Regenerative Agriculture

I am attending a free online summit called Eat4Earth. The interviews are sent to my email. I play a couple from my phone each day.

After just a couple days, Jason and I are inspired! We are learning so much about food, farming, and healing the planet. Here is a quick synopsis:

Regenerative Agriculture focuses on a healthy soil food web. By adding biology, the dirt has life and becomes soil.

Fungi and bacteria grow around the roots of plants. Those fungi and bacteria get carbohydrate carbon cakes from the plant. In return, the bacteria and fungi reach out into the ground collecting and storing nutrients for the plant. It’s a plant pantry!

Predators (worms, protozoa, nematodes, microarthropods and macroarthropods) eat from the pantry making it bioavailable to the plant.

This results in plants with more nutrient content, that are healthier and more resistant to pests and disease, while sequestering carbon from our atmosphere and retaining more water in the ground and atmosphere. Everybody wins when you work with the bounty that nature provides!

Different plants like different ratios of bacteria to fungi. Weeds grow in bacteria dominated ground. On grasslands, the ratio of bacteria to fungi should be around 50/50. In the forest, there’s even more fungi! A couple kinds of plants do not like fungi at all- brassicas like broccoli and cabbage.

We are so excited by all we are learning. We are also excited that the universe has already put some of these solutions on our path. The Mycorrhizal fungi that many speakers talked about is on its way here from High Country Gardens; when I ordered it, I didn’t even know what it was! We plan to inoculate some pollinator friendly ground cover plants with the fungi.

We paid the local worm farm a visit and brought home compost and worm castings for the lawn we are going to grow. We ordered a native grass seed called blue Gramma. Compost is full of nutrients but we still need biology to make them plant available. Luckily I saw some volunteer worms in the yard.

Register and listen to the Eat4Earth summit here and let’s discuss mycorrhizal fungi!

Worm box in a square foot garden

The documentary Kiss the Ground focuses on industrial agriculture. Livestock are separate from crops. Crops are not biodiverse. The dirt is torn up every year, releasing carbon into the atmosphere and leaving the ground suceptible to erosion and runoff. Have we learned anything since the dust bowl days?

Then fertilizers and pesticides are added. Chemicals mask depleted soils. We are building a tolerance to these chemicals and using more and more on our food each year.

Kiss the Ground does a great job of illustrating how rejoining hooves animals and their pasture are a key to maintaining balance and biodiversity. Cows and goats are walking microbe factories!

It also shows the importance of sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, through plants, into the earth. A byproduct of which is oxygen. This system not only takes carbon from the atmosphere, but also holds water- literally! You never till the ground thus preserving the magnificent structure of the soil. How nice for the biology (and my back.)

Worm pooping

We also watched the documentary Seaspiracy. It shows how the fishing industry is ignoring it’s negative impact on ocean life while playing up the consumer plastics issue. The majority of ocean trash is not straws– it’s fishing equipment and the majority of destruction is caused by industry practices like bycatch, trawling or overfishing. Solution? Maybe eat less fish.

New perspectives on Drugs!

Two episodes of the podcast: The Reason Interview with Nick Gillespie

Carl Hart: Drug Use for Grown-Ups, Jan 30, 2021

This podcast definitely made me think. Carl is challenging our perceptions of who drug users are and what the war on drugs is about. He doesn’t think there should be a hierarchy of drugs where prescriptions, nicotine, cannabis and even psychedelics are accepted over others like heroin. He argues that a person either uses drugs responsibly or not. It’s not about demonizing the drug of choice. If you aren’t handling your responsibilities, then you’re immature, with or without the use of drugs.

Really interesting listen: here.

Charles Wininger, Why We Should Listen To Ecstasy and Other Psychedelics, Dec 30, 2020

Charles discusses his new memoir and practical guide: Listening To Ecstasy: The Transformative Power of MDMA

MDMA is heading towards legalization and this episode discusses what responsible use of the psychedelic can look like.

Have a listen: here.