Farming for Tomorrow: A Look at Regenerative Agriculture
Aug 29, 2023
Share this post:
This garden center is known across the region for its outstanding plant selection and variety of events, but it holds a secret that we want to share. Across the street from our main retail space a treasure of a farm sits awaiting your visit. This farm isn't quite like others you may know; while we have livestock, vegetables and fruit like anyone else, our farm has a story to tell.
This is a love story for our planet and its people.
How we strayed
As our society has moved off of farms in the past two generations, corporations moved on and changed the foundational practices of farming. Like all change, it has its blessings and its curses. These movements have allowed us to increase crop yields and feed more people. They have paved the way for new and more efficient technology. They have made food easily accessible to everyone at lower production costs.
All of this win did not come without a loss. As production mechanized, the relationships with the land were lost. In brief: monocrops, heavy blanket use of fertilizers and pesticides, and empty winter fields led the way to a practice of farming that was not only out of sync with land, it was detrimental to the environment.
Algae blooms, extended droughts, loss of wildlife habitat and erosion are just a few of the clues that told us to change the practices. Farmers across the globe rallied to practice organic and sustainable farming.
These were the first steps in correcting some of the wrongs that came. And as mechanized farming practices were married with sustainable practices, we started to see less of the detrimental effects of farming while still being able to produce on large scale.
However, sustainability falls short. In its very name, we see that it means to keep, or sustain, the current status quo. If we stay where we are in this climate, we haven't stepped far enough forward. And again, across the globe farmers started to ask, "what if we could give back?" And then the regenerative farming practice was born.
Regenerative agriculture is farming for tomorrow; farming for "Life First."
As much as modern conventional agriculture has taken from the land, regenerative agriculture gives back. At its foundation you will see practices that support life. Life in the soil first, looking at the microscopic organisms that support the health and vigor of plant life. Life in plants, diverse crops taking the place of monocrops so that a field can support the life of an ecosystem of insects and animals.
This attention to life first creates a biodiverse ecosystem that supports a clean water supply while producing nutrient dense crops. These crops support healthy animal welfare for any livestock grazing on them, including the human that dines on the food crops. The animals and people play important roles in their own right, all part of a system of agriculture that is a promise for tomorrow.
Written by Grace Ames