We invite you to come on a magical wonderful journey with us as we attempt to make regenerative change comfortable.
Regenerative Agriculture should be a household name along with carbon and soil just like chocolate. It should be a standard lesson in the school yards and a common knowledge amongst people of the world. Regenerative Agriculture is to date, the largest underground movement in history and yet hardly anyone knows about it. But the time is right to now change that. And to solve the drought crisis - we must.
We as a charity are a unique (some would say nonsensical) partnership between farmers, accountants, artists, astrologists, marine biologists, foodies, experts, nomads and our youth- all passionate about solving the impact of drought. As farmers ourselves living in rural Australia, we started to focus on the crisis in early 2018 as it began effecting us personally. We were seeking real long term, sustainable solutions that could have a high impact in reversing the endless cycle of drought. Our aim was to get the farmer, their families and their communities out of the drought better than when they went in.
We looked at what causes drought and what fixes drought. Our conclusions were simple but profound for most farmers of the world – particularly in Australia. Increase carbon in the soil (organic matter) and soil starts acting like a sponge that holds water. Decrease the carbon and the soil can’t hold water and that creates drought. Now is that not easy to understand? That national drought assistance without exception should be going into supporting Australian farmers to increase the carbon in their soil. If we were able to achieve getting our farmers to understand this, we could in 50 years be looking at a Regenerated Nation – capable of developing leaders in many fields and champions of world policy. Put simply, our children and grand-children would be thriving.
SO WE INVESTIGATED ...
So we investigated Australia’s drought stricken agricultural land (NSW/QLD) to get an average idea of current carbon levels. 100 years ago, we comfortably sat at 12-15% in much of our richest farming land. But what are we today? The average, in areas of heavily farmed land came back at between 0.5 and 1.5%. Which visually looks like the dry, cracked, hard, caked ground typical of current drought images. Think of an average backyard swimming pool - 1% would roughly equate to the ground being able to hold the equivalent water of about ¼ of a swimming pool. If you increase the carbon (organic matter) to 5% it can hold 1.5 swimming pools and at 8% it can hold the equivalent of almost 3 swimming pools. 3 swimming pools to a mere ¼ of one is a huge difference in rainwater storage. (for illustrative purposes only)
As we increase the carbon we improve the diversity of the ground and all those lovely new roots tunnel their way through the soil creating a rich chain of micro-organisms. The insect life, bird life, animal life and plant life come back and the reliance on harmful chemicals dramatically decreases until organic is natural and makes the most cents. Which means the food chain becomes rich in nutrients and dense in life-giving forces. A vast number of disease and health issues would be eradicated and the whole population would start to feel better than they ever have. Food would be medicine.
Now we knew the cause of drought and know the solution our next challenge was how to educate everyone so that it made cents to financially back the farmers as they march courageously into the future and transition to Regenerative Agriculture? Changing generations of farming practices in the middle of massive financial hardship is a lot to ask a farmer out on the land doing it tough. But without providing our farmers with the resources to make the change drought would definitively continue and absolutely get worse. Whether it rains or not. No carbon means permanent drought conditions. It is simple biology. And in 2019 we are almost below 1%.
THE NATIONAL REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE DAY
We launched #NRAD The National Regenerative Awareness Day on Valentine’s Day so we could literally hijack your heart. We aim that Valentine’s Day in Australia will become synonymous with the word Regenerative Agriculture. Getting our schools and foodies tapped into RA. From the launch of Australia’s first Regenerative Agriculture Day we started forming partnerships and alliances with organisations that are already well established in the Regenerative space. From here we looked for a way to get Regenerative Agriculture into the School Education System and concurrently to the broader public.
And a new funding platform – CARBON8. We have collaborated with organisations around the world on our very own CARBON8 - a fundraising platform to enable farmers to make the changes necessary to increase their carbon.
The resources typically required are fences for Holistic Grazing, farming equipment for no-till farming, seeds to increase ground cover and biodiversity, trees for planting and a modest but consistent income to maintain and assist the running of the farm business and provide help on the land. It’s not as quick and simple as buying a bale of hay or sending food packages – this is a complete farm transition and an entirely new education around farming one’s way out of drought. It requires regular and consistent backup for a few years – much akin to sponsoring a starving child in Africa - It’s ongoing, long-term and has to be sustainable.
This is a subscription based platform that asks Australians to sign up for $8 a month for 1, 2 or 3 years. With the aim of sponsoring Australia’s farmers to increase their soil carbon to 8%. With an $8 monthly subscription farmers are given a financial incentive to increase the carbon. $8 a hectare for every % they increase. Ongoing long-term sustainable support. It’s the first platform of its kind in operation in Australia (launching on the 14th feb 2019) created for farmers by farmers who are all working in service to Australia and ready to evolve. This platform stands independent from government support or political parties. It’s a direct chain between the sponsors – the charity – and the farmers.
But how do we get Australia excited about sponsoring their farmers to increase the carbon when most people don’t know what carbon is let alone regenerative farming and find the words agriculture dry and irrelevant to them?
Well we think we have found an answer ...