Now is good chance to show the state of ecologic agriculture across the country and to signal that our growth is something the federal government needs to get behind.
Why participate? The data from the annual census can be used to shape the way the government makes decisions on ag policies across the board, from working to encourage new farmers, to expanding resources to help women, veterans, and underrepresented folks in ag. We make up a growing portion of food producers in the country so lets make our numbers count and let the government know we are here!
Do we like preaching to the choir? Sure do! Enter, this week’s installment from Kiss the Ground on using cover cropping for carbon sequestration. Now, can I get an Amen?!
This video features Jeff Borum, Soil Health Coordinator East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District , who mentions that some of the oldest records of cover cropping come from Virgil. Our interest piqued, we did a little digging to confirm this fact and unearthed some trivia about the history of cover cropping from this UC Davis article, but we know there’s more out there. Can anyone point us in the right direction??
Regenerative Enterprise, or the idea that business doesn’t have to suck so much. Wait! Don’t go: before you think I’m about to preach to the choir on creating businesses that go beyond the extractive model, or throw some vague “Be sustainable!” nonsense at you, don’t worry.
Enter, the Regenerative Business Institute, a nonprofit with its roots in permaculture and agriculture. The organization provides an incredible wealth of resources on “regenerative enterprise.” A lot of this, are things that small farmers have and have been doing for years: valuing social connections, social health, and the health of land as much (if not much more than) monitory profit. But, what the institute has to offer that is new are economic ways of thinking that allow us to clearly articulate our goals and create smarter systems.
Those of us lucky enough to be at the NOFA Mass Winter Conference this year were privileged to see Elizabeth and Paul Kaiser of Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, CA give this Keynote speech. You’ve never seen no-till farming look this easy or this sensical. Skip to minute 27 to see my favorite part: 45 minutes of bed changeover condensed in a 45 second time lapse video.
“It’s not humans that are damaging to ecosystems; it’s our extractive culture that is damaging to ecosystems.”
This week’s Kiss the Ground share features Rishi Kumar, founder of Sarvodaya Farms, on how we can use agriculture to repair ecosystems. Savordaya Farms is a one acre farm located inside the city limits of Los Angeles and provides the city’s only urban farmer training program.
The list of drawbacks to industrial farming is alarmingly long and frustratingly many. From soil erosion and water contamination to a lack of diversified crops and a reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, industrialized agriculture is far from an ideal way to feed the planet.
Enter regenerative agriculture!
As a result, a growing number of farmers are transitioning over to more sustainable and regenerative methods that do not rely so heavily on chemical and technological means. While regenerative strategies may appear “novel” to born-and-raised city slickers, it’s really more of a revival of ancestral knowledge.
This ancestral knowledge includes tried-and-true agricultural practices such as crop rotation, crop diversity, cover crops, no-till growing, agroforestry, integrated herd management, and more.
In a clear and concise article, Dr. Joseph Mercola breaks down the case for regenerative farming over the big business of industrial ag. He also provides tips of how to grow your own food and resources to learn more about regenerative practices. Check it out HERE and pass along to friends and family!
Apprenticeships in Regenerative Ranching and Farming
Offered through The Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program on partner ranches and farms in New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, and California
The Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian Program (NAP) partners with skilled ranchers and farmers to offer annual apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture. Together, we create opportunities for comprehensive, full-immersion experiential learning from expert practitioners in professional settings. This program is designed to support the next generation of food producers and specifically targets first-career professionals with a sincere commitment to life at the intersection of conservation and regenerative agriculture. NAP mentors are dedicated stewards of the land; they practice intentional, regenerative methods of food or fiber production, provide excellent animal care, and are skilled and enthusiastic teachers.
In 2017, we are offering seven paid apprenticeship opportunities including:
San Juan Ranch (Saguache, CO): San Juan Ranch is a certified organic, grass-fed beef ranch operated by George Whitten and Julie Sullivan. The apprenticeship curriculum includes Holistic Management, low-stress animal husbandry, Continue reading →
Announcing the following conference at Harvard on April 30th:
THE POWER AND PROMISE OF BIODIVERSITY: VISIONS OF RESTORING SEA, LAND, AND CLIMATE Geological Lecture Hall 24 Oxford Street Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
The conference promises to “present the concepts, history, and processes for the restoration of biodiversity” in hopes that increasing global biodiversity can sequester carbon and not only stop, but actually reverse climate change. Tickets are $30 and you can register now on eventbrite. More information here!
Spiral is a month-long residential intensive Permaculture Design Course offered at Dig In Farm (a ten-acre perennial farmstead in western Massachusetts) for women aged 15 to 18. Aimed to empower young women through regenerative agriculture, this program will be a combination of PDC coursework, hands-on farming, community living and social justice.
Permaculture is a design process that helps people design systems (be they agricultural, social, financial, or other) that nourish the earth, care for people, and bring a more just world into being. Students will graduate from the program with internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificates. Know of a young woman who might be interested? If so- check out Spiral! Because of the sliding-scale nature of this course in order to give equal opportunity, this amazing program is seeking donations. Please contact email@example.com if you would like to help support this cause.