It is easy to forget that once upon a time all agriculture was organic, grassfed, and regenerative.
Seed saving, composting, fertilizing with manure, polycultures, no-till and raising livestock entirely on grass—all of which we associate today with sustainable food production—was the norm in the “old days” of merely a century ago. And somehow we managed to feed ourselves and do so in a manner that followed nature’s model of regeneration.
"Farming like water and soil and land matter. Farming like clean air matters. Farming like human health, animal health and ecosystem health matters."
We all know what happened next: the plow, the tractor, fossil fuels, monocrops, nitrogen fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, feedlots, animal byproducts, e. coli, CAFOs, GMOs, erosion, despair—practices and conditions that most Americans today think of as “normal,” when they think about agriculture at all.
Fortunately, a movement to rediscover and implement “old” practices of bygone days has risen rapidly, abetted by innovations in technology, breakthroughs in scientific knowledge, and tons of old-fashioned, on-the-ground problem-solving.