Forum Follow Up

Virginia’s Regenerative Agriculture Forum last night was full of love for soil, life, and the connectedness of us all. Thank you to the nearly 300 households that joined in! We are so grateful for the chance to be part of the panel.

Chris Lawrence and Gregory Evanylo: We thank you for your deep knowledge and concise explanations.
Michael Carter: We honor you and your family for more than a century of commitment to your farm and for your connection of soul to land and soil and food. 
Congresswoman Spanberger: We need you (and thank you) for your willingness to listen, ask questions, and relentlessly push for productive policy. 
Dustin Madison: We embrace you as part of the diverse shared agricultural community. The best way to nourish our communities must be through a combination of small farms, such as ours, and large acreage farms. 

Organizers: Thank you for your vision and coordination. 
Participants: Thank you for caring and engaging! Spread the word, and vote with your dollars. 

Take-aways/Action Items: 
– Change policy from the ground up by making the simple but often hard decision to prioritize your spending on food grown or raised with biological, regenerative methods. Simplify your diet while improving it. AND — We are very aware that many people do not have the means to prioritize this way. Therefore, if you do have the means, there is even more reason you should do so. A rising tide lifts all boats. 

– If you have a yard or plot or any earth in which you can plant, do so: Keep the soil covered, feed the soil with living plants throughout the year, encourage and embrace diversity, and apply only inputs that encourage microbial life. IF YOU HAVE AN HOA: educate, agitate, and organize. Monotonous and monocropped grass lawns will not lead us into a future with our great-great-great-grandchildren’s grandchildren’s health in mind. 

– We stand by the fact that chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides cause harm to both soil biology and human farm workers. It was appropriate to leave chemicals vs. organic inputs out of the conversation in the forum last night, but the difference is relevant as one chooses how to be part of the earth, how to spend their money, and how to feed themselves. 

– As we have said publicly since our first farm tours back “way back when”, agriculture is a grand human experiment and no one actually yet knows if any form of agriculture is sustainable. (But why tempt fate with any method that doesn’t make sense??)

– Our recommended book list includes (but is not limited to): 
Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast by Ira Wallace
Sustainable Market Farming by Pam Dawling
No Till Intensive Vegetable Culture by Bryan O’Hara
Mycorrhizal Planet by Michael Phillips
Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown
The Non-Toxic Farming Handbook by Philip Wheeler & Ronald Ward
 Managing Cover Crops Profitably  published by SARE
Eco-Farm by Charles Walters & C.J. Fenzau
   the soil will save us by Kristin Ohlson
   Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis
Secrets of Fertile Soils by Erhard Hennig
    The Organic No Till Revolution by Andrew Mefferd
Building Soils for Better Crops by Fred Magdoff & Harold Van Es
Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David Montgomery

Thank you again for caring and engaging! Reach out to those you know who may benefit from watching these films, or any of this information, and spread the word. 

All the best, from our soil-drenched hands and hearts – 
Janet, Dan, and the whole Broadfork crew (Karen, Rachel, Julie, and the farm kids) 

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