You know what they say about motherhood: there's a million ways to be be a good mom? Farming is almost the same way!
There's so many different ways to do things on a farm and many of them are good ways.
But all the words and labels can become confusing and you might wonder, why would someone choose to do it the way they are?
What exactly does regenerative farming mean? Is pastured pork, pastured chicken and grassfed beef better? Is there another way to do it? What about those labels that say grassfed and finished. What does THAT mean?
I hope to break that down a bit more in future posts and discuss some of these labels. I welcome questions and comments you might have!
In my last post, I mentioned Jesse's passion for soil health. Someone once asked him a question that really clarified it for him. "Do you have the cattle for the pasture or the pasture for the cattle?"
His answer to that reveals his understanding of this and the direction we've chosen to go! He has the cattle for the pasture. He understands that as cattle move through a field and eat grass, they will also be adding value back to the soil through the manure and urine they produce. Cattle are absolutely amazing in that they can take grasses, which once they reach maturity no longer absorb carbon, chew them down, and allow the grasses to once again absorb carbon while they grow back up again.
But not only that, through the digestive system of cattle, they break down those grasses, turn them into muscle meat in their body, and the side product of that process is manure and urine that ends up back in the soil! Nurturing those same grasses it started from!
Cattle are their own best manure spreaders and when I begin to understand this beautiful, never-ending cycle, my admiration for something like cattle (and God's natural designs) only increases!
Because that is not all! As these soils are nurtured and fertilized by the natural processes of cattle, they start to attract bugs and microscopic microbes that live in the soil, break down that manure, bringing value to the soil and the whole process starts all over!
It's similar to how humans have a digestive system with trillions of different gut bacteria. Soil is the same way and every bug has a purpose.
In short, we farm the way we do to nurture this soil bacteria because if you have healthy soil you can produce healthy food that produces healthy people!