Healing the Planet with Regenerative Agriculture & Biodynamic Farming
Today we have the opportunity to restore and transform the health of our children, each other and the planet by simply connecting to what is beneath our feet.
Since the end of WWII and the start of the Industrial Revolution, also known as the “Green” Revolution, conventional farming practices have been destroying and degrading the quality and health of the very soil that nourishes the plants, species and us.
Consequently, today we are faced with a soil crisis from the extensive use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and over-tilling in conventional farming practices. These practices disrupt and kill the living microorganisms in the soil, who feed the plant the nutrients it requires to be healthy and has lead to food being grown in chemically-laden dirt - dead, infertile soil.
Dirt is the opposite of soil as it does not contain the soil microorganisms or soil structure to be able to grow nutrient-dense food. Crops that are grown in dirt must depend on synthetic fertilizers to grow and survive. Unfortunately, crops grown with synthetic fertilizers typically only receive nitrogen as their primary nutrient and are not receiving all the other vitamins and minerals to be fully healthy.
Over the past century, the nutrients, the vitamins and minerals, that use to be present in food have decreased up to 80% resulting in a modern-day food system low to void of the nutrition designed to nourish plants, animals and humans.
Conventional Agriculture and Climate Change
There has also been a steady increase of global temperature over the past decade. Greenhouse gas emissions have been rising consistently and we are now experiencing the highest concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in 650,000 years.
Did you know that at least 15% of the global greenhouse gas emissions come from conventional farming?
Deforestation: changing the way sunlight’s energy can be absorbed and utilized
Tilling and ploughing: releasing carbon dioxide into atmosphere
Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers: releasing nitrous oxide into the atmosphere
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs): releasing methane into the atmosphere from large piles of unmanaged waste and from animals living in unnatural habitats
Conventional agriculture is working against nature and is negatively impacting environmental and human health.
Fortunately, there is a type of farming that chooses to work with nature and restore soil health and has the power to transform our food system, human health and climate.
Working with Nature to Heal the Planet
Regenerative Organic Agriculture
Regenerative organic agriculture is about growing food in way that is working with ecological systems, especially building soil health and is often referred to as carbon farming.
Demeter is the certifying body for Biodynamic farms, food and products with a vision to "heal the planet through agriculture", specifically through regenerative agriculture and carbon sequestration.
In biodynamic farming, a farm or garden is an integrated whole living organism with interdependent elements within the system: forests, fields, plants, soils, compost, animals, people, and the energy of the place. The aim of biodynamic farmers and gardeners is to work in a holistic way to support and harmonize all of these elements to create a healthy, fertile and resilient whole system.
It is about using regenerative practices, strategies, and techniques on a biodynamic farm, including:
Prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers (similar to organic certification)
Low tillage, if not no tillage
Utilizes cover crops
Holistically managed animal systems
Disease and insect control through creating a system containing a diversity of botanical species and predator habitat
Leguminous cover crops to help fix nitrogen into the soil
The use of nine Biodynamic preparations made from herbs, mineral substances and animal manures from the farm that are used to enhance soil health and microorganisms, root growth, composting, and photosynthesis.
Regenerative organic agriculture and biodynamic farming support an extremely powerful climate change solution.
Building and restoring soil by feeding soil microorganisms and growing a diversity of healthy root systems creates a biological system that has the ability to sequester carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it beneath our feet where it belongs.
In the ground is where carbon works its magic: feeding soil life and building top soil.
Top soil is the soil level where food grows and where your baby, child and yourself can receive the wide range of nutrients in the food that you grow or buy.
So if you want to grow your own nutrition, building soil health should be your top priority when starting your garden.
Or when you shop for food and products made with ingredients that was grown regeneratively, you are not only increasing yours and your family's nutrition and health, but also the planet’s.
For example, White Leaf Provisions, is a company that is supporting the regenerative and biodynamic farming movement being the first business to bring a line of biodynamic baby and toddler foods to market.
This is how we will create a healthy and abundant future.
How CAN You Start Supporting Regenerative Food?
- Begin to learn about where your food comes from and how it is grown
Connect with your local farmers and farmer markets and ask what strategies they use on their farm to build soil health and how they recycle the waste on the farm
Grow some of your own real and regenerative food
Start composting your food waste
Join a community garden or community shared agriculture (CSA)
Look for the demeter or regenerative organic food labels
Buy from regenerative companies, like White Leaf Provisions, who are sourcing ingredients from regenerative farmers that are working with nature and building soil.
Limit your shopping at big box stores
Regenerative farming practices —>
Builds healthy, living soil —>
Healthy, living soil grows nutrient-dense food —>
Nutrient-dense food increases the health and resilience of our children, each other and the planet!
I love sharing how to grow your own nutrition, build healthy soil, compost your food waste, source from regenerative farmers, and more!
If this gets you excited, make sure check out the link below, or contact me directly. I would love to connect with you :)
Breanne Gibson, MSc., DHN, ROHP, RNCP
As a holistic nutritionist, regenerative wellness expert, healthy soil advocate and permaculture practitioner, Breanne helps conscious change-makers, entrepreneurs, and rockstar mom's connect with real food and regenerative lifestyle strategies to create an abundant future for food, human and planetary health. Read her inspiring story, “From Military Bioscience Officer to worldwide permaculture explorer” that lead her to where she is today.
The End of Food, Thomas Pawlick