Tao Orion: Beyond the War of Invasive Species, Resilient Permaculture Design, and Transition Homesteading

What is ecosystem restoration and what are some common challenges of living off-the-grid?

Tao Orion—author, teacher, and mother—shares her experience with us on today's episode of Ancestral Health Radio.

This was a fun chat, for sure. Because some day in the near future I'd like to purchase land and start a family myself.

We discuss the need for a more holistic approach to land restoration, the medicinal properties of certain invasive plant species, and what tending the wild versus plow-based agriculture looks like.

In today's episode, you'll also learn...

  • Why your pastured eggs may be supplemented with grain, 
  • The invasive species that can heal a common antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria,
  • Questions to consider before transitioning to land or rural property of your own, and...
  • Much, much more.

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Episode Breakdown

  • Where Tao believes the future of restoration is going

  • Why you don’t need a lot of space to grow vegetables

  • Tao discusses ideas about communal or cooperative land management models for animal products

  • Oregon’s land use laws

  • Tao talks about the realistic challenges of animal husbandry

  • Why your pastured eggs may be supplemented with grain

  • Why Tao grew black soldier fly larvae

  • The many different animals Tao has raised and their associated costs

  • Why Tao is unsure of the sustainable management of invasive animal species

  • Tao’s concerns of herbicide contamination due to Oregon’s forest practices

  • Why Tao believes pesticides get more attention than herbicides

  • The dangers of glyphosate

  • Tao’s advice for people new to foraging or spending time in these managed outdoor areas

  • The medicinal benefits of invasive species

  • How to wildcraft Japanese knotweed

  • The traditional use of the Brazilian peppertree

  • Why Tao says it’s important we learn to read our landscape and use land use history

  • How indigenous people in California used fire to clear land and reset the succession of perennial plants and grasslands

  • Plow-based, annual agriculture and the domestication of the ox

  • What would happen if we were to increase the worldwide organic material by 1%

  • Why Tao thinks animal-based agriculture is insane

  • The permaculture mindset

  • Tao emphasizes the benefits of plant and animal stewardship and where she believes you should begin

  • Important points and challenges to remember when deciding on a future homestead

Questions I Ask

  1. What is ecosystem restoration?

  2. "Is there enough land for all of us to sustainably live off of?"

  3. "What does managing that land look like?"

  4. "So they [chickens] do need a supplement like grain to produce eggs?"

  5. "So a chicken that lays eggs naturally just foraging off of the land and eating your scraps versus one that is supplemented with grain—how often would the one with the grain produce eggs versus the one that didn’t?" 

  6. "What are the biggest differences between traditional European agriculture versus what indigenous people used?"

  7. "What are some of the big issues that are happening with traditional agriculture today?"

  8. "Is there anything I can do in my apartment that I can start using these practices immediately?"

Mentioned Resources

"The future of restoration is in creating really high quality habitat and really functional ecosystems that support not only human life, but all non-human life." Tao Orion

Who is Tao Orion?

Tao Orion is the author of Beyond the War on Invasive Species: A Permaculture Approach to Ecosystem Restoration. She teaches permaculture design at Oregon State University and at Aprovecho, a 40-acre nonprofit sustainable-living educational organization. Tao consults on holistic farm, forest, and restoration planning through Resilience Permaculture Design, LLC. She holds a degree in agroecology and sustainable agriculture from UC Santa Cruz, and grows organic fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and animals on her southern Willamette Valley homestead, Viriditas Farm.

Contact Tao, Here:

Website: http://www.resiliencepermaculture.com/

Social media: Facebook and Twitter

Featured Music:

Goodway by Monsters of Folk

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James Broderick