Darren J. Doherty grew up on the family farm near Bendigo, learning rural and farming skills from his grandfather. ‘He saw that they would hold me in good stead,’ says Darren. ‘As someone who had lived through the Depression, he could see that those times may come again, so if economic circumstances collapsed I’d have the ability to survive.’
While it was a scary message for a kid, Darren says it was also a great one, because it was backed up by experiential skills he still carries today. When Darren became interested in permaculture, the set of agricultural and design principles already sounded familiar to his grandfather. “When I showed him Bill Mollison’s Permaculture – A Designer’s Manual, he said ‘we’ve been doing all of that stuff for forever’,” says Darren.
A farmer, developer, trainer and author, Darren coined the term ‘regrarian’, a combination of the words ‘regenerative’ and ‘agrarian’. He developed the Regrarians Platform, a framework to help people design and plan agricultural projects, and works with his wife Lisa Heenan and their daughter Isaebella Doherty as directors of the Regrarians.
‘Regrarianism came out after we did the world’s first carbon farming courses and world tour in 2007,’ recalls Darren. ‘We started to look at all of these different methodologies and built them into the framework that became The Regrarians Platform. It’s based on the Keyline Scale of Permanence which P. A. Yeomans developed in 1958. I did some work for holistic management educators and they determined that the Keyline Scale of Permanence would be a really good framework to build our training around. I looked at it and thought “how can I make it more holistic?” I brought in additional layers, such as the economy, energy and social issues.’