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What is Regenerative Agriculture?

 

The world’s current food system accounts for 34% of carbon emissions*, making it one of the leading causes of climate change.   We drastically need to make some improvements to how our food system operates, to stop climate change in its tracks and ensure a healthy planet for the future.

But how? 

The answer is through Regenerative Agriculture.

So, what exactly is Regen Ag?

Think of it as a step further than sustainable farming. Sustainable farming is about maintaining the status quo and not making the land worse -but not improving it either.  Regen Ag goes further to improve our environment – regenerating our ecosystem to leave it in better condition than when we started.

Regen Ag does this by using farming practises that enrich the soil, increase and restore biodiversity and improve the water and nutrient cycles. Regen farmers also commit to a learning journey to ensure they are constantly adapting to change and improving their farming systems. 

Collectively, these practises fight the climate crisis by pulling carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the ground.

Want to know more?

Well, let’s take you back to Year 7 Biology.   

Remember learning about plants and photosynthesis? 

Plants take carbon dioxide from the air and convert it into carbon which the plant need to help it grow. 

The carbon that’s leftover is sent down the plant through its roots in the form of sugars and is stored in the soil, sequestering carbon into the ground.

Now here’s the amazing part – ooh, can you feel the anticipation building….

All this carbon feeds the squillions of microbes, bugs, fungi and worms in the soil, which in turn provides nutrients for the plants allowing the soil to store more water and, therefore, builds more resilient landscapes.   

And, while carbon is so harmful in our atmosphere, underground it is regarded as a bit of a superstar. That is because it is part of the soil food web, and when managed properly, can be stored in the soil for thousands of years!

By minimising soil disturbance i.e. no tillage or ploughing, our farmers are keeping the carbon down in the soil to thrive and build on their legendary status.

Minimising soil disturbance is just one of the ten Regen Principles our farmers follow.

Other Regen practices include keeping the soil covered year round, feeding the soil food web (not the plant), enhancing biodiversity and the health of our ecosystem, integrating livestock into cropping systems and nurturing the water cycle.

We will be learning more about the practices our farmers use on their farms in our blog, Unearthing Regen Ag with Christie, so stay tuned.  

And thanks for supporting us. It means the world... literally!

 

 

 

 

*   https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-021-00225-9

Wide Open Agriculture

Dirty Clean Food is the food brand of Wide Open Agriculture (WOA), Australia's leading regenerative food and agriculture company.

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We wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land where we work, farm and sell food, the Noongar people. We wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of cities and regional towns.

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