“Regenerative Agriculture” is an approach to farming that focuses on the regeneration of soil health rather than just maximizing crop yields. Using techniques such as cover cropping, crop rotation, and reduced tillage, soil’s organic matter and biodiversity can increase. This can lead to improved water retention, increased nutrient uptake, and less need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Additionally, regenerative agriculture often incorporates practices that promote the well-being of farm animals and the local ecosystem. It is a sustainable method of agriculture that aims to restore the land and create resilient farm systems.
In part 2 of Agrihub’s 7-part video series, Host Dan Cloutier, Director of Regenerative Agriculture, explores vertical growing opportunities for farms and fisheries.
Farms today are producing more than ever thanks to the green revolution which introduced high-yielding varieties of crops. The Green Revolution initially led to a significant increase in food production, especially in developing countries, but it also led to negative impacts on the environment and human health. Today, our soil is in crisis. The components of our soil lack organic matter, and it can’t hold water and nutrients as it used to.
With the ability to farm vertically, acres of land can be replaced with one structure while providing food daily with no dependence on the weather and reducing the use of natural resources.
When comparing hydroponic-based vertical farming to regular pasture farming, the differences couldn’t be starker. The fodder growth cycle on a pasture depends on rainfall, whereas at a vertical farm is 7-8 days. The crop type grown on a pasture is mainly grass. The crops that are grown on a vertical farm list of fodder, maize, wheat, barley, herbs, and microgreens. Pastures also require a lot of land and water, whereas vertical farms need far less of both.
Aquaponics is a method of farming that combines aquaculture (the raising of fish or other aquatic animals) with hydroponics. Aquaponics is a sustainable and efficient farming method as it uses less water and land than traditional agriculture. An aquaponic closed-loop system reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides as it uses animal waste for fertilizer. Additionally, it is a way to produce fish and plants simultaneously in a small space, using fewer resources and reducing the carbon footprint.
These farming methods aim to create as much farmed space as possible while leaving as much land as possible for the environment.
Here are the key topics covered in part two:
- The relentless math of land 1:15
- Grōv vertical farm towers 9:18
- Comparison of major fodder and feed solutions 10:45
- Benefits of aquaponics 15:18
- Land-based aquaponic recycling cultivation and zero-emissions systems 20:40
- Integrating building system solutions 22:46
This post is sponsored by Agro Resilience Kit (ARK Ltd). Agro Resilience Kit (ARK Ltd) supports entrepreneurs, organizations, and communities with sustainable food & energy production systems. By closing the loop and leveraging agile frameworks, the company helps businesses grow organically and cultivate a consumer-first mindset. Offering a variety of solutions from Aquaponics systems to Concentrated Solar Boilers, ARK has a track record of successful projects putting forward sustainable practices. Find out more here.
Image provided by Jatuphon Buraphon