Are We All Blind Men With Respect to Regenerative Agriculture?
I often get confused looks when I use the term Regenerative Agriculture. Each time I use the term, I find myself thinking about the blind men describing the elephant. Just as each blind man likened the part of the elephant he could feel to something else, the 5 distinctly different perspectives on RegenAg each bring history and context that impacts their interpretation of the meaning of the term.
There is a lot of hype around Regeneration, especially in agriculture, and this will continue to increase as the natural products industry moves the term into public consciousness. I hope this continues in 2021, increasing the conversation around soil health and environmental improvements. (BTW artist G. Renee Guzlas https://www.sloww.co/blind-men-elephant/)
Regenerative Agriculture is closely tied to soil health and solves several problems that are confronting humanity: food security, mitigating climate change, improving nutrient density in food, reducing irrigation needs by agriculture and improving profitability for farmers.
SymSoil appreciates the 5 perspectives on RegenAg, and believes each has validity and value:
- The CPG approach, where regenerative agriculture is a marketing label, and cannot be used independently of terms like “organic”.
- The Permaculture/Regrarian approach to regenerative agriculture, which is best suited for small farms and homesteading. SymSoil is very familiar with this approach, as we have had 6 team members with Permaculture Design Certification.
- The Holistic Management approach. At SymSoil, we are big fans of Alan Savory’s approach and the Savory Institute … but since we are not ranchers, we cheer from the sidelines.
- The Living Systems Frameworks put forward by the Carol Sanford Institute and the Regenerative Business Alliance. This is one of the most intellectually satisfying approaches to Regenerative Agriculture.
- The fifth approach where SymSoil fits — a focus on Soil Health and improving profitability for farmers. This approach to regenerative agriculture draws on inspiration from other lineages, but biological farming focuses on what works for growers — focusing on bottom line profits through increased soil health.
According to Ethan Soloviev, this type of Regenerative Agriculture bypasses preconceived ideas and costs associated with organic certification, while helping growers deliver better quality food to consumers with significantly less agrichemicals (decreasing farmer inputs) and improving soil through restoring the soil microbe biome, with crop rotation, low or no-till, and often grazing practices.
If you would like more information about SymSoil products or as an investment, reach out to me at ElizabethP@SymSoil.com or visit SymSoil.com
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.