Thanksgiving is here & my how the year has flown by! So many milestones on the farm in our first year. We moved the pigs onto Lot 8 this morning & it got me thinking about how we ended up here. Truthfully, my journey down the Regenerative Agriculture rabbit hole only started this past winter. I was chatting with my brother-in-law about the garden I was planning and he asked me if I was doing a “No Dig” garden. Well, I hadn’t really researched No Dig so I figured I better have a look. Long story short, I really aced the No Dig part while leaving quite a bit to be desired in the “Growing” department! (more on that, and what we’ll be doing differently next year, another time).
In my search for info on No Dig, I discovered No Till Farming. That lead me to a great book by Gabe Brown called “Dirt to Soil”. It is an excellent read about how he was forced into No-Till Farming and the unexpected, yet amazing results he had. I was hooked at this point and had no doubt the direction our farm needed to go in. I stumbled upon the “Advancing Eco Agriculture” Podcast by John Kempf and what a treasure trove of information. Interviews with a wide array of doctors, scientists, farmers, entrepreneurs and even a guy who talked to plants! I was blown away listening to folks talk about soil biology, regenerative agriculture, plant nutrition, multi-species cover-cropping, holistic grazing, permaculture, the omega’s, restoring the earth’s fertility, climate change, keyline design and the list goes on! MIND . BLOWN.
We have a very limited window of opportunity here to change the course of history. All of us have a choice to make. From the folks in the big cities to those who own the mega farms, we all have work to do. Some of us will effect change with our hands in the dirt. Some of us with our voices as we share our experiences and teach others. And the loudest shout for change from all of us will be where we choose to spend our hard earned money. Even the city folk with no land of their own can make an impressive statement by supporting local farms who practice Regenerative Agriculture! We can take this opportunity and have future generations (I’m talking our current school age children) say we helped to make the world a garden of Eden again. Or, they can say we used up the last of our resources in pursuit of our right to consume as much as possible, the future be damned! I know what I choose.
The time for change is now, we can’t wait for the government to tell us what to do, or industry to change course on it’s own. Start small. Read a book like Mark Shepard’s “Restoration Agriculture” or Ben Falk’s “The Resilient Farm & Homestead”. Listen to John Kempf’s A.E.A Podcast. Watch The Biggest Little Farm, Minimalism, Kiss the Ground & The Social Dilemma. Then, all you have to do is follow your heart. Maybe you will end up on an old farm like us, with a herd of pigs, a flock of turkeys and dreams of changing the world! Or maybe you’ll just end up with some pasture raised bacon on your plate, and that’s ok too! On this thanksgiving day, I am thankful for you. Thank you for reading this. Thank you for (hopefully) believing in us at Sterling Hill Farm, and thank you for supporting us in our journey to make the world a better place!
I think I hear the turkeys calling, I’d better go. Until next time!