Regenerative Agriculture as our Model
― Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers
Being a company committed to promoting a healthy lifestyle through the use of certified organic hemp extracts, Botana recognizes that a large part of the health of the individual is also relient on the health of our local and global ecosystems. Here, we believe in practicing regenerative agriculture as an act of environmentalism, to show compassion to ourselves and all beings around us, and to be empowered in our own agricultural practices and methods. In this blog post, I will talk about what the “buzz” phrase regenerative agriculture means and some of the reasons we at Botana participate in regenerative agriculture, with a focus on sustainability. Beyond talking about carbon capture and water usage, in this blog I will also explain how the principles of regenerative agriculture are helping small local economies gain and maintain strength. This will be a two part blog, with the next entry focusing further on the impacts of climate change through agriculture, and how this, specifically, propels the carbon market.
Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by placing a heavy premium on soil health with attention also paid to water management, fertilizer use, and more. (Montgomery, 2019) According to the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), “Leveraging the mitigation potential in the [Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use] sector is extremely important in meeting emission reduction targets.” (Smith, 2014) Regenerative agriculture “is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by placing a heavy premium on soil health with attention also paid to water management, fertilizer use, and more. It is a method of farming that improves the resources it uses, rather than destroying or depleting them.” (Montgomery, 2019)
How is this different than conventional agriculture, and why is this a topic that is so important to us at Botana? Just as we believe the properties of phytocannabinoids are regenerative and restorative to individual health, we believe that doing our part to restore the health of the planet is the only way forward in organic agriculture. Unlike conventional farming, which generally does not consider the impact of using resources until they no longer exist, regenerative agriculture uses methods such as conservation tilling, crop rotation, and cover-cropping, allowing our soil to stay diverse. Diversity in soil leads to an ultimately higher yields and far more nutrient rich crops. Soil biodiversity creates “more resilient soils that can better withstand climate change impacts like flooding and drought. Healthy soils beget strong yields and nutrient-rich crops. It also diminishes erosion and runoff, leading to improved water quality on and off the farm.” (Montgomery, 2019) Cadmium, one of the major pollutants in soil, has been shown to be eliminated by simply growing hemp. As a cover crop, hemp enhances soil health by shading out weeds—reducing the need for synthetic herbicides—and adding diversity to crop rotations, improving overall soil health. Hemp is also versatile in the market, with thousands of uses for its seed, oil, and fiber. (Rodale Institute, 2019)
“In 2019, the USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program released a report on cover crop economics (SARE, 2019) based on data from several hundred farms that concluded cover crops generally provide a positive return within three years and that profit margins continued to grow for at least seven years. Corn and soybean yields were consistently higher in cover cropped fields, especially in drought years. Such examples show that spending less to grow more is a winning combination for farmers.” (Montgomery, 2019)
Bringing life back to the soil can help farm profitability across America’s rural landscapes. It’s time to reverse and revise the “get big or get out” mentality to “get small and get back in.” Restoring the soil on smaller, more profitable farms holds the key to restoring rural communities. (Montgomery, 2019) The IPCC describes emissions trading as a process which “most revenue from... is directed back to local communities.” (Smith, 2014) In our next blog post, we will talk about regenerative agriculture in relation to climate change and the market opportunities this creates on a local level, specifically citing a study produced by the Rodale Institute.
Just as phytocannabinoids are regenerative to our individual health, regenerative agriculture is important to restoring the overall health of our planet. A healthy planet ultimately benefits everyone. As a company whose main incentive is to help people achieve balance and health, it only makes sense that we participate in a balanced and restorative practice to create our products.
“You can solve all the world's problems in a garden.”
“What is needed are ecosystems that are designed to produce our food, fuel, animal feed, medicine and fibers, and ecosystems that can do so without the use of fossil fuel technology, those that can tolerate extremes of weather and potentially changing climates, and that can thrive without supplemental irrigation from vulnerable and increasingly expensive public utilities.”
(1) Montgomery, David R. “The Key to Saving Family Farms Is in the Soil.” Common Dreams, 23 Oct. 2019, www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/23/key-saving-family-farms-soil.
(2) Smith P., M. Bustamante, H. Ahammad, H. Clark, H. Dong, E.A. Elsiddig, H. Haberl, R. Harper, J. House, M. Jafari, O. Masera, C. Mbow, N.H. Ravindranath, C.W. Rice, C. Robledo Abad, A. Romanovskaya, F. Sperling, and F. Tubiello, 2014: Agricul- ture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). In: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Edenhofer, O., R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier, B. Kriemann, J. Savolainen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel and J.C. Minx (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
(3) “Industrial Hemp Trial.” Rodale Institute, 2019, rodaleinstitute.org/science/industrial-hemp-trial/.