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“The nation that destroys it’s soil destroys itself.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt
The Supreme Court on July 1, 2022 sharply cut back the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to reduce the carbon output of existing power plants. “The Supreme court rule undermines EPA’s authority to protect people from climate pollution at a time when all evidence shows we must take action with great urgency”, Said Vickie Patton – counsel for Environmental Defense Fund.
There has been much conversation about the power of organic, sustainable and regenerative agriculture. Together with other like-minded farmers, we are working towards adding more regenerative practices here at Whole Circle Farms. With this purpose in mind, I hope to have several conversations and share some of our practices becoming a regenerative farm.
To clarify, I believe it is important to start with a definition of regenerative agriculture. Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, supporting bio-sequestration, increasing resilience to climate change, and strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil.
As soil health improves, input requirements may decrease, and crop yields may increase as soils are more resilient against extreme weather and harbor fewer pests and pathogens.
“Most plans to mitigate climate change focus on “reducing greenhouse gas emissions”; Regenerative agriculture, i.e., the capture of atmospheric carbon dioxide by growing plants that move that carbon dioxide into the soil. This is nearly the only currently-functioning technology available for drawing down greenhouse gases that are already in the atmosphere, mostly through the cultivation and nurturing of forests and permanent perennial pastures and grasslands,” says John Kempf from Quality Agriculture, conversations about Regenerative Agronomy with Innovative Scientists and Growers.
Finding a solution to combat climate change must include a change in our conventional agricultural system from one that depletes our soil to one that regenerates it. Henceforth, we must move away from our current soil eroding farming practices and instead return the animal to the land in a managed way to improve soil health. We must work with nature not against it. To do that, we need to return to farming back before industrial farming became the norm. We could say, “Let’s farm like our grandparents did!”
So why did I write about the Supreme Courts ruling? So many of us farmers and citizens are concerned about climate change and we are working toward a viable solution, and with one fell swoop, “the supreme court threatens to upend the national government’s ability to safeguard the public health and welfare at the very moment when the United States, and all nations, are facing our greatest environmental challenge of all: climate change,” Richard Lazarus, a Harvard environmental law professor, said.
On a lighter note, we have our 2022 hemp crop planted and as we had incessant rain our crop was planted nearly 6 weeks late. Funny that our hemp growers license from the Dept. of Agriculture was 6 months late! Our Northern Harrier had 4 chicks and they all seem to be feisty and fighting for the mice in our fields. We get to see them in action once in a while. Meanwhile July is here we are busy at several markets in Oregon, including Bend, Portland and Silverton. If you haven’t yet check us out on Facebook or Instagram and you can see our farm-acy in the field and our farm in all it’s glory due to the record breaking rains.
Planting the Hemp
Rochelle hiking Coffin Mountain Trail
Our new goats enjoying the pasture
Peter hiking Coffin Mountain Trail