In an article in Forbes, Marc Barasch described regeneration is a more holistic way; “Regeneration is a design principle that works to ensure that all inputs and outputs, upstream and downstream, people and planet, conduce to the health of the whole system. If sustainability is about avoiding negative footprints, regeneration is about leaving positive handprints—lots of them.”
According to Collins, regenerative powers or processes cause something to heal or become active again after it has been damaged or inactive.
Regenerative farming is a growing movement. It is changing the way to farm and grow our food that is more aligned and sustainable. So how do we bring regenerative practises into the home garden?
Grow Edible & Perennial Plants
Growing your own food reduces food miles, decreases food costs, and connects you to your food. Growing your own food also allows you to harvest it when it is ripe and at it’s most nutritional, not to mention tastier.
Why: plants sequester carbon from the air; reduces green house gases that are produced throughout the food supply chain. Perennials also limited the soil being disturbed and produces multiple harvests.
Keep Soils Covered
Protect the soil with cover crops. Apply mulch, plant cover crops, leave selective weeds, fallen leave or chop and drop. Limit the disturbance of the soil, limited tilling.
Why: protected soils support the carbon captured from the plants and decreases water use. They also increase yields.
Grow a variety of plants, find heritage varieties to bring diversity into the eco-system. Grow plants that encourage the wildlife into your garden.
Why: Encourages pollination increasing yields, manages pests and balances the eco-system.
Ditch the Chemicals
Compost kitchen and garden waste, use it as a natural fertiliser reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
Why: It repurposes waste-reducing methane gas as less organic waste is sent to landfill where it produces green house gases. It also increased the quality of the soils and ultimately the health of the plants, making them healthier to eat, more resistant to pests and higher yields.
Integrate Crops & Animals
Introduce to animals into the eco-system, allow them to free range to add value into the eco-system.
Why: animals assist with pest and weed control and provides a steady supply of manure.
Rotate Plants and Crops
Plants difference crops in different locations. Practice crop rotation. Consider nitrogen-fixing plants to add back into the soil’s plants use for production.
Why: Balances the soil and reduces the need for chemicals to manage disease.
Get to Know Your Garden
Each garden is a micro eco-system and it could be different from the next garden. Watch how the water flows, where the sun shines and that thrives in what areas. Consider companion planting and test your soil and walk around your garden regularly.
Why: Use your environment to your advantage to reduce waste use, increase yields and manage pests.
Connect With Gardeners
Regeneration is more than growing food and gardening, it’s about living in harmony. Connect with other gardeners in your community. Share tips, knowledge and resources.
Why: Sharing resources reduces the consumption of virgin resources and ensure existing resources are used more efficiently and not wasted. Local knowledge is more effective and reduces the impact of experimentation.
Regenerative gardening is not a new concept and it can come in many other names:
Home gardeners can play an important role in the loss we are experiencing the world’s fertile soil and biodiversity, along with the loss of indigenous seeds and knowledge.
Through these simple practices, home gardeners will be sequestering large volumes of greenhouse gases and make a meaningful contribution to a resilient local food system.
So over to you; grow something using these regenerative techniques. Don’t have a garden; then grow a herb in a pot. Then offer that herb to your community on the Spare Harvest marketplace.