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When You Have the Chemistry

“When you have the chemistry, the biology will follow.” 
This is an actual quote from a conversation between a farmer and a soil chemistry specialist.. What are they talking about you ask??? 
They are talking about soil. 

I recently attended  one day event hosted by Regeneration Canada  held at Peony Farms in Lacombe, Alberta. The event showcased the soil regeneration practices that have been used on that farm for 3 years. The effects of regenerative agriculture is already evident in the health of the soil which was sampled in three different sections of land for the learning and observation of all the attendees of this event. The healthy soil was also evident in the health of the piedmontese cattle that feed full time on that forage. 

Regeneration Canada is a not for profit organization that is promoting regenerative agriculture.  This organization works with farmers and advocates for them, as well as promoting regeneration in our agroecosystems. 

Here are a few of the principles that Regeneration Canada stands on: 
  • Minimizing soil disturbance
  • Keeping the soil covered
  • Maintaining biodiversity
  • Maintaining living roots year round 

So - did you know there is chemistry in soil? Did you know there is biology in soil? 

This is what I learned at this amazing event that Regeneration Canada hosted. 

The chemistry they talk about is balanced minerals and vitamins in the soil. Conventional agriculture looks at the balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the soil. These are the three key nutrients but if your soil has a good balance of carbon, water, calcium and micronutrients then you do not need as much of the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that conventional agriculture claims you do. 

If the soil has a good balance of carbon, water and calcium and micronutrients your plants will have a natural, healthy root system, allowing those plants to have a quicker uptake and release of nutrients. These are minerals and vitamins that we need as humans. That means that the soil that grows our food should be more important to us than the food we eat. 

Healthy soil is teeming with life. Healthy soil is full of microorganisms decomposing matter (which is the biology part of the soil). These microorganisms as well as the balance of particles will hold air and water and provide release of these nutrients into the plant that is used for human or animal consumption. 

A few other great tidbits of information that I learned from the wealth of knowledge of these farmers hosting this event and from the soil chemistry specialists and agronomists. 

  • Healthy soil means healthy air as well. Soil can make the largest difference in capturing carbon (from the air and soil) in the world.
  • Healthy balanced soil also holds moisture better than compacted soil that depends on chemical fertilizers. 
  • Healthy soil means that the animals that are feeding off the plants are then carrying all these nutrients - vitamins and minerals, in their meat. 
  • I also learned that many farmers are already practicing regenerative farming but have very little time to advocate for themselves and their practice. 
  • I am thankful for Regeneration Canada for profiling the good work that is being done.  What an amazing way to see all the beauty in God's creation that lies right beneath our toes!

Photo Courtesy: ©AlieskaRobles Regeneration Canada


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