Jeff Lowenfels is Teaming with Bacteria to Support Regenerative Agriculture | ILC #11
In this episode of the Isn't Life Curious? podcast we meet virtually with gardener and author Jeff Lowenfels to discuss the magic that occurs in the microscopic world just beyond our eyes. Jeff just published a new book, Teaming with Bacteria, that unveils the incredible role of the Rhizophagy cycle by which plants act as "ranchers" to tend bacteria, bring them in for shearing, and then send them back to pasture for a time before the process starts again. Jeff explains how plants feed on these bacteria in a mutually beneficial way to get nitrogen and growth hormones while the bacteria get a safe space to exist with minimal competition.
But what does all of this mean for the common gardener or farmer? It means we can grow plants in an even smarter, mindful manner that takes advantage of the Rhizophagy cycle to reduce the need for fertilizers and excess inputs!
Check out Teaming with Bacteria (as well as the other three books from the "Teaming..." series) from Timber Press: https://www.workman.com/products/teaming-with-bacteria/hardback
Life is a curious thing. Let's explore it together! Subscribe to Isn't Life Curious? and learn more about the show at http://www.isntlifecurious.com
Psychiatrist Dr. Simon Ruffell on the Science and Philosophy of Ayahuasca | #08
Psychedelic retreat centers have become big business, providing a way for curious minds to engage in psychedelic treatments in areas where they are legal. One perfect example are retreat centers located throughout South America where participants gather to drink the strange cocktail of tryptamines and harmalines in a brew called “ayahuasca”. But are these treatments effective?
Dr. Simon Ruffell is a psychiatrist that has specialized his research on understanding exactly what goes on in these ayahuasca ceremonies and how they impact the physical and mental health of participants. To do so, Dr. Ruffell traveled to Peru to spend time in the jungle participating in ayahuasca ceremonies, collecting data from participants and even following up with participants long after a ceremony to understand just what might be going on.
In this episode of Isn’t Life Curious? we dive into this strange world of ayahuasca to unpack both the science and philosophy surrounding this psychedelic brew as we continue our mini-series, Serious About Psychedelics.
To learn more about Dr. Ruffell’s work with Ayahuasca, check out The Ayahuasca Foundation at https://www.ayahuascafoundation.org/research/the-team
Stay curious and take it easy!
Mark Shepard is Radically Transforming Farms with Restoration Agriculture | #06
Today we join farmer and permaculturist Mark Shepard to discuss practical solutions to surviving and thriving on planet Earth. Mark is the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises LLC, founder of Restoration Agriculture Development LLC and award-winning author of the book, Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers. Mark has also been a farmer member of the Organic Valley cooperative, the worlds largest Organic Farmer’s marketing co-op, since 1995. He is most widely known as the founder of New Forest Farm, the 106-acre perennial agricultural savanna considered by many to be one of the most ambitious sustainable agriculture projects in the United States.
Throughout our conversation we talk about Mark's journey to build New Forest Farm, lessons he has learned along the way, practical challenges to implementing permaculture and restorative agriculture techniques at scale, his experience studying permaculture under Bill Mollison, what modern permaculturists often misunderstand about permaculture, and much more!
You can learn more about New Forest Farm here: https://newforestfarm.us/
You can learn about Forest Agriculture Enterprises here: https://www.forestag.com/
You can learn about Restoration Agriculture Development here: http://www.restorationag.com/
Stay curious, and take it easy!
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Psilera Bioscience Wants to Revolutionize Mental Health with Psychedelics | #04
In this episode of Isn't Life Curious? we continue our exploration of psychedelics that we began with Rick Doblin PhD in episode 2. This time we sit down with two natural products researchers that hope to revolutionize mental health treatment with nature's mind manifesting molecules - psychedelics. They are CEO, Chris Witowski PhD and CSO, Jacqueline Salm PhD, of Psilera Bioscience.
In our conversation we talk about Psilera's work developing new methods of delivering psychedelics to patients as well as the development of new psychedelics that have not yet been explored. We discuss the ways in which psychedelics may impact mental health treatment in the near future, how common psychedelics affect the body and brain, and what we can expect from the future of psychedelic research. We also dive a bit into the philosophical as we explore the nature of consciousness, what it means to be a "psychedelic" and much more!
You can learn more about Psilera Bioscience at www.psilera.com
Stay curious, and take it easy!
In this episode we are joined by Rick Doblin, PhD - the founder of MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. We discuss Rick's past and the series of events that opened his mind to the potential of psychedelics, why he is so passionate about ensuring that psychedelics are well-studied and available for therapeutic and religious use, common misconceptions about psychedelics, separating fact from fiction regarding the potential risks of psychedelics, and much more. This is the beginning of our "Serious About Psychedelics" mini-series that will be running throughout the show that will be exploring the science and cultural impacts of these "mind manifesting" molecules and what we can learn from them regarding human psychology, mental health, and consciousness itself.
You can learn more about MAPS at https://www.maps.org
Enjoy! Stay curious, and take it easy!