The Power of Permaculture: Embracing Sustainable Farming Practices for a Regenerative Agriculture Future

1
2017

Increasing production to feed the world’s growing population in a sustainable way is an important conversation in the agriculture industry. And, permaculture is a method of design in agriculture where farming practices are modeled after natural ecosystems with the goal of providing the necessities of life in a sustainable way. Essentially, all farming systems are designed to work with nature and not against it. As growers implement the principles of permaculture, farming becomes regenerative by reducing the effects of climate change, restoring biodiversity and rebuilding soils. While permaculture is not a new concept, the necessity to implement such systems is more important than ever. While some regenerative farming practices may go against the conventional ways of farming, these practices are necessary to reduce waste and combat rising challenges.

Soil Health

When it comes to sustainable farming practices, the principles of permaculture can be applied to maintain healthy soil. Healthy soil reduces erosion, maximizes water infiltration, improves nutrient cycling, and saves money on inputs. When a soil is healthy, the microbial community will sustain the soil and produce great harvests, while also leaving nutrients behind for future generations. Some farming practices that promote healthy soil include practicing no tillage and using cover crops. Less tilling reduces soil disruption, runoff and erosion. Cover crops also protect the soil from erosion while also protecting the soil and sequestering carbon. Ultimately, a healthy soil directly and indirectly impacts sustaining plants, animals and people around the world.

Preserve Land

Farmland is necessary to provide food, but everyday 2,000 acres of farmland is lost to developers. Implementing the principles of permaculture and regenerative agriculture will help growers maintain the integrity of farmland in a sustainable way. Rehabilitating farmland that is damaged includes planting cover crops to restore soil, which could lessen the amount of farmland lost. Preserving and restoring farmland is crucial in order to sustain our future.

Increase Biodiversity and Organic Matter

One impactful outcome of regenerative agriculture is the increase in biodiversity. Increasing biodiversity in turn increases organic matter. Both are important in maintaining a healthy soil. This also allows farmers to reduce synthetic inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides because the system is more in balance, increases profitability and decreases runoff.

Final Thoughts

Embracing sustainable farming practices and implementing the principles of permaculture are no longer something the industry is simply talking about. Agriculture experts are supporting initiatives and technologies, as well as providing education so more farmers have access to the benefits of regenerative agriculture. Improving soil health, preserving land, and increasing biodiversity and organic matter is necessary. These practices will increase yields and productivity while also being environmentally friendly. The power of permaculture offers solutions for a sustainable future.

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