At Well Grounded Farms, we define Regenerative Agriculture as
Land. Soil. People. Animals. Plants. Ecosystems. Artisan producers. Farms and ranches. Butchers and food craftsman. Entrepreneurs and businesses.
Regenerative Agriculture is a reformation of the current food system to simplify our food supply chains back to local food raised with integrity. It is an artisan model that considers raising food a unique craft. A unique craft that honors the natural harmony between land, animals, plants and people to recreate balance, vigor and optimum expression of life and health for all.
Here are the parts (Core Values) we've established as our guiding principles of Regenerative Agriculture to drive this goal of "whole" forward.
In decision making, consideration is given to all parts/factors rather than making silo’d decisions based on what would benefit any one area or aspect (at the expense of another). We’ve witnessed today’s industrialized food system put all their focus on yield and profit at the expense of human health, natural resources, and land viability. This had led to much imbalance. On the contrary, Regenerative Ag views the entire ecosystem - not just land OR animals OR people, but rather how they function together, how they impact each other, how they partner/influence each other. It also considers the past, present, and legacy of the future.
We're at our best when we're in living in connection. Relationships form the backbone of Regenerative Ag and demonstrate our high value for one another. Person to person. Person to animal. Animal to animal. Land to animal. etc. Every. Life. Matters.
In terms of people, this movement is comprised of informed, pioneering people who think for themselves and are unsatisfied just “doing it the way we’ve always done it.” Regenerative farmers are highly skilled craftsmen intricately knowing their land and animals by heart, serving as soil scientists and animal experts who adapt their methods of care on a daily basis to best serve the needs of land, animals and consumer. The consumer is savvy, aware, and puts both a necessary and welcomed demand on food to be done differently. We applaud you for that! Today’s consumers want to know where their food comes from - and have relationship with who produces it. Rightfully so! Not just any person or company can be trusted with the vital role of creating what you and your family eat. Regenerative Ag short circuits the traditional food supply chain by establishing personal and direct connection between farmer and consumer. In regenerative models, you can trust food is raised on a small scale with integrity because you know the people doing it.
This is as important as having a family doctor you or a family dentist... you need someone you can trust to handle whose raising your food! At Well Grounded Farms we easily handle being your source of wholesome meat.
What conditions/environment our food grows in directly impacts its quality in nutrition and taste.
To reform the current food supply, we must be grounded in this: Everything starts with the soil. Most soil in the US is depleted of life, laden with pesticides, and requires large synthetic deposits of nutrients to produce something. In Regenerative Ag, much value is given to the sub-surface realm and priority given to developing organic matter. Animals are used in a highly sophisticated way to restore and heal the land as natural fertilizers, microbial stimulators, and ultimately the conduit for nutrients to restore human health, also. Mob grazing, unique to Regenerative Agriculture and very different from traditional pasture or rotational grazing, is employed so the herd is moved to smaller paddocks of fresh grass as frequently as multiple times per day. This intense stimulant on the pasture and soil infuses nutrients into the soil in an accelerated fashion, while simultaneously infusing the animals with the maximum level of nutrients available from the plant species within that paddock. Read our protocols page for more details on this method of grazing to build soil health and produce superior meat.
What a vibrant microbial world down there! How incredible! #soilhealthmatters
Balance is not achieved by any one thing, but rather balance results from the synergy created through many things. Soil health is contingent upon the degree of diversity in its plant species. High quality and best tasting meats are dependent upon diversity in the animal's diet, giving vital nutrients at the right times to create the most delicious and nutritional meat. Corn-fed animals raised in confinement that eat the same ration every day do not experience this balance. Do you want to be continuously ingesting imbalanced meat? What affect does that have? Traditional agriculture esteems monoculture crops, meaning the farmer uses his/her acres to grow one plant species on that plot - generally corn, soybeans or wheat. This creates imbalances in the ecosystem as all attention is giving to letting one species live at the expense of exterminating all others. In Regenerative Agriculture we see that the entire ecosystem is made better by having as large a representation as possible for the species within it. They all serve a purpose and the broader the representation of species (plant, animals and microorganisms), the healthier and more robust the ecosystem. This is the harmony our Creator intended!
Regenerative Ag farmers examine the plant species present in their pastures and understand what that communicates about the state of their soils. Certain plants indicate either absence or excess of particular nutrients in the soil. The farmer is in tune with this language of the land and leverages diversity as the tool to re-instate balance.
Now that's diversity!
Life is a core value of Regenerative Ag, particularly the quality of that life - for people and animals. Regenerative Ag positions animals and plants to live happily in their most natural environment, afforded the dignity to do what they were created to do. Chickens - scratch and peck and eat insects. Pigs root around. Cattle self select the plants their development stage requires as they peacefully graze and forage in robust pasture. Regenerative farmers tend their animals in a way that allows each creature to fully and freely express their purpose. Today’s buzz words would call that ethically and humanely raised but in regenerative its not a marketing word, its a relationship between farmer and animal.
For us humans, we believe quality of life means less hustle and more lingering. Regenerative Ag values quality over quantity. Its about maximizing resourcefulness to make a great living on fewer acres - lowering debt burdens and workloads so life can be enjoyed in balance. Regenerative is more than a land management philosophy, its a lifestyle. It's about living in a state of simplicity rather than stress. It's about taking time to live slow, be present and surrender the hustle and bustle. We believe quality of life includes investing our resources (time, energy, $$) in creating meals that bring us together and make memories, while satisfying body, soul and spirit. We believe in cherishing our family and putting our best energy into nurturing home. When our grounding is to establish and enhance Life in all we do - we are Well Grounded. Happy. Steady. Resilient. Fulfilled. Being connected to land, animals and people offers the quality of life we desperately desire.
That's why regenerative farmers have smaller, intimate herds compared to the tens of thousands of cattle, chickens and hogs raised in single confinement buildings.
The composition of your food matters. Alot. A steak may look like just a steak to you, but not all food is created equal. How its raised, what it grazed, and the health of the soil hosting those grasses and greens directly impacts the nutrient content and thus benefit (or threat) it poses to you.
Regenerative Agriculture values nutrient density, a seemingly "invisible" attribute of food the current food system pays little (if any) attention to.
What are you getting in return for the food you're currently paying for? Most food on the market today is nutrient void - and the taste, or lack thereof, reflects it. You'll be amazed at how different, how delicious, food raised regeneratively tastes. No kidding! You don't realize what your food is missing until you find out what food could be! Doesn't it make sense to invest your food dollars into food that will bring you an ROI?
How do the artisan craftsman of Regenerative Ag create better, nutrient dense food?
They care for the health of the soil first. They understand the health of the soil determines the health of your food.
Traditional agriculture sprays your food with chemicals throughout the growing season, seeking to destroy the naturally occurring insects and pests that pose threat to yield. In Regenerative Ag, the producer works WITH nature, not against it, to create safer, more nutrient dense food.
What your food eats matters...because sooner or later, what your food eats ends up in you.