What is regenerative agriculture?
Broadly speaking, regenerative agriculture is a system of principles and practices focusing on increased biodiversity, enriched soils, improved watersheds, and enhance ecosystems. I increasingly refer to biodynamic agriculture as a transformative agriculture, in recognition of the Earth as a living being who has its own developmental path we need to understanding and support.
There is no generically accepted nor across-the-board agreement on the ultimate definition of ‘regenerative farming’, and, while some unfortunate inclusions and exclusions occur, ‘regenerative’ is more and more used to identify genuine attempts to move towards environmentally friendly and human-nutrition centred forms of agriculture. Over decades new names or descriptors have been generated, which, unfortunately, can also result in further division rather than greater collaboration. Some descriptors have been co-opted by corporate forces to prioritise market opportunities over human and environmental needs. A challenge we need to meet.
Biodynamics as transformative agriculture
I refer to biodynamics. It is accepted as an essentially positive approach, most significantly, it is understood as arising out of spiritual insight, clearly and practically articulated by Rudolf Steiner and verified by a century of practice. Biodynamics is transformative agriculture, because it recognises the Earth as a living Being with its own developmental path. The Earth is maturing – just as we change from childhood through to adulthood via puberty and undergoing a process of development – the Earth will arrive at a new, transformed, stage of being. We need to understand and support this rather than attempt to return to some imagined pristine past. This insight also challenges us to develop our capacities to cultivate and grow foods that will be appropriate now and in future. One such example, given by Steiner, was the cultivation of new forms of grain using native grasses.
Having said this, I comfortably operate within the current and emerging culture of regenerative agriculture.
You can listen to some very enlightening interviews with extraordinary individuals on the regenerative path who are part of this stimulating community.