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#106 Regenerative Agriculture

#106 Regenerative Agriculture

Did you know the agriculture industry is one of the biggest emitters of harmful greenhouse gases? Or, that along with forestry and other forms of land use, agriculture is responsible for almost 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions? But, what if we could use agriculture to sequester those emissions instead of emitting them? We can with a farming technique called Regenerative Agriculture! Regenerative agriculture practices play a vital role in helping us reverse our emissions while providing nourishing food to our growing population. Transitioning to more sustainable forms of agriculture remains critical for the overall health of our planet.

Regenerating The Soil:

Imagine a future where sustainable farming, organic whole foods, reduced carbon footprints and healthy rich soils are the social norm. All of this is possible by restructuring our approach to how we grow food. By supporting regenerative agriculture practices, we can reconnect with traditional farming practices that seek to replenish the delicate ecosystem of the farm, instead of depleting it. Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, supporting bio-sequestration, increasing resilience to climate change, and strengthening the health and vitality of the soil. If we restore the health of our soil ecosystem, we restore our own health, the health of our farms, our communities, and our planet.

Facts About Regenerative Agriculture:

  • 70 percent of freshwater worldwide is used to produce food, and 95 percent of all food is produced on land.
  • According to desertification reports every year we lose around 24 billion tons of fertile soil globally. 
  • It takes roughly 2,000 years to generate four inches of topsoil.
  • Agricultural soils that are left bare or are heavily tilled are exposed to wind and water leading to erosion of the carbon-rich topsoil further increasing the release of CO2 into the atmosphere.
  • With the use of regenerative agriculture practices such as cover crops, compost, crop rotation, and reduced tillage, farmers can sequester more carbon than is currently emitted, tipping the needle past 100% to reverse climate change.
  • Sequestration means maximizing the carbon dioxide pulled from the atmosphere by plant growth and minimizing the loss of that carbon once it is stored in the soil.
  • Reducing or eliminating tillage, using cover crops and enhancing crop rotations, ensure that land will not be left bare and that soil carbon will be fixed, rather than lost.
  • If plants are grown in biologically active, mineral-rich soils they will be able to produce more phytonutrients that protect the plant’s health as well as the person consuming it. 
  • Regenerative agriculture builds soil health therefore maximizing yields. 

How can I make an impact:

Tier 1: Global Goodness

  • Support local organic farmers in your community and encourage them to consider regenerative agriculture practices.
  • Always Buy Organic! The first step in regenerative agriculture is to utilize the basic principles of organic gardening. Farmers produce what people purchase. 
  • Continue to inform yourself and others on regenerative agriculture practices. One great place to start is watching the Netflix documentary: Kiss The Ground

Tier 2: Planet Protector

Tier 3: Earth Angel

  • All of Action 1 & 2
  • Ask the chefs at your favorite restaurants to support regenerative agriculture farms. 
  • Support organizations that promote regenerative agriculture or volunteer at a local regenerative farm in your area.
  • Get Dirty. The best way to learn and connect is to experience it hands-on. 
  • “A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.” – F.D. Roosevelt

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