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Our Work

Our focus remains on creating lush ecosystems within degraded landscapes and designing to store carbon and retain water. 

Regenerative Design Process

​Drylands Agroecology Research was created in order to assist other land stewards in building regenerative systems, while bolstering our research and demonstration of these systems in multiple locations. From clarifying goals to site assessment and implementation, we are here to support the regenerative process taking shape. 

We advocate goals that align with ecological resilience, and design systems that meet the inherent goals of our steward partners. Throughout this process, we document progress, collect data, and share our findings.

Design Pillars
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  • Designing systems that work with nature rather than against - harmonizing with the inherent power of natural systems to create abundance.

  • By gathering a holistic understanding of an environment by thorough assessment, we design systems that meet goals in an ecologically resilient manner.

Ecological Design

  • Cutting edge strategies that effectively distribute water - balancing moisture conditions and moving water to where it is most needed 

  • Strategies that increase water storage in the soil, build vegetation and carbon capture potential

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Water Management

  • These terra-forming and earth moving strategies rapidly develop the landscape and accelerate the succession of ecosystems

  • Contour earthworks, ponds and water storage, roads and access, etc

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Earthworks

  • Thoughtful planning and rotations of diverse livestock to accomplish ecological goals:

  • Practices that build soil, direct ecological development, and sequester carbon

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Intensive Animal Management

Goals Articulation 

Clarifying goals is the beginning and arguably most important part of the design process. Where do we want to be and what do we want to see in the years to come?

1

Assessment and Analysis

​Guided by the articulated goals, a holistic understanding of the land is gathered through site assessment and analysis - what elements and resources are present and how this relates to the goals. This process unearths the characteristics of the land, including the flow of resources, challenges, and opportunities.

2

Design Process

Equipped with layers of information and understanding, we design regenerative solutions aimed to meet the goals. Deliverables include master planning, broad scale systems design diagrams, systems and patch designs, as well as implementation strategies.

3

Implementation

With design diagrams in hand, our team lays out the designs on the ground and installs the regenerative systems. Water collecting Earthworks, intensive animal management, and soil regeneration systems take form.

4

Documentation and Research

As projects progress, we document and collect data to support the regenerative design process through technology, community participation, and quantitative analysis.

  • Healthy forests, grasslands, pastures, and other ecosystems naturally sink carbon from the atmosphere. Our research is developing strategies to greatly accelerate these processes that are reversing the damage of industrial society.

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Carbon Sequestration

Research Pillars

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  • The health of the soil is a direct representation of the health of an ecosystem. By understanding practices that build soil quality, microbial and fungal life, and nutrient cycling, we can develop stewardship practices that support live

Soil Health

  • Perennial plants continue to grow year after year. Trees, shrubs, and other plants that produce food for humans and animals create abundance by minimizing work. 

  • Breeding drought tolerant and regionally adapted perennial crops strengthens our ability to cultivate a wholesome relationship with our environments.

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Perennial Planting

  • Testing bio-regional and traditional grain crops in low water conditions

  • Developing crops that are low input and support a rich regional food culture

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Grain Trials

Image by Matthew Smith

Partnership Projects

Land-Steward Partner Projects

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Elk Run Farm
(Pilot)

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Yellow Barn Farm

(Allen's Farm)

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Metacarbon Organic Farm

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Middleway Gardens