n, soil was at the very heart of what we did. Robert Rodale called it regenerative agriculture.
Regenerative organic agriculture starts with the soil. It improves the resources it uses, rather than destroying or depleting them. It is a holistic approach to growing food that encourages continual on-farm innovation for environmental, social, economic, and spiritual well-being. It is an umbrella that includes practices that often fall separately under certified “organic,” “fair trade,” “local,” and other labels, and aims to continuously improve soil, food, human health, communities, and the wider world.
Today, we know that healthy soil is the key to climate change, food security, and more. We could capture more than 100 percent of current annual carbon dioxide emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive regenerative organic management practices.
Climate chaos seems overwhelming and unsolvable, but we can begin reversing the destructive trend today. The answer is farming. Not just business-as-usual industrial farming, but farming as though the Earth matters. Farming as though water and soil and land matter. Farming as though clean air matters. Farming as though human health, animal health, and ecosystem health matter. Farming in a way that restores and even improves our land. This kind of farming is called regenerative organic agriculture and it is the short-term solution to climate change we need to implement today.
Simply put, if we make the soil healthy, we can reverse climate change.
“Coach” Mark Smallwood has been dedicated to environmental sustainability, efficiency, and conservation for decades. Since joining Rodale Institute in December 2010, he has brought heritage livestock back to the institute’s 333-acre farm, expanded and enhanced its research efforts, and launched “Your 2 Cents,” a national campaign to support and promote new organic farmers. In recognition for his sustainability efforts, Coach was chosen as a messenger for Al Gore’s Climate Project, presenting to more than 15,000 people on the effects of global warming. Last, but certainly not least, as a longtime organic farmer and biodynamic gardener, Coach has raised chickens, goats, sheep, and pigs and driven a team of oxen.
For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com