Agriculture, Education, Must Watch

Kiss the Ground – A MUST WATCH!

Kiss the Ground is a truly inspirational Netflix production that encapsulates the work of ReGeneration Earth and the many farmers across the globe who practice Regenerative agriculture.

Regenerative agriculture can best be described as a system of food production that puts more in than it takes out, regenerates soil organic matter and the soil microbiome (in a spoonful of healthy soil there are more living organisms than humans on the planet). Organic matter is an amazing resource that has been lost in billions of tonnes from the earths soils, rendering certain soils completely infertile and others close to the end of their useful life, time is running out for some soils and things need to change.

However, the answers are simple, through regenerative agriculture farmers can build back soil organic matter that will in turn build back the vital, life giving bugs that thrive in healthy soil that in turn make our food, healthy, plentiful and cost effective, whilst doing all of this, we also put much of the man made CO2 back into the ground where it belongs. So how do we do it?

There is no single answer but an abundance of practices that each and every farmer can choose from, no one farmer can use all of them but there are solutions for everyone. The key components however are the following: 

  • Always have something growing on the soil, photosynthesis is the bedrock of all life on earth, never miss an opportunity to capture free soil food (carbon dioxide, sunlight, water) from the sun and atmosphere.
  • Crop diversity, nature likes diversity, good crop rotations, including leguminous crops that capture atmospheric nitrogen are valuable tools in regenerative agriculture.
  • Disturb the soil less, planting crops in the least disruptive way so as not to disturb the soil life, from beetles and worms to the smallest fungi and soil bacteria they all have their place in a healthy soil ecosystem.
  • Use less artificial inputs, fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers all disrupt natural soil biology and if used, they need to be used with caution.
  • Introduce animals into the crop rotation, muck, really is magic and active soils will devour and recycle the poop that animals deposit. In turn soil biology will thrive, nutrients become available to plants and natural fertility will follow

But hang on a second, I can hear you say, I thought livestock were partly responsible for climate change? Intensive animal agriculture is most definitely part of the problem but livestock that free range on land that is also used for crop production are part of the solution and the bad press that animal agriculture has had of late has been somewhat unfair and many single issue groups tend to ignore the alternatives. What needs to happen is to re-imagine animal agriculture with a move away from intensive systems and into a regenerative method of food production. To help matters meat and dairy produced on grass based and ranging systems have a superior nutrient profile.

Truly regenerative agriculture is part of the solution to man-made climate change and no longer part of the problem.

As consumers you can help shape that move towards regenerative agriculture by choosing to buy grass fed and free-range meat and dairy products, ask where your food comes from and how it’s been produced. Sometimes it may cost a little more, but counter that by eating a little less. The taste, the superior nutrition and that extra step you are taking to help Re-Generate our planet will be worth it.

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