What is Regenerative Agriculture?

The idea is to leave the land better than when you started. Regenerative farming provides a powerful solution to many modern challenges in our food system.

The Soil Story by Kiss The Ground

What is regenerative farming?

For those who aren’t familiar with it, regenerative agriculture is a set of farmland management practices that go beyond sustainable farming to rebuild soil health, a key solution to combating climate change and recapturing carbon. But it is more than that! Mother Nature is resilient, adaptive, and regenerative. Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that promotes working symbiotically with Mother Nature to:

Enrich soil

Increase biodiversity

Replenish watersheds

Increase yields

Capture carbon

Improve the vitality of surrounding communities

Strengthen climate resilience

Regeneration International definition:

“Regenerative Agriculture” describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle. Essentially it 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.

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The Natural Resources Defense Council

Conventional agriculture is built on the concept of extraction. Farmers till to extract weeds, fertilize to extract more yield, and plant the same crops to extract more and more profit. This extractive mentality is destroying our soil—the foundation that grows the food we eat is mined for its resources and we aren’t doing enough to replenish it. We have constructed an attenuated and removed relationship with our soil and food system causing us to deplete our natural resources for human consumption and expecting nature to recover on its own.

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Beyond Sustainable: Think Regeneratively (Kiss the Ground)

In conventional agriculture, a common practice is to leave fields fallow between production times, which burdens our land with the expectation and responsibility to replenish on its own. This, along with designating entire fields to just one crop, applying toxic pesticides, and prioritizing maximal yields and profit, is not just extractive to our soil, water, and other natural resources, but also robs us of food sovereignty, security, and equitable long-term economic growth.

In contrast, a “sustainable” system aims to curb the damage done to depleted soil, but “sustainable agriculture” traps us into thinking that our soil’s health has been exhausted by our extractive history and its potential is capped. Humans are intimately connected with soil, which is why the regenerative agriculture movement—a movement that asks our farmers to revitalize and rebuild soil—is necessary.

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