What do you know about regenerative agriculture? Does it sound like a made up term that is just a fad that will fade from current vocabulary in a few years? Is it a term you've heard before? My hope is that we not only keep the term around for a long time, but that we bring it to the forefront of conversations and make it a priority in our daily lives to do so.
I picture this sounding a bit like this at first, "Hey neighbor, have you heard that there is a farmer down the street thinking about starting to sell shares of beef through a CSA? Do you want to go me with to get more details?" Or maybe, "Friend, I heard that we can get a good portion of our veggies from the farmer's market, would you like me to grab you some while I am there?" And, "Kids, did you know that we can save the poop from our pet rabbit and use it as compost in our garden out back? Who wants to help me grow healthy food for us to eat using rabbit poop?"
The above examples are a great place to start. Buying from a local farmer, sharing in the task of picking up the food, teaching kiddos how to help create healthy soil, are all great conversations. Tell me. Is this the norm in your house? I get so caught up in the fact that nearly every minute of my life is dedicated to farming and educating folks about regenerative agriculture, that I sometimes forget that my vocabulary that supports my work probably isn't the norm for most folks.
What do you know? Do you already know that healthy food starts with healthy soil? If not, are you surprised to learn that soil health plays such an important role in the nutritional quality of your food? We would love to teach you and your family why that is the case. We are just entering our second year here on the farm at Hills of Milk and Honey, and we've been doing a LOT of planning with folks in the permaculture community to get a foundation in place for creating a healthy farm, that sequesters carbon, holds water, limits erosion, and ultimately grows nutrient-dense food for humans and livestock we raise.
As conversations among the community continue, we hope the vocabulary continues to grow too. The example conversations above are truly a great start, but it is where we go from here that matters most. You see, in order for me to feel comfortable creating this farm in the first place, I surrounded myself with incredible mentors. They each add incredible value to the farm. A common thread of conversation among most of us is that we know what we are doing and why we are doing it, but we are not sure if those in our community truly understand what we are up to. So, we have work to do to help get the word out about the importance of regenerative agriculture. Say it, learn about it, ask about, do it, and turn around and teach it. We all can take part!
I would like this to be the beginning of some incredible conversations that go a step further, revolving around regenerative agriculture. Comment here, email, call, message me, attend an event, or submit an RFP to teach a workshop here. We have lots of ways for folks to get connected. Let's chat. Let's create a vocabulary that makes sense, and one that helps us really get the word out about the importance of the following:
1. Voting with our dollars.
2. Voting in local, state and national elections.
3. Volunteering on a local farm or ranch.
4. Avoiding the use of glyphosate and the like.
5. Sequestering carbon.
6. Capturing water and using it wisely.
7. Building or helping out at gardens.
8. Buying food from Farmers Markets.
9. Using less plastic and creating less waste and encouraging stores to do the same.
These are a small fraction of topics, but it is a great place to start. What do you know about the above? Share please. Ask questions. Get started. Ask for help. Gather friends and attend workshops. Support local. Learn, learn, learn, and get your kids involved. It is my dream that the list above becomes normal topics of conversation, that don't need special attention, and are the norm. The advocate in me lives, sleeps and breathes only through this lens right now because that is how important I think it is that we talk about these things. The health of my family depends on making great decisions about how food is grown and raised. I want to be a part of helping this be the case for you and your family too. Plus, there is something incredibly magical when you get to be a part of a community coming together to learn together and connect with the land. It's happening here at Hills of Milk and Honey, folks. Come join us. It's hard work, but it is incredibly rewarding. We look forward to seeing you on the farm!