Healthy farms start with healthy soil which means farming without artificial fertilizers and chemicals like herbicides, fungicides, pesticides etc. and with soil biology.
If soils have been degraded then only Regenerative agriculture can restore them.
Regenerative agriculture goes way beyond sustainable. Industrial agriculture - otherwise known as "conventional agriculture" is a global tragedy. We have now to repair the damage by regenerating our soils, lands and water.
There are many ways to address this land (and food) degradation and but some of the key pillars of regenerative farming in Australia are:
Holistic management - using grazing animals to heal the land
Biological farming including biodynamic and organic
Pasture cropping and No kill cropping
Natural Sequence Farming - management of our waterways and flood plains
The links below are a mixture of websites and articles which help paint a picture of the problems - and some solutions plus more of general interest.
Healthy Soils Australia (HSA) is a national initiative to foster projects that improve soil health. This initiative comprises independent and private industry scientists, farmers, community groups, other individuals and companies who understand that their wellbeing depends on healthy soils.
Holistic Management (TM) incorporating a deep knowledge of ecosystem processes, Holistic decision-making and planned grazing is probably the only way of reversing the world - wide trend of desertification (or aridification) of former healthy grasslands that co-evolved with grazing animals.
Allan Savory - Keeping Cattle: cause or cure for climate crisis?
Allan Savory argued that while livestock may be part of the problem, they can also be an important part of the solution. He has demonstrated time and again in Africa, Australia and North and South America that, properly managed, they are essential to land restoration. With the right techniques, plant growth is lusher, the water table is higher, wildlife thrives, soil carbon increases and, surprisingly, perhaps four times as many cattle can be kept.
He shows how the hockey stick graph of climate change, loss of biodiversity and desertification are one and the same - and that civilisations have been destroyed by ill treating their resource bases long before fossil fuels came on the scene.
Holistic Management Grazing solution wins Buckminster Fuller Challenge
JUNE 2, 2010, WASHINGTON, DC — Operation Hope, a solution combating one of the major causes of climate change has been named the winner of the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge. At its core the winning strategy transforms parched and degraded Zimbabwe grasslands and savannahs into lush pastures with ponds and flowing streams, even during periods of drought. Operation Hope was awarded $100,000 to further develop its work at a ceremony today at the National Press Club in Washington DC.
See the movie "Food Inc"
The movie Film Inc about modern agriculture is on limited release in Australia. Featuring Eric Schlosser, who wrote the bestselling book Fast Food Nation, Michael Pollan, author of "The omnivores Dilemma", and farmer icon Joel Salatin, it's a film that could change the way you look at food - or an excellent film to show to people who are unaware of how "industrial agriculture" actually works.
See the movie website to find out more
How Holistic Management can regenerate land, farms and farmers. An interview with Bruce Ward
Pasture cropping and No kill cropping
Holistic Results Bruce Ward's great site on farming regeneratively and profitably.
Regenerative Farming Rodale Institute
Soil Carbon Putting Carbon Back Where it Belongs - In The Earth. Measuring - Managing - Monitoring - Marketing
Carbon Coalition One of the most effective strategies for locking up carbon in our atmosphere is to be found in fostering deep-rooted plant species on land used for agriculture.
Grazing Management for Healthy soils By Christine Jones. Healthy soils are the cornerstone of all agricultural productivity. The way we can manage plants for healthy soils, through control of the grazing process, is the focus of this paper.
Acres USA North America's oldest, largest magazine covering commercial-scale organic and sustainable farming
Jerry Brunetti Stock health and human health. Jerry is also a cancer survivor and runs Agridynamics
Agri-Dynamics was founded in 1979 to provide natural products for livestock animals. Over the years tour line has evolved to include equine, small pet and human health products and services. Today, we proudly offer products and services for horticulture, golf course and turf management, viticulture, orchards, and greenhouses. What hasn’t changed is our ongoing commitment to the health of the family farm and our planet. There are many you-tube clips of Jerry speaking that you can gind by googling.
Natural Sequence farming As developed by Peter Andrews, Natural Sequence Farming (NSF) is a rural landscape management technique aimed at restoring natural water cycles that allow the land to flourish despite drought conditions. NSF offers a low-cost, widely applicable method of reducing drought severity and boosting productivity on Australia’s farms and landscapes. The technique is based on ecological principles, low input requirements and natural cycling of water and nutrients to make the land more resilient.
Natural Sequence Farming Peter Andrew's own site. Buy his book "Back from the Brink"
Amazing Carbon Christine Jones site on soil carbon
Polyface Farm As written about in "The Omnivore's Dilemma". Joel Salatin's wonderful farm in Virginia, USA. Joel and his farm have inspired enormous change in farming philosophy and practices around the world.
Joel Salatin: Tall Grass Mob Stocking - An aggressive approach to controlled grazing - Joel is now calling what he does: "mob-stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization"! In other words he is mimicking the grazing patterns or herbivorous herds throughout the world as per the work of Holistic Management luminary Alan Savory.
Joel Salatin youtube clips Enjoy!
Farming Secrets Helen and Hugo Disler's educational site and service
The Aldo Leopold Foundation “The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively " the land.” Aldo Leopold
MulloonCreek Natural Farms Tony Coote's farm near Bungendore, NSW. MCNF is a diverse, sustainable working role model of excellence for profitable biodynamic production and landscape restoration, together with outstanding research and education programmes.
Milkwood Permaculture . Courses: http://MilkwoodPermaculture.com.au Facebook: http://Facebook.com/MilkwoodFarm
From the soil up A wonderful Australian website by Carolyn Ditchfield dedicated to the open dissemination of knowledge and theories for working with nature, literally From The Soil Up - from below the ground through to our bodies and beyond!
Improving pasture quality for animal and ultimately Human Nutrition and Health
British dairy farmer Ben Mead's Nuffield Report based on his travels visiting some of the best practitioners of regenerative farming around the world.
Western Tourist Radio This website includes interesting discussion papers on the merits of organic farming, PermacultureFarmers Markets. It will also help you to plan your holiday in Western Australia with heaps of links to relevant websites including organic farms that provide holiday accommodation to allow you to gain first hand experience of truly sustainable farming practices.
Ylad Living Soils. This company based in Young, NSW, was established by Bill and Rhonda Daly in recognition of the rapidly increasing DIS-EASE amongst farmers towards problems associated with conventional agriculture. YLS supplies biological fertilisers and soil fertility programs to support the balance of the physical, chemical nutrition and biological aspects of the soil. This balance returns the mineral and microbial life to the soil providing a healthy and sustainable environment for all life forms.
Their mission is to foster the improved health, productivity and sustainability of soils and implement innovative and profitable soil management and remediation solutions .
Seedsavers Preserving the genetic heritage for tomorrow's food
This organic pig went to market Article from SMH Good Living on organic free range pigs
Articles and papers by Dr John Ikerd US Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics and author of "Small Farms Are Real Farms"
Peasantry necessary for human survival
US Wellness Meats - A great US business selling grass-fed meats
Peasants are detested by both communists and capitalists - but when it comes to
productivity a small farm is unbeatable. These objects of contempt are now our best chance of feeding the world
Why Britain needs "peasant farming" Peasant has long been a derogatory term in the UK, but the model of smaller-scale family farms is as relevant to food security here as for developing countries.