurants, and directly to consumers.


(Wednesday) 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PST


University of California-Berkeley

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