Ask Me Anything Webinar Recording - October 13th
57 min

The forth Ask Me Anything webinar was an opportunity for the Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food community to come together and ask Koen van Seijen and everyone else on the call their burning questions regarding building a regenerative food system and the video course we launched in last months (https://investinginregenerativeagriculture.com/video-course/).

Find the topics discussed and the links on:
https://investinginregenerativeagriculture.com/ama-webinar-10-13-2020.

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Welcome to Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food.
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The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

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The Abundant Edge
The Abundant Edge
Abundant Edge
Working with nature to build soil health, with Robert Pavlis
After last week’s session with Matt Powers, I want to add a second perspective on soil and the new science behind how we can restore it to health in our own gardens. For that perspective I got back in touch with Robert Pavlis who was first on this show a few seasons ago to talk about building natural ponds. Robert has been an avid gardener for over four decades. He is the owner and developer of Aspen Grove Gardens, a 6-acre botanical garden that features over 3,000 varieties of plants. As a specialist in soil science, he has been an instructor for Landscape Ontario and is a garden blogger, writer, and chemist. He teaches gardening fundamentals at the University of Guelph and garden design for the City of Guelph, Ontario, where he lives. One of the things I most appreciate about Robert’s work is that he’s not afraid to challenge any entrenched gardening belief or myth. He is always looking to get to the bottom of what helps plants to grow and what’s just marketing scams.  In this episode we really dive in deep on the fundamentals of soil composition and understanding the nutrients that plants need to thrive. We talk about looking at soil as an ecosystem unto itself rather than a living material, and why striving for ideal soil is not as important as making sure that you have the components necessary for the life inside it.  Robert also helps me to understand what happens in the ground after tillage, mulching, and other amendments. We go over simple tests you can do to diagnose your soil without special equipment or needing to pay for laboratory testing, and by the end, how to use the results of those tests to develop your own personalized soil plan.  This episode alone is like a short but thorough course on soil health, so you might want to keep a notebook handy.  For those of you who want to really expand your knowledge on soil science, I’ve teamed up with New Society Publishers to give away a free copy of this book. If you want to win a copy of Soil Science for Gardeners, just message me through our dedicated facebook group called Abundant Edge weekly regenerative skills and write a post about why you want to amend the soil on your site. I’ll select a winner one week after this episode comes out and send a hard copy of the book to you if you live in the US or Canada or a digital copy if you live anywhere else in the world. It’s that simple, plus you’ll be joining an incredible group of listeners like you who are sharing their regenerative living journey and learning experiences with the community.  Resources: https://abundantedge.com/abundantedge-robert-pavlis/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJfYCNSWCIuOB2sltDh5ZjQ https://www.robertpavlis.com/books/ https://www.gardenmyths.com/ https://www.gardenmyths.com/garden-myths-book-1/ https://newsociety.com/books/s/soil-science-for-gardeners https://www.atitlanorganics.com/online-permaculture-design-certification
1 hr 17 min
Soil Sense
Soil Sense
NDSU Extension
The Importance of Extension with Dr. Greg Lardy
**Join us virtually at the DIRT Workshop December 8th - 9th: _www.DIRTWorkshopND.com_** Extension has a rich history in keeping producers informed and up to date. Dr. Greg Lardy has seen the growth and expansion of these programs and gives us insight into what makes the extension valuable and how it is adapting to the changing times. A beef cattle nutritionist by training, Dr. Lardy is currently the Vice President for Agricultural Affairs at North Dakota State University. In this capacity, he serves as the Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources; the Director of the NDSU Extension, and the Director of the North Dakota Experiment Station. So basically day-today he is tasked with managing all activities that relate to agriculture at NDSU. “How we deliver programs has changed, but the core mission of what we do in terms of using education to transform lives and help people see a better future and achieve a better future is really still at the very heart of what we do” - Dr. Greg Lardy Dr. Lardy remembers as a child visiting the extension building to find a wall of printed bulletins that producers could look through to find answers to their questions. Producers are now accessing internet sources to find these answers. Keeping research and information more readily accessible has been a priority for the extension program whether that be online, in person or in printed material. Beyond offering the information, Dr. Lardy also emphasizes the importance of creating measurable metrics to identify the efficacy of the information being shared. Going forward, Dr. Lardy sees the need for a continual and perpetual push for connectivity with producers and consumers. “Even though we are engaged right now with stakeholders, we've got to be more engaged with listening to the needs of our constituents and taxpayers out there. What are they saying? What do they need to help them live better lives across the state of North Dakota?” - Dr Greg Lardy This Week on Soil Sense: * Meet Dr. Greg Lardy, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources and the Director of the NDSU Extension * Explore the core mission of the Extension Program and what it offers producers * Discover how the program is continually evolving to be more accessible and stay relevant with producers and their needs. Connect with Soil Sense: * _Soil Sense Initiative _ Soil Sense Podcast is hosted by _Tim Hammerich_ of the _Future of Agriculture Podcast_.
22 min
In Search of Soil
In Search of Soil
Diego Footer
Full Show: Peter McCoy - Mycology |In Search of Soil #7
One of the members of the soil ecology that is mentioned on a generalized note is fungi. Although we recognize their importance, there aren’t a lot of specifics tied to mycology—and that’s because there’s still a lot we don’t know about them. As a branch of science, mycology is still relatively new and a lot less studied compared to other fields of study. Today, we have mycologist Peter McCoy to shed some more light on fungi from a deeply mycological perspective. Peter McCoy is a mycologist and mycology educator with 17 years of experience. Known for mushroom cultivation and mycological remediation, he authored Radical Mycology, a 650-page book of condensed knowledge about fungi. He also created Mycologos in response to the growing need for accessible mycological education. Learn from Peter at https://mycologos.world/ WATCH FULL EPISODES YouTube https://bit.ly/watchISOS Follow Diego @diegofooter - https://www.instagram.com/diegofooter In this episode of In Search of Soil * How are mycelia faring in this day and age? (02:09) * Fungi are the first to come back from the most detriment (03:18) * 7% of CO2 are from humans and 85% comes from the soil (06:00) * Fungal respiration (07:06) * We’re living in the fungi and plants’ world (08:14) * The paradigm shift when studying fungi (09:13) * Tons of undiscovered science behind fungi (11:11) * Mycology: we don’t know what we don’t know yet (11:46) * Fungal mycology and human intersections with mycology (12:18) * We’re in the fourth era of the human-fungal history (13:13) * Mycology is a neglected mega science (15:25) * Where agriculture’s understanding of mycology is (16:02) * Mycology isn’t learned about (17:41) * Shifting the awareness about fungi (18:40) * Fungi in a culinary standpoint (19:58) * Fungi in an agricultural standpoint (20:33) * Fungal mycelium and their compounds may be the primary source of carbon in whole soil communities (22:22) * What exactly is mycelium made of? (27:35) * The fungal cell wall (28:36) * How readily viable is sloughed off fungi? (30:55) * If fungi pair up with plants, how much carbon is produced by the plants, and how much is produced by the fungi? (33:28) * What can a plant do if it’s been stripped off from its relationship with the microorganisms it’s dependent on? (38:18) * Plants have evolved to be entirely dependent on fungi (40:10) * Why some plants don’t form robust relationships with microorganisms (43:35) * The definition of a mycorrhiza (44:44) * Dark septate endophytes or DSEs (45:38) * Does crop rotation make sense in the perspective of plant-fungi relationships? (47:30) * Given a robust soil ecosystem, would fungal intervention suffice in keeping the harmful pathogens away from the plant? (54:43) * Withholding fertilizer application because the soil ecosystem fertilizes itself (58:23) * Trichoderma species of mold (01:00:57) * Assuming there isn’t good fungi in the soil, will the good fungi show up if you take care of your soil well enough? (01:03:36) * Are quickly made compost beneficial to developing fungi? (01:07:12) * What fungi do you need? (01:09:44) * What kind of fungi do you want to encourage to grow in the soil as much as possible? (01:13:33) * Putting in all stages of decomposition in your compost pile (01:19:02) * Is there any heat in fungal decomposition? (01:21:40) * Going about speeding up wood chip compost (01:24:02) * The go-to: garden giant mushroom (01:24:47) * The ideal temperature to speed up composting in a lab setting (01:26:45) * Optimum moisture for fungi (01:28:28) * Oxygen and decomposition: are there fungi that thrive in low oxygen? (01:30:02) * Are we adding fungal food when we add finished compost? (01:32:32) * Soil amendments that benefit fungi (01:34:20) * Growing mycology with community science (01:38:40) * Propagating resident fungi and re-inoculating (01:40:55) * Do compost teas make sense and are they really doing anything (01:45:21) * Propagation: the limiting factor is air agitation (01:47:48) * Stick to paying attention on keeping what’s above ground healthy (01:52:47) * Nature will find a way to put things in place where they belong (01:55:32) * Concentrate on bringing back as much diversity as possible (01:56:35) * A fungal perspective on biochar (01:57:00) * Mycologos, Radical Mycology by Peter McCoy (01:59:38) * Diego wraps up the episode with where to get in touch with Peter McCoy (02:03:28) * Accountability and intellectual honesty (01:05:20) * Anyone can make a mycological breakthrough tomorrow (02:07:33) * Arbuscular mycorrhiza: a mycological mindblower (02:08:31)
2 hr 13 min
The Thriving Farmer Podcast
The Thriving Farmer Podcast
Michael Kilpatrick
101. Adam and Jordan on Thriving Mycologically
Have you ever considered taking a completely different kind of farming journey? Adam Cohen and Jordan Jent join us today from Texas Fungus, hailing from Fort Worth and supplying all of Northern Texas. Jordan started Texas Fungus in the Fall of 2016 and now grows the most premium mushrooms in the area and beyond. The original farm began in a one-car garage and has since relocated to Arlington, TX in a 2,000 sq.ft. facility after Jordan partnered with Adam in January 2019. The farm has been expanding and thriving ever since. Join us to learn all about how they cultivate the best damn mushrooms in Texas! You’ll hear: How Jordan and Adam got started working with mushrooms 1:06 What makes growing mushrooms different from other crops 10:06 What a typical day at Texas Fungus looks like 11:45 How much time Jordan and Adam spend on the farm 16:41 How they prioritize important tasks 18:00 The most difficult thing they’ve encountered after starting their business 22:04 How Jordan and Adam advise learning about mushroom production to newcomers 29:38 How roles are divided on Texas Fungus 36:29 Which of their products sell best in Fort Worth and surrounding areas 50:26 What the whole growing process looks like 56:01 The biggest mistakes Adam and Jordan see newer farmers making 1.03:25 Their favorite farming tool 1.11:20 How Jordan and Adam feel about the prospect of starting a new farm today 1.15:53 Where you can learn more about Adam, Jordan, and Texas Fungus 1.19:36 What they’re currently doing with their grow kits 1.20:53 About the Guests: Adam Cohen is a former school teacher (Math, Science, Agriculture), who spent much of the last 15 years working with hydroponics and aquaponics. Struggling to find a way to balance the time needed to be an effective teacher with the needs of running a successful farm, Adam kept looking for ways to be more efficient and to do more with less. A chance meeting in late 2018 introduced him to Jordan Jent and the two partnered up to build Texas Fungus, a small artisan mushroom farm in the heart of the DFW Metroplex. Jent, a former Chef with a self-professed "black-thumb" had been growing mushrooms for a short time and was looking to find a way to bring a new connection to the DFW food-scene that had not existed in the area prior. Since January of 2019, Adam and Jordan have overcome a number of challenges and growing pains as they work to bring the #bestdamnmushrooms to DFW. In the fall of 2017, Jordan Jent received a mushroom kit as a gift that didn't fruit out. About that same time, he was also looking for a way out of the 9 to 5 corporate rat race. As a former chef, he still found himself looking for ways to be connected to the local DFW food scene. After the failed kit, Jordan stumbled upon mushroom growing and went down the rabbit hole. One year later in 2018, Jordan decided to go all-in and leave the simplicity of a 40-hour work week and good benefits for a life of mushroom farming, providing the #bestdamnmushroomsindfw to local chefs. After partnering up with Adam Cohen in the beginning of 2019, they expanded from 5 restaurants and 50lbs per week to 30+ restaurants and 250lbs per week by the end of 2019. Resources: Website - www.texasfungus.com Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/texasfungus/ Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/texas_fungus/
1 hr 25 min
Beekeeping Today Podcast
Beekeeping Today Podcast
Jeff Ott, Kim Flottum
Ernst Seed Company - Calvin Ernst with Kirsten (S3, E26)
Protecting pollinators and improving the habitat for honey bees often entails planting nectar and pollen rich plants. In this episode, Kirsten talks with Calvin Ernst, founder of Ernst Seeds, who has been deeply involved with growing native plants for over 50 years. Learn how providing seeds for erosion control to the Department of Transportation helped him start his company and how he transitioned the company’s focus to natives over time. He provides solid advice on preparing the ground prior to planting for pollinators. Learn more about this family run business and how it provides for pollinators in this week’s show. Also in this episode, Kim reviews The Art of the Bee: Shaping the Environment from Landscapes to Societies by Dr. Robert Page. Additional information: * Ernst Seeds - https://www.ernstseed.com * Ernst Planting Guides - https://www.ernstseed.com/resources/ * Beekeeping Today Podcast Episode with Randi and Lindsey of Ernst Pollinator Service - https://beekeepingtodaypodcast.com/large-scale-planting-large-scale-pollinator-habitats-with-lindsey-white-and-randi-grout-s2-e12 * Ernst Pollinator Service - https://www.ernstpollinatorservice.com * Bee Culture's "Catch The Buzz" on Honey Bee Vaccines - https://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-honey-bee-vaccine/ * The Art of the Bee on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/0197504140 _______________________ Kirsten's interviews are brought to you by BetterBee. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. How do they do this? Because many of their employees are also beekeepers, so they know the needs, challenges and answers to your beekeeping questions. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, BetterBee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at www.betterbee.com Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website: https://www.strongmicrobials.com Thank you to Global Patties for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at http://globalpatties.com and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode! We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a new quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum. _______________ We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments: questions@beekeepingtodaypodcast.com Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at www.beeculture.com Thank you for listening! Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong", Musicalman, "Epilogue"
46 min
Regenerative Agriculture Podcast
Regenerative Agriculture Podcast
John Kempf
Reversing Soil Degradation with Dwayne Beck
Dr. Dwayne Beck is well known for being one of the pioneers of no-till agriculture in central South Dakota and across the High Plains. For more than three decades, Dr. Beck has been creating comprehensive systems for both irrigated and dryland crop production throughout the region, educating growers on the power of crop rotation, diversity, and other regenerative practices. He currently serves as the Research Manager at the Dakota Lakes Research Farm, a non-profit made up of farmers committed to sustainable land practices. On today’s episode, John and Dwayne discuss: * Dwayne’s background and his earlier work assisting local growers with their irrigation systems * The continuing decline of the Ogallala Aquifer and how water infiltration can be improved by implementing no-till agricultural practices. * Addressing the often-overlooked aspects of irrigation, such as percolation and water delivery, and how it affects soil health. * Dwayne’s observations on lake bottom soils, the power of macropores, and the prevalence of summer fallowing in the High Plains. * Utilizing de-percolation strategies to maintain proper nutrient levels in your soil. * Using competition, sanitation, and rotation to control weeds, diseases and insects. * Dwayne’s historical research on nutrient cycling and fertilizer placement. * Dwayne offers up a broader historical perspective on how agriculture, human nature, and mother nature work together. * A discussion on why moving to no-till options for all crops including potatoes, carrots and sugar beets are engineering and genetics problems. * The shared vision, but much different methods, between regenerative agriculture vs. organic agriculture.
1 hr 16 min
The Regenerative Journey with Charlie Arnott
The Regenerative Journey with Charlie Arnott
Charlie Arnott
Episode 20 | Matt Moran | The critically acclaimed chef who has his feet still firmly on farm.
Charlie sat with Matt Moran in his restaurant 'Chiswick' in Sydney overlooking his kitchen garden from which herbs and vegetables are harvested to supplement the dishes prepared in the kitchen. It's a great example of Matt's dedication to seasonality, accountability and authenticity in cooking, and highlights his connection to the source of his produce and the farmers which produce it. And being a farmer himself he has kept his feet firmly on the ground despite his successes and critical acclaim. To start a dialogue and converse more about topics raised in this podcast, please visit The Regenerative Journey Podcast Facebook Group. Episode Takeaways : Chiswick, the restaurant Charlie interviewed Matt in, has a rich history, is one of the oldest restaurants in Sydney and was originally a soup kitchen for navy personnel | The Kitchen garden at Chiswick makes its chefs accountable for what’s in season and on the menu | Covid has bought out the best and the worst in people | Matt grew up near Tamworth in the mid 70s then moved to western suburbs of Sydney and still had connections to farming through his family’s farm at Taralga | Matt’s interest in food started in the home economics class at high school because there were 18 girls and only 2 boys in the class! | Started his career in the kitchen at Parramatta RSL | Searched for work in kitchens during early year 11 | First apprenticeship at La Belle Helene French fine dining in Roseville with Chef Michael de Laurence | He loved his work and was besotted with food | La belle Helene cooking technique and refinement | Matt's appreciation of quality was developed at Matt’s second job, at The Restaurant Manfredi - he learnt about the importance of quality produce | His first restaurant was The Paddington Inn 1991 and first chefs hat at age 23 in the same year | One of his secrets to success was to surrounded himself with people smarter than him | He opened ‘Moran’s’ in 1995 & various others before opening his signature restaurant Aria | Turning point was decision to expand to give others (his staff and associates) the opportunity to develop their skills and opportunities | Bruce Solomon is his business partner. It was important to bring different skills to the table. And brings a customers (Non chef) perspective | High stress industry that has a history of suicide | Legacy of working long hours and lack of support. Culture of perfectionism and ‘don’t share your troubles’ | More openness and support now | Rates of suicide and history is similar to farming world | Planning to build farm stay accommodation at his farm near Thurstan similar to Kimo Estate farm stay near Gundagai | Olive oil is best for flavouring not cooking, grape seed best for cooking! | Definitely rest steaks before serving! | Advice for chefs. Don’t do it for the fame and glory. Do it because you're passionate about it. Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life | Matt is a Thankful4farmers ambassador - it’s a charity raising funds through product partnerships to then grant funds to regenerative farmers and associated businesses to promote the uptake of technology, regenerative practices, and enhance community and farming family well being | Matt is a judge of the delicious produce awards | Australia has the best produce in world. Chefs and customers are spoilt for choice and variety of seed stock, such as the variety of heirloom seeds at Diggers gardening club | Whilst the industry is very competitive, chefs are very respectful, supportive and friendly to each other | If Matt could put a billboard near a highway for all to see, he would have the message ‘Be Kind’ on it… Episode Links : Matt Moran Kitchen Tales - Matt's new YouTube series, Nov 2020 Chiswick Restaurant - Sydney Manfredi Restaurant - Sydney Genevieve Copland - Hospitality Trainer and Assessor Aria Restaurant - Sydney Kimo Estate - Farm Stay and venue, Gundagai, NSW Thankful4Farmers - Matt is an ambassador Delicious Produce Awards Lord Dudley Hotel - Sydney Straight from the Source - an online platform where you can search, explore and connect with the source of your produce.
1 hr 27 min
The Storm Skiing Journal and Podcast
The Storm Skiing Journal and Podcast
Stuart Winchester
Podcast #31: Bousquet Owners & Management
The Storm Skiing Podcast is sponsored by Mountain Gazette. The first issue drops in November, and you can get 10 percent off subscriptions with the code “GOHIGHER10” at check-out. Get 10 percent off everything else with the code “EASTCOAST.” Who: Mill Town CEO and Managing Director Tim Burke, Bousquet General Manager Kevin McMillan, and Pittsfield native and Olympic Skier Krista Schmidinger Recorded on: November 16, 2020 Why I interviewed them: Because lift-served skiing is not just a few giant ski areas hanging off the top of New England, flying the flags of corporate overlords five or 10 states away. Skiing, like a forest, is an ecosystem. A forest needs trees and insects and water and dirt and a food chain of animals. Everyone likes to look at the wolves, but we don’t have wolves without chipmunks. Skiing is the same. We don’t have Stowe or Sunday River or Whiteface without Bousquet – at least, we don’t have them as sustainable long-term entities, because otherwise where would the new skiers come from? Some people learn to ski at the monsters, but most of us don’t, and ski areas like Bousquet, anchored deeply their communities, are some of the most productive new-skier engines there are. Part of my mission, as I see it, is to tell the story of lift-served skiing as it evolves in the Northeast, and the way that smaller ski areas like Bousquet are managing to thrive in a warming world and a consolidating industry is a vital and often-overlooked part of that story. What we talked about: How long the deal to buy Bousquet had been in the works; why the mountain was an attractive asset despite the investments needed to modernize it; Mill Town’s intention to own Bousquet for the long term; whether they would consider rescuing closed-down Blandford; echoes of Arctaris’ rescue of Saddleback; how the partnership with the owners of Berkshire East and Catamount is helping a non-skiing company rebuild Bousquet’s entire on-mountain infrastructure in a matter of months; the snowpipe landmines buried in the hillsides; hiring the right GM; what the triple chair replaces and how construction is progressing; what happened to the yellow and green chairs after they demolished the lifts; additional offseason lift upgrades; the location and setup of the new beginner area; tubing survives; how the ski area altered terrain at the summit to hold snow better and assist with chairlift unloading; the ski area’s current and potential footprint; where we may see future glade development; when the new trailmap and website will drop; this offseason’s massive snowmaking upgrades; the mountain’s water supply; the target opening date; Bousquet’s new grooming fleet; the lodge is closed this year and what skiers will find in its place; why Bousquet joined the Berkshires Summit Pass with Berkshire East and Catamount; whether Bousquet would consider joining the Indy Pass; how the mountain is managing day lift tickets this season; RFID gates are here; Krista’s story of growing up at Bousquet and taking the lessons she learned there all the way to Olympic competition; mastering skiing via the Malcom Gladwell-defined 10,000 hours of bombing the slopes of Bousquet; the ski area’s deep racing legacy; the programs that Krista will run and how she can help the ski area center itself more solidly in the broader skiing community. Bousquet retired the yellow chair, pictured here in February 2019, to install a new-used summit triple this offseason. Yes, you can ski the liftline. Why I thought that now was a good time for this interview: Because with a new ownership group in place, Bousquet is getting the reboot it probably needs to thrive in the decades to come. Any independent ski area – especially a small independent ski area – is going to need some combination of reliable blanket snowmaking, sufficient capital to keep up with maintenance and basic infrastructure upgrades, membership in some kind of broader coalition, and a local population handcuffed to the mountain’s fate. Mill Town brings the first two. Becoming the third Muskiteer [this is why I need an editor] to Berkshire East and Catamount provides the third. The mountain’s crash-landing like the Transformers Ark on the outskirts of Pittsfield provides the final piece, because ask Rangeley what it’s like to be a ski town without a ski area. With a new-used summit chair dropping in and upgrades all over the mountain, Bousquet’s new owners made an offseason statement that they’re here to party, and I wanted to peak in the door to see just how rowdy things were getting. Flying towers for the new-used summit triple (relocated from Hermitage Club) earlier this week. Photo courtesy of Bousquet. Why you should go there: There’s a common skier’s mentality that discards small ski areas as a person’s skills improve and they move on to the 42-chairlift monsters humping over the multi-summited mountains on the horizon. Like a snake shedding its skin, these skiers assume the smaller version no longer fits them and should be left behind. I kind of get this: there is nothing quite like getting lost in a vast ski circus on a snowy day, popping out of some glade onto some narrow trail leading to an empty spinning lift planted, it seems, in the middle of some secret wilderness that is yours alone. But there’s something to a small ski area too, to the energy of countless children unleashed and gleeful in their great roving packs, to ripping off a dozen laps in an hour, to never having to consult a trail map, to trimming skiing back to the motion and the sensation that are its basic animal appeals. I know all this because I was the big snake for a while and when I had kids I realized those little ski areas still fit pretty good after all. They’re easier on kids and they’re better for them too, and they’re better for me, because when my daughter and I are cruising around Bousquet, I don’t have that I-wonder-what-the-trees-are-like-today FOMO that rides me at Killington or Sugarbush. And while that’s true of all small ski areas, Bousquet, historic and resurgent and beloved, lies in a special class of must-visit local bumps inextricably tied to Massachusetts and New England skiing culture and lore. Additional reading/videos: From New England Ski History: The roots of Bousquet were planted in the ski trains of the 1930s, when New Yorkers would depart from Grand Central Station on New Haven Railroad trains in the early morning hours for a day of skiing on the Bousquet farm in Pittsfield. As the legend goes, Clarence Bousquet installed a rope tow in the spring of 1935, increasingly the area rate from 25 cents to $1.00 A second tow was added for the 1936-37 season, as Bousquet quickly became a well-known ski area. A third tow was likely added for 1937-38, while a fourth debuted for 1938-39. The Hartford Courant declared the area "one of America's finest ski developments," citing the longest rope tow in the world. Read more… A trail map from (no s**t) 1936. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be fluffly clouds or the Himalayas rising in the background: A Berkshire Eagle video of helicopters flying summit chair towers earlier this week: Follow The Storm Skiing Journal on Facebook and Twitter. COVID-19 & Skiing Podcasts: Author and Industry Veteran Chris Diamond | Boyne Resorts CEO Stephen Kircher | Magic Mountain President Geoff Hatheway | NSAA CEO Kelly Pawlak | Berkshire East/Catamount Owner & Goggles for Docs founder Jon Schaefer | Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis Cofounder Jeff Thompson | Doppelmayr USA President Katharina Schmitz | Mt. Baldy GM Robby Ellingson | Alterra CEO Rusty Gregory | NSAA Director of Risk & Regulatory Affairs Dave Byrd The Storm Skiing Podcasts: Killington & Pico GM Mike Solimano | Plattekill owners Danielle and Laszlo Vajtay | New England Lost Ski Areas Project Founder Jeremy Davis | Magic Mountain President Geoff Hatheway | Lift Blog Founder Pet…
1 hr 8 min
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