Regenerative Farming Described At Nature's Gourmet Farm
So, what is the BIG deal about regenerative farming and how does your farmer define regenerative farming?
Regenerative farming holds the key to proper stewardship of the land, water - really the total ecosystem entrusted to those who choose to farm. Only through regenerative farming is carbon in the atmosphere captured by the plants, stored in the soil, and used by soil biology. Let me explain!
All plants sequester carbon- even grain commodities like corn and soybeans. However, conventional farming practices of heavy tillage releases all the sequestered carbon back to the atmosphere, negating any benefit.
Gabe Brown in his book Dirt to Soil describes healthy soil will look like a made from scratch chocolate cake with plenty of air spaces. I like to think about it as the difference between course ground cornmeal and flour. With the cornmeal there is plenty of space between the meal particles to hold air and water. This is key to water infiltration rates and good microbial life.
Dirt with the density of flour is very packy! There are no air or water spaces. Thus, very little to no water infiltration. In 2016 I witnessed a rainfall simulation demonstration on four stages of soil - from cornmeal to flour density. After simulating a rain shower on the samples they turned the trays of dirt upside down. The conventionally tilled soil (I.E. flour density) was only wet for the first 1/2 inch. The rest of the dirt was - well dry and dust.
Click this link to watch a short 1-minute video made last October on the new property we purchased August 2018. The first year the trees were cut. The second year I had a large mulcher come and chip all the stump tops to the ground and debris into small chips - returning the carbon to the soil to feed the soil biology. This winter the cows were able to graze this land three separate times for about 50-60 days total.
This was excellent stewardship of the land. No practices destroyed the soil structure, but actually enhanced the soil.
Compare what we did vs. the owner of the land in this picture taken on Hwy 29 North a few weeks ago. Instead of mulching the owner hired a bull dozier to push the debris into piles - which are full of topsoil. In fact, the piles have so much dirt in them the wood would never burn without a lot of extra work. It will take years for this land to heal from the scares left.
Besides regenerating the soil structure we also practice plant diversity meaning that our pastures will have multi-species of plants to include grasses, legumes, broadleaves, and yes some weeds. Currently, our pastures are maturing from the winter forages. Soon, they will be dropping seeds that will add to the seed bank in the soil and be available next season. Any left over winter forages are returned to the soil to feed the biology.
So, why is this important for you, our customer?
More and more people today have learned about the negative impact conventional farming has on our environment and prefer to support regenerative farms with their food dollars. Additionally, they know the products they purchase will be more nutritious and healthy for their families.
Last weekend, Nature's Gourmet Farm had our largest sales delivery to date. Our Hattiesburg/Picayune route this weekend is exceptional and includes eight NEW CUSTOMERS!!
We thank you for rewarding our hard work with your trust and support.