Regenerative agriculture is a holistic approach to farming that aims to rebuild and restore soil health, increase biodiversity, and improve agricultural ecosystems' overall health and productivity. It is based on the principles of working with natural systems rather than against them and using techniques that enhance the biological processes that occur in healthy soil.
One key aspect of regenerative agriculture is using cover crops, planted between main crop seasons, to provide a living mulch that helps suppress weeds, conserve water, and build soil health. Cover crops can also help to fix nitrogen and other nutrients in the soil, making them available to the next crop.
Regenerative agriculture also involves diverse crop rotations, which can help break up pest and disease cycles and improve soil health by introducing a range of different plant species with different root structures and nutrient requirements.
Another critical aspect of regenerative agriculture is using animals as a tool for soil health. Grazing animals can help to stimulate plant growth and improve soil structure, and their manure can provide valuable nutrients for crops.
Overall, regenerative agriculture offers several benefits for farmers, the environment, and society. By rebuilding soil health and promoting biodiversity, it can increase the resilience and productivity of agricultural systems and contribute to the long-term sustainability of our food systems.
At Pumpkin Creek Ranch we do not yet claim to be 100% regenerative as it takes years to fully develop soil back to its original state. However, we have not tilled our soils for over 20 years, which has helped build up our organic matter well over what traditional tillage would have allowed. As we continue to decrease artificial inputs each year we seek to return our land back to its original state: A nutrient dense polyculture.