A little explanation on why did we drastically changed our lives to create The Green Rebel?
In just a couple of months, The Green Rebel has sprouted & evolved from a deep-rooted idea - via an adventure with a campervan - into a tangible project to regenerate 15 hectares of land in Spain using Regenerative Agroforestry. But The Green Rebel stands for more than 'just' a model farm and a courageous adventure! So we thought while sharing our new logo it was time for us to share in this article some of our why, our values and our overall vision.
Our why is very important to us: first of all because without really knowing why you are doing something you won't be as resilient & persistent to overcome all the obstacles such a project imply, secondly because we are reminded daily about our why (via the news, social media, but just at looking at our surroundings). As it is so important to us, we also want to be transparent with you about what we hope to accomplish and what we are rebelling against. This will be an ever-evolving conversation, but that does not mean we should not share this from time to time.
Both myself (Carlo) & Coralie have quit our corporate jobs about 2 years ago, starting our journey for a sense of belonging & purpose. Both of us felt stuck in a system that was driven by wrong motives that are destructive to our hearts & minds, and to the planet that we live on. This project has brought our paths of life together and our diverse backgrounds have given more depth to The Green Rebel. We invite you to join (y)our journey of rebelling to what is considered normal & follow your intuition to live in your truth, your full potential. In another blog post, we will share more about life-changing projects, experiences & rebels that have brought us where we are today.
Our measured wealth has never in our history been so high, but the health and actual well-being of our planet, us individuals, and animals have probably never been so low. To make this tangible, human-made materials (concrete, plastic, metal, etc.) now outweigh all that is living and created by the miracle of life. All the plastic weighs even twice as much as all the animals alive. We can't seem to stop trying to outsmart nature, but surround ourselves in an unnatural concrete jungle. A good read on this, for perhaps another lockdown is the book 'Homo Deus', where Yuval Noah Harari describes beautifully & mesmerizing how we are attempting to be 'god', conquering nature's principles, and are running a rat-race for priceless immortality. But at what cost ;)
We are facing a crisis that should unite all of us to fight against; on top of global warming, the immune system of our planet is disappearing. Biodiversity populations have declined by 68% since 1970, forests that regulate our temperature and absorb carbon are being cut-down with 2 football fields per minute, oceans creating oxygen are becoming warmer and more acidic. Our food has never been this cheap, while never this expensive. It is lacking in taste and nutrients while being responsible for the abuse of billions of animals and humans, deforestation, pollution & scarcity of water while being one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gasses. Some say if we continue farming this way, we only have 60 harvest years left of fertile topsoil, the small layer in which plants & trees get their nutrients from.
As if it wasn't enough, most producers of our food, something that we depend on for our very own survival, cannot even survive while doing so. Suicide rates amongst farmers are one of the highest all around the world, a consequence of being exploited and stuck by a broken, bankrupt & inefficient system. This broken relationship of humanity in nature is also the cause of pandemics as our current COVID-19.
So why? Because we have lost our connection with nature. We are no longer a part of nature, but apart from nature, and it harms the well-being of ourselves and all other life on the planet.
What does The Green Rebel stand for?
Enough negativity, let's turn this overwhelming urgency into positive actions. Over the past months we have talked a lot together, and would like to share the values that we stand for:
Regeneration of ourselves, the soil, forests, and our planet. Every action that we take should be filled with love & kindness towards ourselves, each other, animals & the ecosystem we live in. Why not sustainable? Someone shared this spot-on analogy with us; 'would you want your marriage/relationship to be sustainable? Or being of service & adding value to each other?'
Responsibility ("response - ability")
We have the ability to choose our response to everything, whether it is a red traffic light, a cheap piece of bacon at a discount price, or a neighbor in need. Every small action has the potential to something big. Einstein once said, "Those who have the privilege of knowing, have the duty to act". Every time we say, buy or do something, our actions have an impact that matters.
Recognizing that we are all interconnected, and need each other to strive for our full potential, will change our mindset from individualistic to selfless. Just as much as a tree doesn't thrive on its own, only when surrounded by other trees and an underground web of roots & fungi supporting and communicating with each other, humans don't thrive in isolation.
What does The Green Rebel want to achieve?
Based on these values, we have set 3 missions that we are going to work on in the coming years:
Redefining the production of food; agriculture. Away from a monoculture mindset where there is a simplistic input, output & waste, working towards imitating a complex system that is resilient, regenerating, and inclusive of all beings. 'The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings' - Masanobu Fukuoka. We are hoping to accomplish this with the principles of Regenerative Agroforestry and by being part of the transformation wish to speed up the process.
Reconnecting with nature, being in harmony with yourself and your surroundings. Living in a conscious way, planting seeds and with our hearts & minds connected for our own well-being. Seeing the world as a complex, but magical ecosystem. Understanding where our food comes from & how long it takes to grow nutritious fruits & vegetables.
Recognizing a global community of Rebels; rebels who are stepping up for our planet, for themselves and for others, inspired by taking actions that matter. Whether you will be passing by the farm for a workshop, a conscious living trip, or volunteering or you are reducing your consumption of animal products, planting a food forest in your backyard, or volunteering in your own community. Connecting, inspiring & highlighting strengthens our sense of belonging, purpose, and effectiveness to change the world.
You may ask how are we planning to do all of this, starting with just the 2 of us on 15 hectares of land. Good question;)
Well it is also a work in progress for us, but everyday we are learning more and more and have a deep feeling of getting towards the right direction. Since we emigrated to Spain in October, a lot has happened:
We officially secured the land, signed at the notary
We are adjusting to a new country, language, lifestyle and different administrations to deal with
We have received support from almost 10 volunteers who are either helping us on the land, designing our next website, branding or helping us with our funding.
We got our very first olive harvest and learned everything about it from harvesting to bringing our first Olive Oil to your table. Thanks to your contributions we are closer to reaching our crowdfunding goal!
We are connecting with the local community, understanding our surroundings and meeting like minded people who are sharing the same values. It’s so important for our well-being, but also for the future of the project
We have registered as a Foundation in the Netherlands to support our fundraising, so we can continue to dream big. Our mission is to be impactful and have as many people as possible joining the transformation.
Some of our next steps will be:
Settle in at the farm bringing solar electricity and the necessary facilities so we can be fully present ourselves and start becoming a hub for volunteers, students & loved ones.
Learning about the upcoming harvests. With about 800 fruit & nut trees at the farm it’s our duty to care for them & for that we need the right techniques and the necessary tools. But we also need to be ready for the next apricots, almonds and olive harvests. More products coming your way!
Hosting the first knowledge-sharing workshop about design in regenerative agroforestry, so we can together work on getting a full design of the farm. This design will be the starting point of being able to work on a business plan as well as putting this design in action!
While doing all of this we will continue working on sharing as much as possible with you online: the behind the scenes, tips that you can apply in your daily life, resources so you can learn more, different projects that are inspiring us around the world. There are so many amazing rebels that need to be more visible!
We believe in the goodness of people and that the right opportunities will come our way when we do good. That has already doubled our team in the past months, we have received incredible support from Founding Rebels to secure the land, and are hoping to start this project this year.
You can help us realize the project by sharing The Green Rebel story with your friends & family, follow us on social media or donate to our crowdfunding.
Thank you for being a part of our journey, it energizes us a lot knowing that you are following & supporting us!
Coralie & Carlo