With everything we are experiencing, including devastating fires and loss of biomes, it is past time to talk about a more harmonious relationship with nature. Come and discover the proposals of regenerative agriculture for this!
Organic agriculture, sustainability: all these concepts are nothing new, but they represent needs that have not yet been properly addressed on our planet. In the last few weeks, we have been shocked by the countless reports of fires, not only in the United States but also in Brazil and other places in the world, which represent a huge loss of biomes that are very important for our environment. As we talked about before, monoculture and current planting models are largely responsible for the degradation we experience.
But what can we do to change?
Regenerative agriculture has long been the answer. The first step in solving our problems is to make fairer exchanges with the land. What do you get, how much is replaced? What is returned to our soil? What care have we taken with the place where much of what we need to survive comes from?
In this post, we want to resume this conversation – not only with concepts, but also showing what the cannabis world is doing to contribute to the health of our planet. Shall we understand more about it? Come with us!
According to the State University of California’s Institute for Sustainable Development, regenerative agriculture is a holistic land-care practice that “among other benefits, reverses climate change, rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring its degraded biodiversity – resulting in removing carbon and improving the water cycle ”.
And what does that mean?
It means that regenerative agriculture goes beyond organic care, and may be the key to minimizing the negative impacts of cultivation on the world – not just cannabis, but all kinds of agricultural practices. Their practices seek a way to care for and restore the soil, before, during and after cultivation, without counting on pollutants or any type of synthetic material for that. What it preaches is that, knowing our soil and what it needs, we can plant plants that help in their recovery along with what we seek to harvest.
This type of cultivation still preaches:
Crop rotation, or cultivation of more than one type of plant in the same space;
Planting all year round in a closed circuit, without leaving the land empty between harvests, to avoid soil erosion;
Cultivation without plowing fields, to avoid wear and carbon emission;
Cattle grazing, which naturally stimulates plant growth;
Use of 100% natural inputs for fertilization, such as manure or other organic waste;
Zero transgenics to promote and preserve biodiversity;
Animal welfare and fair work practices.
While in traditional agriculture and monoculture, machines and equipment are used to remove water and nutrients from the soil along with the harvest, regenerative agriculture seeks to work the soil in order to keep it healthy. This improves the quality of everything that is harvested, and still keeps the soil alive and rich to restart the cycle without damage.
How is this allied to cannabis planting
Regenerative agriculture has an increasing role in the production of cannabis. In the United States, it is possible to perceive this concern by understanding that the plant can also be a channel for recovery in farms and outdoor crops. All of this can be seen in the countless events promoted to disseminate the theme, with incredible participants and full of positive stories to tell.
One of the great events that happens here is The Science of Organic Regenerative Cannabis Cultivation, which brings together great names in regenerative cultivation. It promotes an exchange of knowledge and sustainable practices for growers who want not only to harvest the best buds, but also to actively participate in a more environmentally conscious movement.
Some of our biggest references, like the hash maker Frenchy Cannoli, are present, and we were pleased to participate as well. According to the organization itself, “this plant is really in a class of its own. Due to the ban, the information and science surrounding cannabis cultivation has been limited and misleading. Our goal is to set some records and bring the community together for greater learning”.
Specialists in Mycology, Entomology, Organic Soil Science, Aquaponics, greenhouse design/use and, of course, experienced organic regenerative cannabis farmers are some of the themes, always addressed by experts. In the Humboldt edition, where Alice was, we had the participation of names such as:
Jeff Lowenfels, renowned American author of several books on cultivation;
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, specialist in environmental entomology and horticulture;
Dr. Robert Faust, president of BioAg, specialist in entomology and applied ecology;
Leighton Morrison, president and CEO of Kingdom Aquaponics;
Dr. Efren Cazares, an expert in mycology;
Daniel Stein, from Briceland Flower Farms;
Casey O’Neill of HappyDay Farms;
Chip Osborne, of Osbourne Organics;
Chris Trump, of Natural Farming Co, a specialist in Korean Natural Farming;
Steve Raisner of Potent Ponics;
Sunflower’s Wendy Kornberg;
Joshua Rutherford of Regenerative Seeds;
DEM Pure Farmers Panel;
N Cal Breeders Panel;
All conference materials are here on Youtube.
What does that mean for farmers and growers?
We know that in Brazil it is still difficult to think of regenerative agriculture as an ally of growers, but it dictates the type of future we will have. After all, we are in the process of approving a law that would allow medicinal and industrial cultivation of the plant in Brazil, and starting to think about these practices is a way of ensuring that cannabis does not end up like other monoculture crops.
In the United States, several farms already have a regenerative cultivation certificate! With the practices we have already mentioned above, such as crop rotation, closed cycles and the use of organic inputs, many cannabis farmers saw not only the improvement in their soil, but also in the final product offered.
An example that we love is Amanda and Brandon’s Garden of Grease. We always post a lot of things about them – they do an amazing job! The farm, which operates on the basis of regenerative agriculture, is certified by the DEM Pure Commitment, from Dragonfly Earth Medicine. You can see a little more about their practices in our video – which also shows our experience at the conference.
Care for the soil, water and all natural resources is as important as care for our plants themselves. As we say, regenerative agriculture is about fairer exchanges and a reciprocal relationship with these tools that are so important for our growth and development here. Everything we have is limited, and can be lost if we are not careful enough. When we plant with love and treat the land in a more loving way, it gives us back the same way.
We are seeing in the world the result of decades of neglect of the environment. So, are we doing our part to harmonize this relationship? We will value the place, which is done with care, and give more space for those who want to change things for the better.
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