A few weeks ago I took a field trip out to my college’s farm out in the town of Forestville. It’s 365 acres of land that is used for forestry, apple orchards, olive trees, livestock, vineyard and more.

 

Shone Farm Forest

The class I’m taking is called Intro to Sustainable Agriculture, something that I have been interested in for years and finally took the leap to take the class. Thankfully it’s mostly online with the exception of two field trips.

 

Inside the greenhouse

We have been learning the importance of soil health, regenerative agriculture, our watersheds, our community and so much more. It’s fascinating and also overwhelming. Our current system of monoculture farming is extremely unsustainable; in the last 100 years we have lost so much soil due to intensive tillage. Articles have been written dating back to the 1940’s about why this method of farming is not working, yet we still keep tilling the soil too much, using pesticides, and flooding orchards with a large amount of water when there are alternative ways.

 

Cutting spinach

It feels good to be a part of this group of people who are working to learn about regenerative agriculture. According to regenerativeagriculturedefinition.com, Regenerative Agriculture is defined as a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances ecosystem services. Regenerative Agriculture aims to capture carbon in soil and aboveground biomass, reversing current global trends of atmospheric accumulation. I get really excited when I hear this term now. I’ve heard it many times before but never bothered to look up what it means. I knew it was important, but never bothered to research it. I’m not sure why.

 

Harvested spinach