Have you ever thought that buying multiple large bags of soil every year could be detrimental for the environment? Did you know that there is an agricultural practice called regenerative farming? We’ll explore how it focuses on the longevity of living soil. Not only do farmers who practice this lifestyle get to recycle their growing medium. Thanks to this they also enjoy rich soil samples teaming with beneficial bacteria and microorganisms. In this article we explain regenerative farming and the benefits associated with it. Also, we explore why carbon is important, talk a bit about biodiversity and more!

Mulching is a method to protect the soil greatly used in regenerative farming.
Mulching is a method to protect the soil greatly used in regenerative farming.

So, what is regenerative farming?
Not everyone has fertile and healthy soil, there are times when replenishing the soil is necessary. This does not necessarily mean that you have to replace the substrate or compost with something else. Instead, you can amend it with organic inputs.
When performed on a large scale, regenerative farming will increase biodiversity and enhance the capabilities of the soil food web. Healthy soil needs to have a balance of bacteria, fungi and microorganisms, which all assist the roots of a plant. In exchange, the living food web requires a source of carbon from decomposing organic matter to maintain Mother Nature’s balance.

The benefits of applying regenerative agriculture to improve farmland.

● Soil samples will be rich in beneficial microorganisms, bacteria, and fungi.
● Farmland will become significantly more fertile, resulting in better crops.
● Agricultural practices are not expensive and reduce a grower’s carbon footprint.
● Regenerative farming reduces labour costs; water use and workload.
● Carbon from compost will serve as a consistent food source for microorganisms.
● Recycling the soil after every crop harvest without needing organic amendments.
● Maintaining fertile land is easy to do and involves organic inputs and watering.

How does regenerative agriculture benefit soil health and crop production?
Well, the short answer is massively. Regenerative farming not only increase plant health, vigour, and crop production. It also, enhance the soil’s ability to fight off pathogens and disease.

On the one hand, there will be an plenty of organic material such us garden waste, brown leaves, lawn clippings, straw hay. Or you can use green food waste, worm castings, manure, guano, ortega, old root mass and bone meal.

On the other hand, it will support a beneficial living community. Fungi, probiotic bacteria, Trichoderma, mycorrhizal fungi, and nematodes are the welcomed visitors. All of them work hard to convert the organic inputs into easy-to-digest food for the plant’s roots. The trick to finding the optimal balance is to make sure there is a long-term source of carbon.

The importance of carbon as food for beneficial microorganisms.
We are carbon life forms, in the same way that every living creation is too.

When organic matter decomposes and changes to a dark brown or black colour, carbon is left behind. The same way carbon coals we use for the BBQs in summer, microbes and bacteria feed off carbon. The more carbon available, the bigger and healthier our plants can grow. Biochar is an excellent organic input. Biochar is the name given to charcoal when it is used as a soil improver. It has a lifespan of thousand years and has incredible water-retaining properties.

Biochar is a great ally in regenerative farming.
Biochar is a great ally in regenerative farming.

Reducing water usage for the future and organic inputs
Any opportunity to save water and reduce water bills is always an advantage. This is one of the reasons why regenerative agriculture is so beneficial. Either for your wallet and for the environment. As the soil food web improves, less water will need, thanks to the extensive network of mycorrhizal fungi and bacteria present.

Root mass has the potential to increase by up to 700% thanks to symbiotic fungi. This means less water required and plants may endure drought periods for far longer. During hot temperatures plant swill cope better with heat stress and the dry periods without rainfall or water.

3 simple ways to create biodiversity with organic regenerative farming methods.

1. In the old days, they would dig a V-shaped hole down into the earth and fill in with vegetal debris. The used to fill the bottom with tree bark, twigs, smaller-sized branches, and brown leaves. After filling in the V shape with soil, it does not take long for the wood to become a habitat for mycorrhizal fungi and microorganisms. This an easy-to-do technique for creating a bed of fungi! These fungi will create a symbiotic relationship with the roots of your fruit and vegetable plants.

2. Worms are one of the best ways to increase the number of beneficial microorganisms in your soil. These little helpers also increase air pockets and small tunnels. When a worm eats organic matter, the food will pass through its stomach and, when excreted, become rich in helpful bacteria. Simply scatter fresh worm castings over your farmland, and if possible, add a family of worms in there too!

3. Organic fertilizers is a great way to re-enrich depleted soil. Fertilizers like Upgrade will not only charge the soil with beneficial microorganisms but also act as a nutrient-rich solution for the plants. The micro-organisms will slowly release nutrients from Upgrade over 75-100 days.

The use of organic fertilizers is compatible with regenerative farming, to re-enrich depleted soils quick.
The use of organic fertilizers is compatible with regenerative farming, to re-enrich depleted soils quick.

In conclusion, we can say that regenerative agriculture is beneficial for the environment.

Soil health will play a key role in the productivity and fertility of your farmland. By using regenerative techniques, you will have much more biodiversity throughout the seasons! Also, the use of organic inputs can help to reduce labour costs, so it is beneficial for both the planet and people.

These simple methods have been used in permaculture for centuries and have always paid off. Start burying twigs and wood bark or mulching with compost. It can also be useful to add biochar, fish emulsion or mulch. Maintaining adequate water levels and fertile soil is cheap, very effective and anyone can do it!

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