What's the deal with "Regenerative Ag?"
One major regenerative agriculture consulting company defines it as, "a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances ecosystem services. It aims to capture carbon in the soil and above-ground biomass (plants), reversing current global trends of atmospheric accumulation and climate change. At the same time, it offers increased yields, resilience to climate instability, and higher health and vitality for farming and ranching communities.”
In short, Regenerative Agriculture is earth friendly farming that reduces or eliminates the negative side effects associated with modern food production and produces more healthful food products.
The coolest part? Many of the practices are as ancient as agriculture itself and mimic or compliment the natural systems on our planet.
How does it work?
The short and sweet version: healthy soil is teeming with microscopic life! The microbiome of healthy soil is packed full of beneficial fungi that act as the pathway for nutrients in both plants and animals.
Without this healthy microbiome soil loses its ability to hold moisture. Plants and animals can not access the needed nutrients and any remaining nutrients are lost. Soil becomes dirt and is blown away or washed away in run off.
What does it look like?
Reducing or eliminating tillage
Keeping soil covered
Pasture raising or rotational grazing
Closing systems: outputs from one system support another system
Diversified crops and pasture grasses
Eliminating use of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
What is the outcome?
Foods produced regeneratively are cleaner and more nutrient dense. (More vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants per serving)
Farms that use regenerative agriculture are more resilient during major weather events resulting in a protected food supply.
Immediate and long term benefits to local ecology and climate...Improved rainfall with as little as 30,000 acres regenerated!
There are so many juicy nuggets to discuss about regenerative agriculture and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Want to know more?
I knew you would! To start, read almost anything by Joel Salatin or Gabe Brown and join us or another regenerative farm for a farm tour! We would be so happy to have you!