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Regenerative Farming: Healing Our Soil To Save Our Planet

By October 11, 2019Lifestyle
Regenerative Farming

Our modern, industrialised food production system has allowed for yield increases on a vast scale, leading to improvements in food security and affordability that, arguably, appear quite miraculous.

But, as we now realise, this way of food production is not as sustainable as we once thought. In fact, we’d go as far to say it’s entirely unsustainable. And quite simply, it’s causing Mother Nature (and ourselves) more damage than we ever imagined.

Take this for example. When we think of rising carbon emissions, our minds tend to jump to visions of factories pumping out fumes or cars clogging our highways.

What you may not know is that thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices have led to the loss of up to 80% of carbon from the world’s soils, and that this carbon is now floating in the atmosphere and warming the planet.

So how do we stop, and undo, the damage caused by industrialised agriculture? Enter ‘Regenerative Farming‘. Also known as ‘Regenerative Agriculture‘.

What is Regenerative Farming?

Regenerative faming is a holistic approach that works to support the environment rather than degrade it, by focusing on developing the biology and fertility of soils as the basis of the entire farm ecosystem.

Its main goals are to restore landscape function and deliver results that include sustainable production, an improved natural resource base, healthy nutrient cycling, increased biodiversity and resilience to change.

Instead of pushing the limits of production, regenerative farming aims to mimic nature by adopting a more holistic and dynamic approach to agriculture.

Regenerative Farming works to:

Support Soil Systems

Return nutrients to the soil to increase microbial health and diversity.

Increase Biodiversity

Encourage and support flora and fauna species co-habitation.

Improve Water Cycles

Repair erosion and reduce and remove water pollution.

Support Bio-Sequestration

Increase dry matter compost and soil structure to lock carbon back into soil.

Increase Resilience to Climate Fluctuation

Increase dry matter compost and soil structure to lock carbon back into soil.

Strengthen Soil Health and Vitality 

Improve water retention, compost and pastures and tree root systems.

Tackle Carbon Emissions

Improve soil health to help draw down carbon to neutralise emissions.

To reach these goals, current methods of regenerative farming include:

  • carbon farming, to increase carbon stored in the soil and vegetation and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, soil or vegetation, by maximising ground cover, no-till cropping, mulching, keyline planning, and more!
  • reducing subsoil constraints that limit the ability of plants to utilise soil water and nutrient resources by practicing good agronomic management
  • creating perennial pastures (plants that live for more than two years) and grazing management to improve production, protect natural resources and build the capacity of farming systems
  • implementing groundwater and surface water management, such as slowing the flow of water and fencing off waterways from stock, to lower watertables and alleviate problems with waterlogging, rising salinity, and erosion
  • carefully planning land-use to identify and protect priority agricultural land
  • reducing or ceasing synthetic chemical input and using more organic composts and fertilisers
  • implementing cell grazing by rotating paddocks to allow vegetation to grow, providing a constant source of feed and source of carbon sequestration

Aside from helping farmland remove carbon and develop resilience to climate change, regenerative farming also helps growers increase crop yields to protect their livelihood and make their farms more profitable. A recent study commissioned by the Australian Federal Department of Environment found that the average profit levels of regenerative graziers were consistently higher than comparable farms (particularly in years where there was low rainfall) and that they reported significantly higher levels of wellbeing and greater confidence in their ability to achieve farming goals.

In a continent known for its complex and fragile landscapes, the philosophy and practice of regenerative agriculture is particularly pertinent to Australia. The need for a ‘new agriculture‘ to protect farms from prolonged droughts, intense flooding and bushfires is needed now more than ever. Within our own Local Farmers Networkour growers use small scale regenerative practices to protect their land and grow nutrient-rich produce from healthy soil.

How you can help

But farmers can’t do this by themselves. They need the support of the government and the public to be the cleanest and greenest they can be. Whilst help from  could be offered in the form of tax deductions or part-funding for regenerative work, you can help support this sustainable production by sourcing food from growers who are already implementing restorative practices. Paying a slight ‘premium’ for organic food grown as part of a holistic model helps to support farmers who are going beyond simply ‘feeding your appetite‘, and instead look to heal and protect our planet whilst thinking for the future.

Support your local farmers today and shop 100% Certified Organic with our seasonal produce boxes and sustainable meat packs, delivered direct to your door.

Author Melissa

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