WHAT IS REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE?
Regenerative organic agriculture refers to farming practices that improve biodiversity and soil quality.
Based in the philosophy that the health of the environment determines the health of human kind, regenerative organic agriculture aims to heal the Earth, leaving it in better condition than originally found. Through farming practices that exceed organic, regenerative practices not only transform soil health, but also the health of the farmers, communities, and the surrounding environment.
USDA Organic standards form the foundation of regenerative practices and steer clear of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, and genetically modified ingredients.
USDA Organic Standards:
Maintain or enhance water and soil quality
• By adding compost, animal manures, or green manures and avoiding synthetic fertilizers and sewage sludge.
Protect from wind and water erosion
• By use of cover crops, conservation tillage, crop rotation, and counter plowing.
Maintain the Integrity of organic crops
• By land being free from prohibited pesticides, fertilizers, and materials for three years prior to the cultivation of organic crops.
• By avoiding irradiation and genetic engineering.
REGENERATIVE FARMING PRACTICES
Regenerative agriculture is the next logical evolution of farming standards, enriching soil quality and communities alike. Regenerative farming emulates nature’s brilliant diversity and treats each farm as a unique ecosystem. This is accomplished using comprehensive soil fertility management, crop protection and rotation, and by minimizing energy inputs. This holistic approach to farming creates a self-sustaining system, as ecosystems are in nature.
Regenerative practices can decrease greenhouse gas emissions by increasing organic carbon stocks in the soil and by minimizing energy inputs. Plants pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester it into the soil. Regenerative farming practices keep that carbon in the ground, promoting healthy topsoil, or humus, in which microbes and fungi can thrive.
Conservation Tillage, Cover Crops and Crop Rotation
Conservation tillage improves soil structure, cover crops aid additional carbon and nitrogen fixation, and crop rotations increase soil biodiversity. That is not all these systems accomplish, each regenerative practice has multiple functions. For instance, cover crops also protect the soil from wind erosion, promote weed management and rainwater infiltration.
Healthy soil is a sponge for water. Regenerative practices improve water infiltration and retention in the soil. This mitigates runoff and erosion while recharging ground water.
Regenerative practices also improve farm profitability, maintain yields, and revitalize traditional farming communities while ensuring biodiversity and resilience of ecosystem services.
At ORGANIC INDIA, our farming practices promote connection and harmony to all life forms above and below the soil.
Our regenerative farming practices include:
- Seed Preservation – seeds are preserved from crop to crop, ensuring consistency and complete seed-to-shelf control.
- Biodiversity – variety in crops increase resilience and contributes to each farm operating as a self-sufficient ecosystem.
- Water Conservation – rainwater harvesting and conservation techniques provide a water source during the dry season and mitigates excess use of resources.
- Comprehensive Soil Fertility Management - regenerative practices, such as crop rotations with nitrogen-fixing plants, replenish lost soil nutrients. Healthy soil can absorb water much more effectively, which mitigates erosion. This also provides additional crops for income!
- Conservation Tillage – Soil is one of the largest carbon sinks on the planet. By minimizing tilling, the carbon captured by topsoil stays there. Soil is lightly tilled by farm animals grazing the fields, which fosters carbon sequestration.
- Compost - maintained on-site, contributing to each farm’s self- sufficiency
- Following Natural Rhythms - Planting and harvesting according to the lunar cycle.
ORGANIC INDIA Farms & Farmers
We work with thousands of small family farmers in India to cultivate tens of thousands of acres of sustainable farmland. ORGANIC INDIA supplies all required financial fees for farmers to acquire the necessary farming certifications. We always purchase the harvested crops and herbs at a premium market price. The farmers we work with are educated in organic and regenerative agricultural practices, which are similar to that of traditional Indian farming techniques. Many of the traditional Indian farming techniques (Vrishka Ayurveda) have been lost since the introduction of industrialized farming. Teaching our farmers these traditional methods and taking them back to their farming roots restores their faith in the tradition and further strengthens the farming communities. The result is thriving farms and communities working in a way that benefits the farmers, their villages and families, our consumers, and the planet.
ORGANIC INDIA & Regenerating Communities
Regeneration doesn’t stop with protecting and restoring the earth. We are regenerating and revitalizing communities through social programs, access to clean water, health care and job skills programs that empower and support marginal farmers, under-valued women, their families and communities.
- ORGANIC INDIA empowers, trains, and employs women and widows in a culture where gender equality is atypical. Communities are taught gender-sensitization and women and widows are paid equal wages to men.
- Clean water access is provided to communities where water has been virtually unavailable or not potable.
- Toilets and septic systems are installed to remedy unsafe and unhygienic waste situations.
- Solar panels are installed where people often have no access to electricity. This allows children to study at night and gives adults the opportunity to pursue income-generating or self-improvement activities.
- ORGANIC INDIA provides health care, including treating injuries and illnesses and providing prenatal and well-baby care, to many communities.
- Healthcare educators travel to villages and teach proper hygiene, skin care, pre-natal and infant care.
- Job skills programs help people build marketable skills, which allow them to increase their income.
This year, celebrate Earth Day by supporting your local organic and regenerative farmers!
Marisa Merola, B.A ENVS.
Marisa graduated cum laude from the University of Colorado-Boulder in Environmental Studies with a minor in Environmental Design. She is an advocate for regenerative food systems, sustainable design, and herbal medicine. Marisa is permaculture design certified and has experience working on regenerative landscape projects, local farms, and organic gardens. This girl is not afraid to get her hands dirty! Most recently, Marisa pursues her passions for Ayurvedic herbs, regeneration, and sustainability as part of the Customer Care, Training, and Marketing teams at ORGANIC INDIA USA. If you call our USA office, you’re likely to speak with Marisa!