Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Opening my eyes to Regenerative Agriculture the beginning of our story

The beginnings in 2016 the first attempt of growing food differently
I've always been in love with nature and its diverse array of plant and animal life. My father was an avid reader of National Geographic magazine. Those monthly magazines with the yellow border provided a picture window into places we have never seen before. At school I learned about the connections between organisms in the web of life and the meaning of biodiversity within an ecosystem. Last year I watched the outstanding documentary Symphony of the Soil and it changed me just that bit more. I went outside and gazed around at the degraded land I owned. Trampled by cattle and horses over the years. Herbicided and compacted until it only grew just the hardiest of weeds. It made me realise I was literally treating my soil like dirt. Without the soil nothing can grow, and if nothing can grow, then we cannot survive.

Grape Harvest March 2016 Heritage Grape Variety 'Bishop Pompallier'
Something had to change in the way I was doing things. So I turned towards permaculture as a way to take better care of my little piece of Northland paradise in the heart of dairy country. I've started from scratch breaking the surface of the hard dry clay that is my soil, then feeding it manure from my five horses, layering with dried weeds, cut up rushes and scraps from the kitchen. The funds are non-existent ( I'm under-employed) but through this my determination just continues to grow. No sprays, no artificial fertilisers, just the grubber to take out the weeds and add them into the beginnings of the nutrient cycle. Feed the soil that in turn provides strength to the plants and onto ourselves. This is my story to tell from the first moment I made the decision to start a venture growing good local food, whilst at the same time taking care of the earth and giving back to others. My journey is only just beginning there is a lot of hard work ahead creating a dream that is both sustainable and beneficial for all. Permaculture is based on three ethics Care of the Earth, Care of People and Fair Share. We've got far too many people in New Zealand going without good food. It's time we changed that disparity starting with a change in the way we grow our food. Local food is good food and the local food movement is growing year by year. I hope for something better for myself, my family, community and for the environment. We only have one planet. Now it's time we took steps to take much better care of it though sustainable eco-friendly practices so we all benefit from the positive results regenerative agriculture brings. Here's to a great adventure ahead

Liz aka the Mad Bush Farmer
Maungaturoto in the Kaipara District, Northland New Zealand

You can read about our family life on the farm since 2008 onwards until 2016 on Mad Bush Farm