Regenerative farming may be the key to saving our planet. Described as a beyond-sustainable farming and grazing practices, “regenerative agriculture” aims to reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and an improved water cycle, according to Regeneration International. While the process sounds complex, the benefits of regenerative farming are easy to understand and yield stellar results for the health of our planet.
Earth and all its living creatures are at risk of extinction if we do not drastically change our global practices. In an effort to further spread the need for better eco-friendly habits, we want to share how the weed farming industry is making great strides to reduce their carbon footprint, one plant at a time. Let’s start with the basics.
What is regenerative agriculture?
This type of farming is a holistic land management practice that leverages the power of photosynthesis in plants to close the carbon cycle and build soil health, crop resilience and nutrient density. Drawing from decades of global scientific and applied research in organic farming, agroecology, holistic management and agroforestry, this system aims to “capture carbon in soil and aboveground biomass to help reverse current global trends of atmospheric accumulation.” At the same time, it offers increased crop yields and resilience to climate instability, as well as higher health and vitality for farming and ranching communities. In short, regenerative farming strives to maintain and improve the soil’s natural health and eliminate damage to the land while naturally growing organic crops.
Why it matters
The agriculture sector is one of the biggest emitters of CO2, the greenhouse gas (GHG) most responsible for the changes we are seeing in our climate today. Together with forestry and other land use, agriculture is responsible for just under 25% of all human-created GHG emissions. However, since we cannot survive without farming and food production, agriculture also must play a vital role in helping to end this crisis while creating a safe, sustainable future without carbon pollution. We all deserve a healthy planet where we can provide our booming world population with fresh, healthy food (and cannabis) grown in a sustainable soil ecosystem, according to the Climate Reality Project.
How it works
Regenerative farming focuses on the welfare of the individual plant as well as the planet. It emphasizes the importance of a plant’s life cycle, meaning farmers are responsible for growing it from seed to maturity. For cannabis growers, this close care and attention allows farmers to personalize their processes while prioritizing their ideal strains.
One of the most important goals of regenerative agriculture is building biodiversity on the farm. This entails fostering a rich mix of microorganisms, plants and animals to create healthy soil, strong crops and resilient natural systems that don’t require chemical intervention to manage pests and diseases, according to the Rodale Institute.
Ways to improve natural biodiversity on your regenerative land include:
Reduced tillage or no-till farming
Encouraging natural predators of plant pests
Closed-loop plant nutrition
Regenerative agriculture also aims to limit or entirely ban the use of chemicals and pesticides which are known to harm you, your plants, the soil and the environment.
The future of regenerative cannabis farming
The same principles of regenerative agriculture apply no matter the crop. So the same concepts are part of regenerative cannabis farming, which integrates the surrounding environment and community into the systems that build soil, restore habitat, protect water quality and encourage mutualistic relationships. It works year-round with the seasons. It is bioregional (considerate of the unique physical and environmental features of the region) and heterogeneous (concerned with maintaining and encouraging biodiversity). And it is guided by principles and ethics, according to Regenerative Cannabis Farming.
Outside of securing land and establishing its health from the ground up, literally, connecting with and educating local communities of the power of regenerative farming is of the utmost importance. Beyond spreading awareness, continuing the research of cannabis and other plants as mindful medicine and integral parts of our community will also help further the implementation of regenerative farming.
Want to learn more? Check out some of our favorite organizations that are spreading the word on regenerative farming and agriculture.