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Whether you’re an organic gardener or an organic farmer, the productivity of your garden and the success of your endeavors all begins with the health of your soil.
The industrial agricultural model that depends on more and more chemicals to fertilize crops and eradicate weeds, pests and diseases has wreaked havoc on one of our nation’s most precious resources, the soil.
Fortunately, there are many individuals and organizations working diligently to reverse the damage that has been done and teach a new generation of gardeners and farmers a healthier and more effective way to grow food for families and the world.
Richard King is one such individual.
Richard, a conservationist from Petaluma, CA, is committed to developing a regenerative agriculture that restores the health of the soil. One of the keys to healthy soil is restoring carbon to it through plant photosynthesis. And the more carbon taken out of the atmosphere and returned to the soil, the better for our climate.
Richard says, “If we can restore the carbon that used to be in the soil, it’s a win-win, Baby! Because it’s taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, putting it back into the soil. It improves soil productivity, diversity of life, it reduces the mount of irrigation water we need to apply. It just does incredible things.”
Here’s a quick video of Richard explaining his approach to restoring the soil.
You may have picked up from the video that Richard is a Holistic Management® Educator. That means he helps farmers and ranchers learn to manage their land in a sustainable way.
The mission of Holistic Management International (HMI) is “to educate people to manage land for a sustainable future. We accomplish this by delivering a variety of programs and services designed to educate and support farmers, ranchers and land stewards through Holistic Management, a Whole Farm/Ranch Planning System that addresses the environmental, economic, and social issues farmers and ranchers face today. In our eyes, people count, healthy land is essential, and money matters.”
HMI has all kinds of educational resources available. If you’d like to learn more about Holistic Management, check out their website. If you want to find a certified Holistic Management Educator or Practitioner near you, check out this map. They have representatives all over the world.
Thinking about starting an organic farm?
If you are thinking about taking your organic gardening know-how to the next level and starting a farm (don’t kid yourself, you know you have thought about this, or you will at some point), there are a lot of things to think about from many different angles. But one crucial element to a successful farming operation is finding a model which involves healthy land management and is sustainable over the long term.
Holistic Management International can help you.
What if I’m not a farmer?
You may not be a farmer or rancher, but you can still do you part to restore the carbon in the atmosphere back into the soil.
- Most importantly, grow your own organic garden
- Make your own compost and use it in your garden
- If you can’t grow everything you eat, support local organic farmers whenever possible
- Encourage others to do the same: neighbors, friends and family, schools, and businesses
You may not think that your little garden plot makes much of a difference to the amount of carbon taken out of the atmosphere and returned to the soil. You’re right, but only to a degree. Think of all the little garden plots throughout the world. They all add up. Even if you just have a 4′ x 4′ raised bed, it is part of a grander whole that IS making a difference in the world.
So my friend, when you garden organically, you are actually helping to improve our climate by taking excess carbon out of the air and returning it to the soil. As a result, your soil is healthier and the future of our planet is a little more certain.
And you thought you were just growing your own food.
Here’s to your healthy soil,
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