Much of the world's industrial food production can be regarded as extractive but agriculture can, in fact, be a power for regeneration and environmental renewal, including reversing climate change.
Many VFMA producers approach their farming with a regenerative mindset, including Blampied free range beef and pork producers Natalie Hardy and Jono Hurst. Brooklands Free Range Farms sells locally and in farmers' markets. Apart from a select number of restaurants such as Annie Smithers' Du Fermier in Trentham, their production is almost entirely direct-to-consumer.
Grazing livestock and approaching their work with intelligence and sensitivity, Natalie and Jono have raised their farm's soil carbon to an impressive 5.8 per cent. This supports an array of pasture species feeding animals and soil microbes, and at the same time increases the farm's resistant to drought.
"Increasing soil organic carbon is the best way to mitigate climate change and to ensure food security," a recent academic study on soil and climate change found. Natalie adds: "Regenerative farming is not a science, it's a way of life. You have to live it."
Combine regenerative farming practices with short supply chains and you've got a recipe for environmental recovery. This is quality beyond just flavour and something you can find at all our markets. See you at a farmers' market this coming week!