Regenerative Agriculture is a holistic land management practice that leverages the power of photosynthesis in plants to close the carbon cycle, and build soil health, crop resilience and nutrient density. Regenerative agriculture improves soil health, primarily through the practices that increase soil organic matter. This not only aids in increasing soil biota diversity and health, but increases biodiversity both above and below the soil surface, while increasing both water holding capacity and sequestering carbon at greater depths, thus drawing down climate-damaging levels of atmospheric CO2, and improving soil structure to reverse civilization-threatening human-caused soil loss. Research continues to reveal the damaging effects to soil from tillage, applications of agricultural chemicals and salt based fertilizers, and carbon mining. Regenerative Agriculture reverses this paradigm to build for the future.
No-till/minimum tillage. Tillage breaks up (pulverizes) soil aggregation and fungal communities while adding excess O2 to the soil for increased respiration and CO2 emission. It can be one of the most degrading agricultural practices, greatly increasing soil erosion and carbon loss. A secondary effect is soil capping and slaking that can plug soil spaces for percolation creating much more water runoff and soil loss. Conversely, no-till/minimum tillage, in conjunction with other regenerative practices, enhances soil aggregation, water infiltration and retention, and carbon sequestration. However, some soils benefit from interim ripping to break apart hardpans, which can increase root zones and yields and have the capacity to increase soil health and carbon sequestration. Certain low level chiseling may have similar positive effects.
Soil fertility is increased in regenerative systems biologically through application of cover crops, crop rotations, compost, and animal manures, which restore the plant/soil microbiome to promote liberation, transfer, and cycling of essential soil nutrients. Artificial and synthetic fertilizers have created imbalances in the structure and function of microbial communities in soils, bypassing the natural biological acquisition of nutrients for the plants, creating a dependent agroecosystem and weaker, less resilient plants. Research has observed that application of synthetic and artificial fertilizers contribute to climate change through the energy costs of production and transportation of the fertilizers, chemical breakdown and migration into water resources and the atmosphere; the distortion of soil microbial communities including the diminution of soil methanothrops, and the accelerated decomposition of soil organic matter.
Building biological ecosystem diversity begins with inoculation of soils with composts or compost extracts to restore soil microbial community population, structure and functionality restoring soil system energy (Compounds as exudates) through full-time planting of multiple crop intercrop plantings, multispecies cover crops, and borders planted for bee habitat and other beneficial insects. This can include the highly successful push-pull systems. It is critical to change synthetic nutrient dependent monocultures, low-biodiversity and soil degrading practices.
Well-managed grazing practices stimulate improved plant growth, increased soil carbon deposits, and overall pasture and grazing land productivity while greatly increasing soil fertility, insect and plant biodiversity, and soil carbon sequestration. These practices not only improve ecological health, but also the health of the animal and human consumer through improved micro-nutrients availability and better dietary omega balances. Feed lots and confined animal feeding systems contribute dramatically to unhealthy monoculture production systems,
low nutrient density forage increased water pollution, antibiotic usage and resistance, and CO2 and methane emissions, all of which together yield broken and ecosystem-degrading food-production systems.
We are working in tandem with the Soil Health Consultants who are in tremendous demand to teach regenerative practices throughout the country as well as globally. They are consistently offering names of farmers that are in beginning as well as advanced stages of regenerative practices. We will feature several farmers in order to support their process but if you have interest in finding folks in your area, feel free to send us an inquiry with your location. We will do our best to locate farmers hard at work towards regenerative ways.
Dementia in women has increased.
Parkinson’s in men has increased.
Autoimmune diseases hit an all time high.
Today, 1 in every 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer before they die.
1 in 36 children are now diagnosed with autism, compared to a mere 1 in 5,000 in the 1970’s.
The connecting factor is chronic inflammation. And chronic inflammation is the root of all disease. By definition, inflammation is actually a normal biological response to an injury. It’s the body’s reaction to tissue or cell damage caused by harmful pathogens or other stimuli. Our gut has a very thin membrane that protects its cells from inflammatory causing compounds and bacteria. If that thin membrane becomes permeable, our entire immune system feels the effects, and we experience inflammation. We know our diet certainly plays a role in our gut health – but unfortunately, we cant just throw out the snack cakes and start eating vegetables and hope our health takes a total turnaround. Dr Bush has focused on holistic health and nutrient rich foods to heal disease for years. About 30% of his patients had a complete and miraculous turnaround of disease while implementing diet changes. Another 30% saw some improvement. But a surprising 40% saw zero improvement, or an actual worsening of symptoms with their new, health focused plans.
If the cause of disease is inflammation, what is causing our guts to be so affected, and our bodies to be so inflamed?
If the problem isn’t less sugar and more vegetables, then what is it?
To answer this question, we must first understand some of the history of our countries food sources and farm lands. After World War II, the United States was left with an excess of petroleum that they no longer had use for. They found that petroleum could be used as a chemical fertilizer, and they marketed it as such. For the first time in history, farmers ignored the generational wisdom of good crop practices. They stopped letting their soil rest, they stopped rotating their crops. They forgot the hard lessons of the 1930’s Dust Bowl. The farmers became convinced that fertilizing crops with chemicals saved time, increased yield, and created healthier, greener plants.
The plants were greener, but they weren’t healthier – they were now weak and lacking major nutrients. (In fact, a tomato grown today has almost no lycopene left in it, compared to one grown in 1950.)
Weak plants are more subject to disease and pests, so the solution became to add more chemicals – this time in the form of pesticides (which are essentially an antibiotic) – to the soil, and ignore the failing biology just underneath the surface.It was, and still is, an environmental version of exactly how we are treating disease in humans today.
This is the most widely used commercial pesticide found in ‘Round Up’. Today, Roundup’s use is so profuse, that it has become impossible to avoid it’s affects all together. In fact, 99.99% of Roundup never even hits a weed – instead, it’s found primarily in runoff, and ends up in the water we drink and the air we breathe. In the southern United States, 75% of the air and the rain are contaminated with glyphosates. Before you even take a bite of food, you are being hit with an antibiotic every time you inhale.
Glyphosates increase the permeability of the gut membrane. This means that the side effects of Roundup are direct injury to the very protein structure that holds your gut together – and every macro membrane in your body is held together by the same tight junctions that the gut has.
Our environment has made us into leaky sieves, and the very blood vessels in our bodies that are supposed to be delivering an immune response or getting nutrients, are also leaking and affecting the blood/brain barrier, leading to an abundance of neuro disorders like parkinson’s, alzheimer’s, and autism.
When we breathe, drink, eat, or stand in the rain, we are being subjected to antibiotics that are killing the healthy bacteria that we need to thrive. Our innate capacity to heal ourselves is being stripped away, because our biome has been obliterated by all of the glyphosate.
We have created a war in both our internal and external environment. So how do we rectify this bleak reality? Where do we even begin?
One good piece of news is that Monsanto (the distributors of Roundup) have leaked an encouraging statistic – if 16% of food in the United States was purchased organically, the chemical fertilizer industry would lose financial stability.
The truth is, if we stopped spraying Roundup tomorrow, it would take 50 years before we saw a drop in toxic levels. But – there are bacteria and fungi in our soil that can digest the glyphosates. Our world, like our bodies, has an innate ability to heal itself. If we let it.
At the current rate of health decline, in the year 2035, 1 in 3 children will be diagnosed with autism. That statistic alone would send our country into total financial collapse. How are we, the consumers, our solution?
Macro Ecosystem Shifts
Breathe as many different environments as you can. This means, get out of your house. Leave your immaculate lawn. Hike a mountain. Go sit by a waterfall. Read under a mossy tree. Visit a swamp. Get into as many different ecosystems as you can, and just breathe them for a few hours. Shifting your environment is one of the simplest ways to repopulate your microbiome (and rejuvenate your mental health).
Eat Fermented Foods
Before refrigeration, we used fermentation as a preservation method. As we have lost this need, we’ve also lost its benefits. Fermented foods contain immune boosting bacteria, and you only need to eat a few forkfuls of homemade sauerkraut to get your daily dose.
Buy Organic Food and continue to build demand for Regenerative Practices
This one is for your own health, of course, but it’s also for the betterment of the future. Remember – if only 16% of the population bought organic food, Monsanto would collapse. Organic food can be more expensive in some cases, but if we all found ways to make the sacrifice now, the price of chemical free foods would dramatically decrease once spraying ceased.
Share The Message
Get people thinking and talking about these issues and the various misconceptions. Listen to the latest interview with Rich Roll HERE as well as share with your friends, family and local farmers media content from ‘Farmer’s Footprint.’