Regenerative Earthworks: The first step in Regenerative Farming Systems ← Spiral Ridge Permaculture

Regenerative Earthworks: The first step in Regenerative Farming Systems 3

As I walked down our landscape the other day I realized that at this point in the regeneration of our land we are farming soil and water.  According to Sepp Holzer 70% of our agriculture is completed when we have our water systems designed and developed.  Why is that?  Well, if we consider what we know of the Soil Food Web, water is life!  Without water there is no microbial life possible in the soil.  Without microbes there is no biology which means no life.  Life in the soil is the first step in creating regenerative farming systems.  An important part of this is what I call Regenerative Earthworks.  Using machinery and human labor to sculpt the land to slowly move and capture water in the landscape is the first step in Regenerative Earthworks.  The second step is to add biology to the land.  We add biology by spraying biologically active compost teas to the land immediately after disturbance.  We do this by making simple compost tea aerators out of 5 gallon buckets and by adding biodynamic preps to the soil.  The third step is to plant seeds that will help build biomass and add nutrients to soil.  The use of nitrogen fixing annual and perennial crops and bio-accumulators has proven to be an effective way to build soil and retain moisture.  The next step is to mulch heavily to help the seed and soil capture water,  stop erosion, and stop the oxidation of the soil microbes.  Finally we can plant our tree systems and pulse animals into the areas of use.  This helps to complete the cycle of life and moves us forward on the pathway of regeneration.

Building 'Twales' a Trail and Swale

Hand dug swales growing cover crops

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3 thoughts on “Regenerative Earthworks: The first step in Regenerative Farming Systems

  1. jeremy crosby Jan 24, 2012 7:01 pm

    Nice! Planning any earthworks courses this season?

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