Getting Carbon-Negative with Education

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Author: Living Soils Symposium | Published: October 1, 2017

Gabrielle Bastien is the Director of the Living Soils Symposium Montréal(unrelated, but equally as awesome organization) and Regeneration Canada. As she wrapped up her Master’s from Harvard Extension School, her sights set onto something big: reversing climate change and playing an integral role in that process.

She wasted no time. Spending four months interning at Whole Systems Design under the guidance of Ben Falk, she thrust herself into the thick of sustainable agriculture for her thesis without any prior experience growing foods. It was during that stint in Vermont that she realized that she could contribute more with a thesis in her home province of Québec with the farms surrounding Montréal.

Her findings were unexpected, and reassured small-scale permaculture farmers and farmers-to-be of the potential economic viability of their businesses. In true permaculture fashion, she found that systems design had the largest impact on a farm’s potential profitability. In fact, over 78% of permaculture farms in the region were economically viable, beating the 2006 nationwide average of 55% for farms in general. She didn’t stop contributing to her community there.

Gabrielle, with a group of other community members just as passionate about living soils, has been working tirelessly to launch the first annual Living Soils Symposium Montréal#LSSMTL has been designed to create a multidisciplinary interaction facilitating cross-pollination between different schools of thought, fields of study, and areas of work. Leaders from all walks of life will be there: food producers, researchers, agronomists, entrepreneurs, and policy makers.


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