What is Regenerative Agriculture?
Regenerative Agriculture is a method of farming that utilizes the power of natural systems to build soil, promote biodiversity, and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
Why is it important?
- Conventional farming depletes soil which leads to desertification (the process of turning fertile land into desert).
-Conventional farming uses chemical fertilizers which create problems with run off, ground water contamination, and polluting water sheds.
- While monocultures breed pathogens, biodiversity allows nature to stay balanced and maintains natural pathogen fighting systems.
- “Closing the fertility loop” helps to rebuild eroded soil and keep land fertile. Plants grow- animals eat the plants- animals poop onto the plants- poop fertilizes the plants to grow- and so on.
- When plants grow, they take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turn it into lignified carbon (plant usable material) in their roots. Each time a plant grows and then is cut short, it breaks off the same amount of roots below, trapping the carbon within the soil. Intensive managed grazing is specifically designed to keep plants at in their most productive growing size, which keeps the rapid sequestration of carbon in action! This actively reduces green house gasses building up in the atmosphere, and helps fight global warming.
- Healthier animals make healthier meat to eat!
What does Regenerative Agriculture look like on our farm?
- We use chicken tractors/ rotational grazing to move our animals daily. Daily moves reduce pathogens, creates a more thorough distribution of manure, places a heavy animal impact on the land followed by a long rest period (mimicking natural herd mentality) which promotes plant growth.
- In the winter, we put our animals on deep natural bedding which stabilizes the volatile nitrogen in the manure. The manure combines with the carbon-rich bedding material to become compost, which we use to fertilize the land.
- We do not use any chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides on our farm.
- We do not till the soil, which disrupts the soil structure and accelerates surface runoff and soil erosion.