Kat Donnelly

Journey to Her Roots

Kat Donnelly

Journey to Her Roots

Solana sharing love through Regenerative Agriculture, creating healthy farms, healthy food, and healthy people (photo credit: Shalini Karra)

Solana stood at the edge of her farm surrounded by life that wasn’t there three years ago. She saw birds of all shapes and sizes, and overlooked a variety of crops that once again tasted just like those grown on her grandmother’s farm. In a short time, her land had gone through a complete transformation, and so had she.

It had all started with a confronting diagnosis of Celiac’s disease. For years, she had felt mildly sick most days and was experiencing more and more frequent and nasty flare ups. The diagnosis provided the catalyst to start her wellness journey and sent her into a research frenzy to find its root cause.

What she found was terrifying. Solana read about the impacts of artificial farming methods that leached chemicals everywhere — into our soils, waters, air, foods, and bodies. She was shocked to realize that her disease was a result of poison that built up in her body from eating industrial wheat, soy, corn, and processed foods. She discovered that these foods are genetically modified to be sterile (no seeds!). They grow in conjunction with glyphosate, a hazardous chemical found in the herbicides and pesticides used on most farms. She slowly realized that the chemical farming techniques had essentially been force-fed to her parents, aunts, and uncles from large industrial AG (Agricultural) corporations. Today, her eyes were open to the subsidies for which these corporations had lobbied, dictating what they grew, their diets, and the poisonous foods on America’s kitchen tables.

Thankfully, it wasn’t all bad news. Solana’s research also brought up solutions which were much simpler than she expected — they were copied from the roots of both her ancestors and Mother Nature. Alongside the farm team, they transitioned her family’s land back to the regenerative methods of the Native Americans and her great grandparents.

Regenerative agriculture farming methods (pig photo credit: Shalini Karra)

Soon enough, her farm came back to life. It regenerated its fungal communication networks below the ground, and the soil was now teaming with fungi, microbes, and nutrients. It started storing more and more carbon, holding in moisture, and requiring far fewer inputs. It was a win-win for her, her land, people eating her food, her community, and her planet.

Along the way, she rediscovered her self-confidence and honored her accomplishments.

A cold wind reminded her the harsh North Dakota winter would be soon approaching.

Looking across the lifeless desert of her neighbor’s farm, she was hopeful that the family would realize a healthier path and start their own transition. She felt grateful to be surrounded by life that knew exactly how to care for itself over the winter.

She turned to walk back to home base. She headed to her indoor garden that provided much needed support to her outdoor farm. “It was less than a year ago that I couldn’t find fresh vegetables this time of year,” she thought. She remembered craving sweet melons, onions, corn, peppers, and many more crops she couldn’t cultivate in the short growing season.

Surely, there must be a way to bring Mother Nature indoors?

Solana dove into her research once more, and learned about different ways she could bring regenerative methods inside. She knew the sun and soil work symbiotically to improve the abundance from the garden, so this would require high quality lighting. Solana had closed her eyes and manifested a thriving indoor system of living soil that grew a wide range of crops, under an indoor sun.

A few months later her vision became a reality. Much to her surprise, a trusted friend introduced her to a true sunlight technology called The Sun On-Demand™. This indoor sun radiated all of the sun’s electromagnetic energy — from ultraviolet B to far infrared. It was amazing to have a roomful of sunlight during the dark winter. 

Bringing sunlight indoors gave her outdoor season a head start, leading to heartier yields from her outdoor farm due to ready-to-plant crops at the start of the season. She now germinated her seeds indoors in late winter/early spring, planting healthy, strong, developed crops directly outdoors. This flexibility was extremely important given the uncertain climate shifts.

Before heading home to cook fresh veggies for dinner, she took off her shoes and inched her bare feet under the Earth. She watched the setting sun and took three deep belly breaths, present in her thoughts.

Before the transformation, the microbiomes of both her land and her body were dead — killed off by a chemical world. But, it had only taken her three years to reform the destructive methods, to heal her body, and to bountify her land. She sighed in gratitude for the discoveries that had empowered her and to her newfound connections with Mother Nature, food, her ancestors, her land, and all living things on Earth. 

This vision story is inspired by a personal diagnosis and journey, the AZENTIVE team’s focus on regenerative agriculture, the Kiss the Ground documentary, featuring Brown’s Ranch, Shalini Karra’s experience working on Brown’s Ranch, Jeff Lowenfels’ decades of organic gardening influence, and countless others leading the regenerative agriculture movement.

AZENTIVE is a wellness, sustainability, and emerging technology company focused on holistic solutions. We are majority woman-owned and dedicated to sustainability-focused emerging technologies that ignite positive social change. We are currently focused on an indoor sunlight technology to efficiently grow nutrient-dense food and aggressively attack SARS-CoV-2, as well as other pathogens.

Thank you. We send gratitude.

Check out AZENTIVE’s Instagram.

Kat Donnelly

Kat, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AZENTIVE, is a nationally recognized behavior change, technology, and strategy expert with 25 years of professional experience in the energy efficiency and clean energy industry. She is a valued advisor to various organizations and clients on energy-related topics. Kat holds two Masters of Science degrees and a Ph.D. from MIT with a focus on energy efficiency, clean energy, and behavior change; she is also a licensed engineer. She’s a true adventurer, enjoying extended travel, hiking, and backpacking trips in large mountainous regions all across the globe.


Mikiodo (Mike) is a photographer living in NYC. Originally from Buffalo, NY, he intended on becoming a geneticist until realizing his heart was in the arts. After 15 years as a graphic designer/production artist, Mike returned to his true passion, photography. Mostly self-taught, Mike’s photographic interest lies somewhere between documentary and fine art. He currently focuses on photographing portraits, construction, skyscapes, and the BLM movement, as well as his “pet project,” a fine art series entitled “FloraMUS” (“flower/mouse”). His photos have been featured by, The Stuttering Association for the Young, BroadwayCares, New York Historical Society Museum, and numerous musician projects and publications. Mike is also Creative Director and songwriter for Holidelic, an annual funk holiday show.



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