At The Chef’s Garden we have a passion for regenerative farming and all the benefits it provides. This type of agriculture truly is at the heart and soul of everything we do as we grow vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.
As a quick recap, here’s our answer to the question of “What is regenerative farming?” As we noted in our previous post, “We use special techniques to create healthy soil—in which to grow healthy crops that provide the maximum in flavor and nutrition for people who enjoy eating them.
“For a more technical answer, regenerative agriculture is an umbrella term for the farming practices and principles that enrich the soil and the ecosystem where our crops are planted and grown. It goes beyond sustainable farming, which aims to maintain the status quo, to regenerative strategies that leave the soil in even better shape.”
Now, on to the benefits!
Healthy soil serves as the very foundation of regenerative farming. We grow multi-species cover crop seeds and then plant and use them to enrich our soil. Through this process, we release legacy minerals that occur naturally in soil and convert them into a chemical form that makes them available to plants.
Bob Jones, Jr. does a deep dive on this process in our post, Regenerative Farming to the Rescue During Today’s Food Shortages.
Yes, regenerative agriculture is also playing a key role in easing today’s food shortages. For the past couple of years, supply chain issues have been increasingly more significant. This includes the supply of synthetic fertilizers and, as basic economics tells us, a shortage leads to increased prices. So, when conventional farming techniques are used (meaning, with synthetic fertilizers), the costs of growing food go up, assuming that enough synthetic fertilizer can be secured in the first place.
Because we farm in harmony with Mother Nature, we already have all we need.
Plants grown in healthy soil are, not surprisingly, healthier. At The Chef’s Garden, we’ve grown for the maximum of flavor for several decades. During this time frame, we suspected—couldn’t prove it, mind you, but suspected—that this method of agriculture would also boost crop nutrients.
We knew, for example, that plants grown in a healthy environment have strong immune systems. This protects them against damage from insects and from disease. In fact, when crops are planted in healthy soil, it’s hard for any of the bad stuff to take hold because the positive activity in the soil is already actively competing against what we don’t want—a miracle of Mother Nature.
About two years ago, we finally had proof of what we had long suspected: mineral content of our regeneratively grown vegetables exceeds USDA numbers. In other words, our farming techniques really do boost crop nutrients, and this has been verified by an independent lab.
Using kale as an example, our crops exceeded USDA figures in calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and selenium. As another example, this is also true of the carotene in our fresh carrots.
So, to recap, regenerative agriculture focuses on healthy soil, which leads to healthy crops.
You won’t have to look far to find studies showing that a healthy diet is at the core of human health. Ask your doctor. Look at resources provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, Read material by Farmacy Director Amy Sapola, including her look at food as medicine.
“Over the years,” Amy writes, “I’ve realized that no amount of medication or supplements can cure the effects of a nutrient-poor, highly processed diet. What we eat has the ability to nourish the body and heal us—as well as to leave us deficient, craving what we are lacking from our food, deficiencies that can ultimately cause harm. Your body needs basic nutrients found in vegetables to heal and thrive.”
Amy has been busy guiding us as we create Farmacy boxes that help people with specific health conditions and goals, such as a heart healthy diet, or for brain health, gut health, and so forth.
And, returning to our original point, regenerative farming focuses on healthy soil—which in turn allows us to grow healthy crops for healthy people.
We used to stop with the equation here. But, there’s another huge benefit of regenerative agriculture: a healthy planet.
The Natural Resources Defense Council recently shared an in-depth post about the benefits of regenerative farming, including:
- Improvement of soil health and fertility
- Healthier crops and improved yields
- Vibrant microbial communities in the soil
As the soil becomes healthier and more biodiverse, additional forms of biodiversity follow in the air, water, and land. Richer plant life takes hold with rises in bee and bird populations. Additional benefits include:
- Improved water quality
- Less chemical pollution
- Improved water efficiency
- More resilience to withstand both drought and floods
They quote someone as saying, “Our team’s regenerative journey gives us a renewed sense of hope. Turns out, regenerative agriculture is more than medicine for the earth, it is also medicine for us.”
Join Us on Our Regenerative Agriculture Journey
We invite you to order one of our vegetable delivery boxes. We believe you can taste the difference.