Rizoma Field School in the news
THE REGENERATIVE REAL ESTATE PODCAST | EPISODE 32
“In this episode of The Regenerative Real Estate Podcast, Ashley tells a gripping narrative of what led her to Uruguay, the hardships encountered, and the endeavors she has taken on. From raising a family to starting the Rizoma Field School, Ashley’s story is nothing short of extraordinary. Through her lived experience of regeneration, Ashley helps to put the pieces together on how sustainability is couched within social systems that can be drivers for positive change and transformation.”
Ep. 8 Embracing Subsistence Agriculture During the Collapse of Industrial Capitalism with Ashley Colby
Jeffrey Howard speaks with Ashley Colby, a sociologist and author of Subsistence Agriculture in the United States: Reconnecting to Work, Nature, and Community (2020). She earned her PhD focusing on environmental sociology from Washington State University in 2018. She is currently pursuing research projects based in Uruguay, where she has recently founded Rizoma Field School for experiential learning in the area of sustainability and agroecology. She is a new member of the Executive Board of the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI) based in North America.
“I implore you, reader: the solutions we’re looking for do not need to be imagined from scratch, and they should not come from those who built the system that got us here. The people of the Global South, and less privileged communities in the Global North, have developed this livelihood (in many cases) for centuries, and have worked through iterations of success and failure. If we can stop seeing them as people to be taught, and instead as people who have something to teach us, we may just find the future we’ve been looking for.”
Millinium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere – Stanford University
Co-director of Rizoma Field School, Ashley Colby, wrote this article for Stanford University-based organization MAHB, whose work focuses on organizations and individuals working in the area of solutions to environmental problems.
I was sitting in grad school class and my mind was seven thousand miles away – thinking of a plot of land I bought with my husband in Uruguay, hoping for a future there. As I daydreamed, the discussion in my Environmental Sociology class turned to risk society theory[i]. The theory goes that our global society is faced with multiple overlapping risks, and on top of it we don’t trust the science that is produced to help us understand and cope with the risk. The solution? Citizen science. Make your own knowledge, and share it. Read More
We picked Uruguay to settle for multiple overlapping reasons all related to stability: of climate, politics, resources both human and natural. The people of Uruguay hold extensive embedded knowledge about how to live with less, well. Resources like electricity and consumer goods are expensive in Uruguay when compared with the U.S.; so a culture of recycling, sharing and reduced overall consumption has developed. Despite this, Uruguay is consistently ranked among world nations as having extremely high well-being and happiness[ii]. If any one of the predicted environmental crises turns to collapse[iii], it will be countries like Uruguay that will be well-versed in livelihoods set up not only to survive but to thrive. Based on examples of crisis such as extreme weather events in the U.S. where supermarket shelves quickly empty, it seems Americans may want to explore the lived experiences of other cultures that have made do with less for longer. Read More