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Supporting Regenerative Agriculture Without a Garden

If you don’t have a garden, can’t practice some of the regenerative gardening methods, or just want to do more, this is the blog post for you! I’m very passionate about regenerative gardening, but I’m also aware that some people can’t or don’t want to garden. I also know firsthand that most gardeners still buy produce elsewhere, either during the winter or because their garden yield isn’t enough for them! Fortunately, there is so much you can do to support the regenerative agriculture movement outside of your own yard, and it still has a huge impact. 

A snap pea hanging off of a snap pea plant outdoors

Buy organic whenever you can

I know that organic is almost always more expensive and, in some areas, hard to find. I would never want to shame anyone for buying nonorganic food when it’s all they can manage.

I also know, however, that I used to avoid organic food because I didn’t *want* to pay that much. I couldn’t see why I would pay extra for what seemed like the same product, even though I could have fit it into my grocery budget.

Then I learned about how the chemicals used in conventional agriculture are killing beneficial (and vitally important) insects, destroying soil health, and hurting our health in a myriad of ways. I realized that I was voting with my dollars when I bought organic.

I started off buying the organic foods that were on sale or that were almost the same price as non-organic, and slowly worked organic into my grocery budget from there. If you can afford it and want to support agriculture that prioritizes the planet, I’d encourage you to buy organic as much as you can! Not just for fresh produce but also for pantry items; they are made with wheat, corn, soy, etc. that is also grown in a field. Every item you choose to buy organic makes a difference! If you want somewhere simple to start, check out the dirty dozen list to see which produce has the highest levels of pesticides present in testing. 

Buy produce, meat and dairy from a regenerative farm

You might be surprised to find that you have regenerative farms in your area — I sure was! If you do, they likely sell food at farmer’s markets, co-ops, or through CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares. Consider purchasing from small farms that use regenerative practices when you can–you are supporting a small business and helping the earth! Plus your produce will have traveled less miles and be much fresher for you. Find out if there’s one near you here.

Volunteer on a regenerative farm

Farming is hard work and isn’t the easiest business to make money in, but they are providing a critical service to the entire population. Under our current Federal Crop Insurance program, it’s challenging to be a regenerative farmer. The program makes it difficult and costly to diversify the crops a farmer grows and to grow cover crops. Regenerative farmers need all the support they can get, especially new farms or those that are newly transitioning to regenerative practices! Find out if you have any regenerative farms in your area here and reach out to see if they need volunteers. Many of them do, and if you volunteer, you’ll be making a difference, having fun and learning a lot!

Try out the Kiss the Ground Take Action quiz and go from there

Kiss the Ground has a great resource for you to find steps you can take that are suited to your interests. They have a lot of areas of interest including fashion, education and business. Try it out and see what action steps they suggest!

Avoid laying salt down on icy sidewalks

Salt that is used as a deicer doesn’t just go away when the snow melts; it ends up in our waterways (another serious problem) and our soil. Salt can have a hugely negative effect on soil structure, texture, PH, and water retention. Too much salt can leave soil unable to support plants. There are several eco-friendly alternatives to salt as a deicer, and keeping your sidewalks shoveled as much as possible is always an important first line of defense!

Educate yourself, then spread the word!

There are so many great resources out there to learn more about regenerative agriculture. Spend some time reading, watching and listening, then share with your friends about why it’s important and what they can do!

If you are ready to learn more about regenerative agriculture, the first place I would start is watching the Kiss the Ground documentary. It’s chilling and informative and inspiring; I truly can’t recommend it enough. Beyond that, here are some resources that I love and have learned from:

Books

Kiss the Ground, Josh Tickell

The Soil Will Save Us, Kristin Ohlson 

Diet for a Hot Planet, Anna Lappe

Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture, Gabe Brown

Podcasts and online resources

Kiss the Ground is not just a film and a book, it’s also a nonprofit organization! Their website is full of YoutTube videos, articles, and other resources. They have a podcast that is great, as well. Check out their website.

The Regenerative Agriculture Podcast

Green American has some great information, as well! Find it here.

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