In simple terms, regenerative agriculture is a land management technique that uses a holistic approach to regenerate our land and farm with the goal of improving soil and ecosystem health.
So, how is it done?
There a four commonly accepted principles of regenerative agriculture:
- Reduce soil disturbance – Tilling soil can disrupt microorganism activity and lead to compaction. By reducing tillage, farmers are able to increase soil activity and preserve soil’s natural structure.
- Maximize soil cover – Keeping constant cover on soil will help prevent erosion from both water and wind. This is integral to preserving soil for years to come.
- Constant living roots – Similar to maximizing soil cover, living roots help prevent erosion. In addition, they increase living activity underground which nourishes the soil.
- Biodiversity – Diversification can be increased through a variety of approaches such as cover crops and/or grazing animals. In all forms, biodiversity helps break disease patterns and provides healthy habitats for all organisms.
As you can see from the list of practices, every decision is made with the soil in mind. There is no one specific formula that equates to regenerative agriculture, but rather concepts and ideal practices to work towards a goal of regenerating soil. Regenerating the soil, which is a living organism, will improve nutrient cycling, water retention, and microorganism activity within the soil. This in turn stimulates plant growth and improves the overall ecosystem.
At Clearview Farm, we believe the future lies within regenerative agriculture. Benefits from the practice don’t happen overnight, but with persistence, healthier soils will be built.