It’s our annual Regenerative Agriculture Week again, and to give you an update, I interviewed Ronnie Cummins, co-founder and international director of the Organic Consumers Association( OCA ). OCA is one of the nonprofits we donate a portion of our incomes to each year.
While giving out info is important, we also want to make sure we can pave the way to make it easier for you to actually implement healthy conversions such as switching to an organic food. That’s hard to do unless organic foods are readily available, and OCA is wholly dedicated to that mission.
About the OCA
The OCA is actually a family of organizations that include Regeneration International, which has a research farm in Mexico. It’s staffed by about 50 beings, chiefly agronomists and farm worker. They also have a research farm in Minnesota that operates principally during originating season. In the winter, they thrive meat in a specially designed solar powered greenhouse.
“There is a way to grow light-green veggies year-round, but we have to stop prioritizing GMO soybeans and corn in the Midwest and start prioritizing food for real parties if we’re going to do that, ” Cummins says.
“In Mexico, it’s a totally different situation. We’re in a semi-desert area near San Miguel de Allende. Our research on regenerative and organic food here is focused on how you can grow a bunch of food and mostly reinstate the environment when you don’t have wells and you don’t have rainfall eight months a year.
We simply get torrent three or four months a year, so it’s necessary to use all these permaculture type rules. In a good year, we get 20 inches[ of rainfall ].
So, “were having” ponds where we catch millions of liters of ocean from the mountains. We have vats below all the buildings. We catch the irrigate on the roofs and kept it into the cisterns. We have composting lavatories, recycled shower sea, and we try to grow crops and trees that are adapted to low-spirited moisture.”
The 75 -acre farm needs to collect and store about 12 million liters or 3 million gallons of spray during the rainy season, which then has to last the rest of the year.
Crops that work well in this semi-desert and have low water requirements include native desert plants and trees like agave and mesquite. Growing these has allowed the farm to re-green the desert terrain and create fermented animal feed that’s both inexpensive and healthy.
Air Layering Project to Begin
The regenerative farm in Mexico is now gearing up for a new reforestation activity. By taking a limb from a health mesquite tree, supplementing some natural hormones and wrapping the field with a handbag filled with compost, you are able to, after three to four months, have a small tree ready for planting as new beginnings grow into the compost-filled bag. At that item, you can either plant it into a receptacle, or instantly into the soil. This process is known as “air layering.”
“Our 1-year-old mesquite trees are as big as a 7-year-old mesquite tree from a seed, ” Cummins says. “It’s a technique that we’re really excited about. Parties in the Southwestern U.S ., Texas and the Southwest, are very familiar with mesquite because there’s so many of them.
Texas, I imagine, has 55 million hectares of mesquite. The bean pods on the trees are highly nutritious. You can meet flour and roast with it. Swine also desire the husks as an animal feed.”
The springs of the mesquite tree can burrow hundreds of feet down in search of water, and they in turn provide nutrition for other flowers. As explained by Cummins, they exchange liquid carbon from the tree for the nutrients from the soil.
“The combination of the native agaves and these types of nitrogen cook trees is the real key to restoring the environment, ” Cummins says. “Originally, 400 several years ago, this was a savanna. It had oak trees. It had lots of mesquite trees. It had a different climate.
The timber was valuable, though. The Spaniards mostly deforested much of Mexico over its first year, because they needed charcoal for the silver-tongued mines. In Europe, they affection the mesquite trees and the oak trees for structure determinations — improving carries, houses and so on. Once they deforested large swaths of Mexico … it altered the climate.
Now, the native trees need human intervention to reforest. But if you can come up with a organization, which we have, that compensations the small farmer or the rancher straight off — in this case because they do low-cost animal feed that’s much cheaper than alfalfa or corn silage — you can get people to start choosing this[ programme ].
We’ve planted about 350,000 agave seedlings in the last two years, and we’re seeing the notoriety of this system now starting to spread. We’re actually coming inquiries from all over the world now, including ranchers in Texas who would like to improve their pastures and their ecosystems in general.”
Creating a Win-Win Situation
When you hear “agave, ” lucks are your mind departs straight to tequila. As explained by Cummins, the mood of Jalisco changes 500 million off-color agave bushes for the tequila industry. The problem is, they’re being cultivate as a monoculture. All preexisting greenery is cut down to make room for the agave. They too use chemical fertilizers, frequently RoundUp. Together, it degrades the landscape rather than improves it.
Forty percent of the world is arid or semi-arid, and is in danger of reverting to outright desert where nothing will be increased. But we can reverse this process exerting native flowers and organic and permaculture skills.~ Ronnie Cummins
What OCA and Regenerative International are doing is organic, regenerative and biodynamic. It cures biodiversity and meets usage of the natural capacity of the bushes. The big breakthrough came when a neighbourhood farmer figured out that the leaves of the agave weed, which are huge biomass, can be fermented and was transformed into nutritious animal feed.
A single agave foliage can weigh 40 to 80 pounds, and these leaves were always dumped. “For thousands of years they were considered junk, ” Cummins says. What they found was that you can place finely chopped leaves in a closed container and hubbub them.
To that, you are eligible to computed mesquite pods. Cummins has been using a mix of 80% to 90% agave bud and 10% to 20% mesquite husks. This mixture is superior to alfalfa in terms of nutrition, but rates merely a third or a fourth of the price.
Cows, sheep, goats, swine, chickens and even sheepdogs, enjoy it. A large-hearted part of the cost-savings is from the reduced water consumption. Alfalfa needs about 26 times more water than agave and mesquite. Most of the animals on the farm eat the natural botany and get the agave mince as a augment. However, by adding garbanzo beans — another low-water crop — you could cause a feed that the swine could live on exclusively.
“We think it’s a good thought to pasture the swine, ” Cummins says, “even in the baked season when there’s not much vegetation. But we graze them a good deal less than has become the custom-made over the last 100 years.
Sixty percent of Mexico, like the Southwestern U.S ., is semi-desert arid, and it’s been over-grazed. So, we need to get back to a regenerative grazing statu whatever it is you partly residue the estate, you’re reforesting it and using contours to help retain the rainwater.
Forty percent of the world is arid or semi-arid, and is in danger of reverting to outright desert where nothing will be increased. But we can reverse this process applying native seeds and organic and permaculture proficiencies that modern organic farmers have developed over the last 50 to 100 years.
Alfalfa is a great perennial if you have plenty of irrigate and you’re not draining the aquifer. But that’s not the acces it’s being done. In Southern California, the giant dairy farms, the beings feed quantities that are feeding alfalfa to the swine across the Southwest, these areas do not have the irrigate availability to be doing this. We’ve got to stop that and start looking at the long-term water resources we have.”
Bringing the Rain
The amazing thing about reforestation is that it can actually reform the environment and improve rainfall. Regenerative ranchers in Northern Mexico, in the Chihuahuan Desert, who have added 1 million acres of rotational grazing, report get 15% to 20% more rainfall than their neighbors who haven’t regenerated their land.
“You can literally bring back rain to a level that was traditionally there, if you regenerate the landscape, ” Cummins says. “You do this not just with human flair and stewardship, but the animals are totally necessary to speed up this process. We need swine grazing in areas, even the semi-arid arid countries, but we don’t want them to over-graze …
We need to use their natural behavior in conjunction with what we’re doing to restore the environment. And we can do that.”
New Market Opportunities
Cummins laid out a plan for transforming the U.S. through regenerative traditions in his 2020 book, “Grassroots Rising.” In the U.S ., grocery demand is one of the main factors driving regenerative farm and ranching. There is a bigger demand for grass fed meat and animal commodities now than there was 10 years ago, but it’s not flourishing fast enough.
Feed parcels and factory farming still dominate, in part because that’s what our government subsidizes. Modifying the farming subsidies to prioritize regenerative farm would go a long way to modifying the status quo. Encouraging private investors to put their money where their lip is, is another possibility.
“I’m pretty excited about this. There’s a new type of asset being developed on the stock exchange. The regulations are being written up by the Protection and Exchange Commission. These are announced Natural Asset Stocks, or Natural Asset Corporations.
This is a type of stock different from anything we’ve seen up up to now. The authority of Costa Rica, for example, is putting all the lands that the government owns, the woods and the farmlands, into a Natural Asset Corporation.
So, if you’re a overseer of a pension fund, or overseas investors, or “owners corporations”, you can invest in one of these natural assets. You don’t own the arrive, you’re not having a lien on any of the income that comes from this country. What you own are the ecosystem business that the shore provides.
For example, you’ve went this system of agave and mesquite trees. We are incorporating now to where someone can own the environmental works. In other oaths, the amount of water that we’re saving, the amount of carbon that we’re sequestering, the amount of methane that our swine are releasing — they’re releasing less when they eat this fermented silage.
Instead of going to a corporation or a foundation and looking for a donation, what you do is you say, ‘Would you like to invest in a natural resource? ‘ And then over period, as the forest matures, as the system full-growns, as you regenerate the grime, your resource is worth more fund. If you choose to sell that asset, you can actually make money off of it.
This is very appealing to Wall street at this spot. They’re really worried about their stature, as there is a requirement to, but they too are not going to change overnight what they’re doing. But this is a way that they can pull some of their assets out of financial assets and threw them into ecosystem assets, and still get a return on their money.
But this is like organic certification. You can’t just say that you’re doing a benefit to the environment and then get parties to invest in this benefit. You have to be able to prove it. We’ve developed a plan of verification that is quite accurate scientifically. It involves measuring things like the number of members of weeds, the dimensions of the the floras. You do soil analysis and so on, the traditional things you would look at.
But then with modern engineering, it’s possible to fly a drone over the area and take photos. And then you compare your calculations on the floor with what the drone is seeing through their several cameras.
And then you develop an algorithm and progressions to where you can then fly the droning over another area that you haven’t weighed on the anchor, and you get the says on how much carbon biomass is in the environment. You get a reading on other ecosystem services.”
Intellects To Be Hopeful
They’re likewise employing a blockchain accounting system to verify the computations and make it very difficult to cheat. So, anyone who invests in a natural asset will be able to verify, several years down the road, at a very low cost, whether the asset has improved or degenerated.
“When parties expect, ‘Are you really greening the desert? ‘ ‘Are you really restoring the environment? ‘ ‘Are you keeping spray? ‘ ‘Are you creating important meat for animals and humans? ‘ you’ll be able to prove it one package.
There’s $ 125 trillion out there invested in financial assets. Most of this is degenerating the planet. But there’s $ 125 trillion-worth of natural assets that are not valued right now. We believe that approximately 1% of the magnates and the corporate money managers and pension managers right now are quite concerned about the environment, the same way we are, and are ready to start moving a portion of their assets.
We only need to move 1% in the coming decade to get the ball rolled. The benefits of regenerative menu and farming are far beyond even simply the ecosystem benefits. As we’ve seen during the course of its pandemic, sales of organic food have grown substantially.
Sales of dietary augments have grown significantly. A slew of parties have learned the delights of cooking at home again, instead of going out to restaurants. We’ve got a potential market demand. We time need to get the ball rolling.”
The Regenerative Network
Regenerative International, incorporated in 2014, has since improved a worldwide network of regenerative farmers and ranchers, with some 400 affiliates in 60 countries. You got to find a map of these regenerative raises on RegenerationInternational.org.
Much of the force over the past seven years has been spent on educating the world about the importance of ensuring that regenerative agricultural practices, including its ability to improve climate, continue water and improve nutrition. Today, most people have at least heard about regenerative farming.
The primary focus now is to seek out the best practices and make sure they’re shared, circulated and replicated. The fermented agave sentiment, for example, came from a neighbourhood farmer who called the Regeneration International farm in Mexico. He asked if they’d heard of fermenting the buds for animal feed. He’d been doing it for 12 times, hitherto no one had ever heard of this strategy.
As it turns out, it’s a excellent solution that solves various questions at once. There may be other solutions out there that beings simply don’t know about, and Regeneration International aims to find them and share them, worldwide.
My New Line of Certified Biodynamic Products
My team and I are even creating access to biodynamic practices and better food generators through Solspring( r ), an authentic menu symbol that offers Demeter Certified Biodynamic( r) and organic ingredients from across the globe.
Not simply are we obligating it easier for the average person to shop, cook and exhaust biodynamic products they can trust, we’re also supporting farmers worldwide by offering a payment premium for their harvests. From the U.S. to India, we strongly support their transition to biodynamic traditions, and build healthier, more diverse farmlands.
OCA Is Paving the Way
Since its inception in 1998, OCA has worked to educate people about organic, biodynamic, regenerative food. Cummins invested got a couple of decades fighting against the organic manufacture before that as well. They’ve too civilized the public to realize that farming does have a big impact on the environment.
“If you care about clean spray, for example, you better care about regenerative agriculture, ” he says. “If you care about animals, you better care about how factory farming is an abomination, and so on. We’ve composed, I speculate, the potential market demand.
We simply have to have the products available, and we have to stop governments from subsidizing decline meat and farming. The sell has the potential to correct a lot of the problems out there, if we work together to do that.”
Today’s your chance to help us achieve that goal. Each dollar you give, I will parallel during this fundraiser. As explained by Cummins, all funds raised are used to further the mission of OCA and Regenerative International.
“Most groups in the world that care about regenerative food and farming are strapped for cash. For example
OCA has always tried to be an international organization
I spend half my time exposing the bad stuff … and the other half on positive solutions. You get frustrated after 50 years in the organic movement of asking the government to please stop allowing cheating of standards. Lo and behold
In this day and age
They’re not requiring labels on nanotechnology. They’re lying about pesticide residues
Read more: articles.mercola.com