Building regenerative organic farming systems founded on true human sustainability!

As farming nerds, we love talking about crop rotations, low-till/no-till methods, cover crops, composting, community-based marketing systems, alternatives to agro-chemicals, mechanical weed control, irrigation, food hubs, cation balancing, locally adaptive seed varieties, composting, and so on. We can spend hours and hours just going through these exciting subjects.

But, have you ever considered that all this rests on the shoulders of humans? It’s all well and good to design the most awesome regenerative farming systems, but it’s all for naught if we’re exhausted and burned out. It breaks my heart to see so many great farmers burning the candle at both ends and experiencing burn-out, exhaustion, relationship breakdown/separation, and the feeling that the farm is running their lives. Not to mention, that all this doesn’t do much good to inspire the next generation to step in and continue building on all the great work that has been done up until now.

So let’s take a deeper look:

  1. ‘Certified Organic’ is no longer enough. While it’s a great baseline (and a huge improvement over traditional chemical farming), it’s time to set our sights on systems that are not only toxic-free but rather, on systems that regenerate the health and wellness of the ecosystems and overall well-being of the humans sustained by these ecosystems.
  2. Implementation is the key: In order for a regenerative system to be implemented, it requires a human (you and me) to do it.
  3. Building Sustainable Lifestyles. You and I are so much more effective when we are energized, well-rested, fulfilled, nurtured and stimulated by our lives.
  4. Building Sustainable Farming Practice. This requires our farm systems to not only regenerate the ecosystems but also to fully support a regenerative and expansive lifestyle for the farmer (that’s us). Rest, play, family, and time for your other interests are a key part in creating the internal conditions within you that are necessary for you to be in a state of peak performance when it comes to implementing

Questions for you today:

  • What are the key activities and routines that regenerate and re-energize you?
  • What is one such activity or routine that you are willing to integrate into your week in a non-negotiable manner?
  • What’s it like for you when you are in a state of peak performance… in the flow? What are the key elements that reliably get you into that state of being?

P.S: Have you heard of John Kempf? Originally from an Amish background, John is the founder of AEA and the host of the regenerative agriculture podcast. I met John while we were both taking the Marketing Seminar with Seth Godin. I was really impressed with John’s innovative and out-of-the-box approach to organic fertility management. It was a refreshing alternative, yet science-based, perspective to the organic NPK approach promoted by most of the organic agronomists up here in Quebec.

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