The Online Conference:
Learn how to compost, grow earthworms and soooo much more at the Regen Earth Backyard Regen Conference
The current situation with glyphosate is that it is now ubiquitous and we’ve been sold a pup. The theory was that glyphosate works on a certain channel in plant physiology, the shikimate pathway, and as animals don’t have this pathway, glyphosate couldn’t affect animals that is humans, insects and invertebrates. The reality though is very different.
Yet because of this sales pitch by Monsanto originally and then other glyphosate producers once it came off patent, means that glyphosate (Roundup) is everywhere. People drank the Kool-Aid. Now farmers will only use x amount of glyphosate because they’re running a business and they have costs to keep under control. The use of GMO corn and soybean and BT cotton and that sort of thing that works in conjunction with glyphosate has a certain level of use built into the system and because of the way it’s setup there’s enough glyphosate used to keep the crop safe but not destroy the income of the farmers. After all, parasites (Monsanto) never want to destroy their hosts (farmers).
Regenerative gardening is a process whereby the gardener focuses on the soil health above all else. From this starting point all else flows. We can either grow veggies or flowers or create a space for pollinators or a playground for children but the underlying principle is that we focus on the soil.
Some of the benefits that arise from this form of gardening are: better water quality, much better soil quality and, if enough people are into this, improved air quality and all of these are wonderful but the real kicker is we also improve our current climate situation.The key to improving the climate is removing CO2 from the air. Happily the key to improving soil involves sequestering carbon in that top six inches under our feet.
Since the second world war there’s been a flood of artificial chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and any other cide you can think of. These things while appearing to fix one problem often create others. While we might be dealing with aphids by spraying them with a poison we’re not helping the animals that prey upon aphids. Ladybirds that sort of thing. So the process of regenerative gardening is aimed at improving the soil by allowing Nature to do what it’s done for 3.7 billion years and we just sit back and take the little bits out the we need it’s about holding the line. It’s about not panicking when we see an issue arising and letting nature take it’s time to fix things.
There will be times when we do lose crops particularly in the beginning before with set up a balanced ecosystem. And ecosystems can get out of whack at any time so it’s all a matter of observation, care and attention. Continue reading →
Today we’re going to discuss regeneration, in particular, regeneration of the soil and ecosystems. Over the last 50 to 75 years, basically since the second world war we’ve gone through a period of destruction. In effect a faustian bargain in which we gave up 1% of our topsoil every year in return for production returns.
We did this by using chemicals: chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides and herbicides and fungicides and it worked. There were lots of famines and people starving in the 1970s. A lot of the techniques developed with chemical inputs saved many people, kept them alive. But the cost! That bill is coming due and we need to pay for it now. If we wait the cost will be so much higher.
A few years back, maybe 20, the idea of sustainability started the kickoff and that was about holding the decline, holding things steady but even then that wasn’t enough. It was never going to be. You could see it then. Being sustainable was great but it wasn’t going to actually improve things and as we’re growing more people every year. We need to actually do something to improve and save our soils. Regeneration is about returning that which was ripped out of the soil by the use of agricultural chemicals. Continue reading →