With problems like climate change and dwindling natural resources looming large, sustainability has become an increasingly hot topic. But sustaining the status quo is a viable option only if the status quo is satisfactory. If you want to lose weight, you need to change your diet and lifestyle instead of keeping it the same.
In the agricultural world, which produces the lion’s share of environmental issues, reversing practices to a time when they were more harmonious is required. This is where regenerative farming comes in.
What is Regenerative Farming?
Regenerative farming boils down to the idea of putting in more than you take out, creating a momentum that helps the land heal. The organization Regenerative Cannabis Farming notes that “Organic farming on its own is not necessarily regenerative or sustainable.” Regenerative farming improves the environment and gives back more than it takes. It includes quality, safety, purity, biodiversity, soil enrichment, the whole nine yards.
Flowerdaze Farm in Humboldt County is one example of a regenerative cannabis farm. Their mission involves “utilizing guiding principles of permaculture, biodynamics, silviculture and analog forestry, to enhance the health of our native living soils and unique characteristics of our terroir.”
Regenerative Farming Fundamentals
Some regenerative farming fundamentals overlap with sustainability principles like making the most of natural sunlight and streamlining rainwater collection and irrigation systems to retain more water.
But regenerative farming takes it up a notch via extra attention to detail, scrutiny, and even creativity.
For instance, the use of organic pesticides no longer cuts it. Only strictly natural ingredients not foreign to the environment you have at your disposal are to be used. With that being said, earthworm farming is a staple of regenerative farming, as it enriches the soil and improves biodiversity.
Speaking of enriching the soil and improving biodiversity, crop rotation is believed to be another gift that keeps on giving. Rotating crops across a series of growing seasons enriches the ecosystem and keeps pests in a constant state of surprise, unable to adapt and grow resistant.
Cover crops present the element of creativity. Cover crops do the dirty work, taking the hit against soil erosion, for example, so your cannabis can come out unscathed.
Last but certainly not least, treating the soil as a delicate source of life is another postulate of the regenerative farming creed. To spare the soil and help it heal, you can employ natural fertilizers like compost, no-till farming, and biochar.
A big sticking point in sustainability is the higher initial cost, and the same goes for regenerative farming. But even more so than sustainability, regenerative farming is an investment that pays off in the long run, providing dividends like enhanced flavors, pesticide-free products, increases in beneficial compounds, unique chemotypes, and healthier soil and environment. Papa and Barkley, a supporter of regenerative cannabis farming, notes that it also encourages “community-supported agriculture…and positively impacts small farms and businesses.”
Just like our own bodies, a healthy environment is much easier to sustain than an unhealthy one is to regenerate. The sooner we start the road back, the better.