7group and the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund have just released Remarkable Reinvention, a 10-minute video that compresses years of regenerative thinking and design effort. Following the journey of owners Duke and Monica Gastiger, we see the initial idea for a green restaurant on a farm evolve to RE Farm Café at Windswept Farm – a café nested in a farm, a farm nested in a community and regional food production and consumption system. And while direct experience certainly offers the strongest learning potential, the role of storytelling to educate and inspire cannot be overlooked.

“The most powerful person in the world is the story teller.
The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire
generation that is to come.”

– Steve Jobs

7group has long incorporated video storytelling as a way to extend their work. An early set of videos funded by the PA Department of Environmental Protection played a significant role in educating thousands of building professionals about the LEED certification system and supported the growth of the US Green Building Council.

“Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful,
clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact.”

– Robert McKee

Remarkable Reinvention now introduces regenerative practice, thinking and design through the instrument of the RE Farm Café project.

Duke Gastiger, managing member of RE Farm Café, LLC, owner, Windswept Farm

“We started to think not about sustainable – meaning don’t do harm – to more regenerative kind of thinking. And we wanted to fashion a way to grow the community’s understanding of farming as it involves the local food system in total.”

Monica Gastiger, managing member, RE Farm Café, LLC, owner, Windswept Farm

“We started looking, looking at the environmental piece, looking at the local food system, how we interact with the community – this seemed like the right thing to do.”

Marcus Sheffer, 7group partner

“Healthy living systems are constantly evolving. They remain healthy by aligning their evolution with the principles of nature. The same can be said for communities, organizations and any human focused system (like the way we produce and consume food). Aligning the way people think, with the way that nature works, is the heart of regenerative practice/thinking/design. RE Farm Café and Windswept Farm embody this way of being, thinking and doing by seeking to transform the way food is produced and consumed in their region to align with the rhythms and flows of healthy living systems.”

Bill McPartland, RE Farm Café Conducting Composer

“We’re involved with growing the food so we know what’s happening out there. We know what we’re going to be using in here. We’re in constant contact with the farm managers and use that in our decision making process when we’re making the menus.”

Jay Young, Rising Spring Meat Company

“As the restaurant has gotten up and going, we’re developing a relationship where they will be bringing in animals they produce, as well as sourcing animals that we bring in from local farms. It supports the agricultural economy in central Pennsylvania.”

Duke Gastiger

“We’ve always looked at our project as a whole system that environmentally, ecologically, community-wise, it is a system, and you can’t operate in a system without having true concern for everybody else in that system.”

We invite you to view and share this video. Regenerative thinking is difficult to explain in the abstract. Hopefully this video, following the evolution of thinking on a concrete project, can contribute and inspire.

“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe.
But tell me a story and it will live in heart forever.”

– Native American Proverb