Why Dirt and Soil Aren't The Same Thing And The Mindset Shift Behind It

Did you know that “There are more soil microorganisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on earth!”

What we are learning today is that we need to shift our agricultural focus from growing mono-crops like soy, corn and wheat, to a diversified system that encourages soil health, biodiversity, and sustainability for future generations. This is what regenerative agriculture is all about.


The soil is where it's at.


Millions of species and billions of organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, algae, microscopic insects, earthworms, beetles, ants, mites... all thrive in the soil and keep it alive.

The difference between dirt and soil is that soil is alive, dirt is void of life.


Having soil that's full of life results in a farm that's full of rich plant life and quality nutrients for our animals, birds, bees and insects.


You don't have to be a farmer - you can do this in your vege garden at home!

So how can we encourage more life in our soils?

Shifting our mindset to a more holistic approach to farming; By introducing no-till planting, creating a more diverse range of species, using cover crops (so there's no bare soil) and changing up grazing practices we can regenerate top-soils, creating an entire ecosystem in the soil, and bringing biodiversity back to the farm. Win.


Another shift in thinking is that the animals actually help bring the soil to life.

It's recognised that animals like cows and sheep contribute to carbon emissions. However, animals have been grazing the earth for Millenia.


Like the saying goes - "It's not the cow, it's the how"

Animals aren't the problem per se. When managed correctly they can actually help...

Having animals moving around the landscape accelerates the amount of carbon being stored back into the soil. When an animal grazes, plants then have to sloth off more roots to attract biology to regrow. This speeds up and accelerates the amount of carbon that can be pulled out of the atmosphere and sequestered back into the soil.

Simply put, regenerative agriculture encourages plant and animal diversity, aiming to boost microbial activity, carbon retention, and water filtration in the soil so that plants get more of what they need more efficiently, reducing carbon emissions and bringing more life to the land.


References:

https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb1101660.pdf

https://drhyman.com/blog/2020/09/23/podcast-ep136/




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