Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that focuses on restoring the health of the soil. Farmers who practice regenerative agriculture operate on the principle that soil is a living thing and that caring for the soil is the key to farm productivity. To improve the health of the soil, regenerative farmers turn to the natural environment as inspiration and try to minimise soil disturbance and chemical interference as much as possible.
This unit casts students in the role of regenerative growers. Regenerative growers grow food in a way that looks after the soil, water and biodiversity. This includes countryside regenerative farmers, backyard regenerative gardeners, or urban regenerative farmers growing food on balconies and rooftops in the city. People who grow food (growers) are some of the most important people in our world because they produce the food we all need to survive. They need to do it in a way that means we can keep producing enough food for everyone into the future; this means not damaging the environment in how we grow food.
An essential part of being a regenerative grower is looking after the soil. Our farming practices for food and fibres depend on good quality soil that is not degraded over time. While poor soil can be boosted with fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, these chemicals have a flow-on impact to the surrounding environment. Part of being a grower is understanding the elements you are working with and how they all interact. When we say elements here, we mean things like soil, water, air, plants and animals. Science has helped us to understand all these elements by studying all the elements individually and then looking at how they work together.
In this unit, students will put on their grower's hats and gloves and explore why soil is so important and how we can look after it.