Minnesota farmer goes beyond organic to regenerative agriculture
Published: December 6, 2018
Category: Organic News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
For Minnesota farmer Luke Peterson, diversity’s role in ecosystem health became clear working on prairie restoration. But later as a conventional farmer, drowning in “the politics behind seed, synthetic fertilizer and pesticide sales,” he saw diversity was sorely missing. He wondered if he was a farmer, or a pawn for Big Agriculture.
Transitioning his 80-acre family farm to organic introduced him to crop rotation, seed sourcing, tillage and grazing practices, and weed control. Now Peterson wants to go beyond organic to regenerative agriculture, to transform the food system to directly impact economies, communities, and the nutritional quality of food.
He is hesitant to define regenerative agriculture, fearing it could limit or compartmentalize the concept. He considers it a “way of thinking that is…holistic, open and alive.” The model prioritizes soil health and working in harmony with, not dominating, the land. It places the farm at the center—its impact ripples out to the local environment, then the community and world beyond.
Peterson mixes crops, including wheat, yellow corn, barley, alfalfa, soybeans, and cover crops. Letting plants decompose in the soil locks in carbon, lessens climate impacts, and provides nutrients to animals and microorganisms. He also uses pollinator strips to attract insects.
To view full article, visit: