Sharing Skills

Regenerative Farming

and the planet!

We now know that the health of our soil is very important for growing food, withstanding extremes of weather and to combat climate change.

Find out more about the importance of soil from the Soil Association.

More farmers are trying regenerative farming methods to improve their soil, hold onto the moisture in the soil, to introduce more wildlife, and to reduce the amount of fertilisers and pesticides they use.

Processes include:

  • Rotating crops
  • Limiting soil disturbance
  • Planting low level plants in between crops to cover the soil, to hold onto and provide nutrients and moisture to the soil.
  • Using animals to clear the field instead of ploughing and disturbing the soil.
  • Adding more trees and hedges to the boundary to provide wildlife, add shade and the roots hold onto nutrients and improve the soil.
  • Adding a season to the rotation for growing a mixture of plants that are beneficial to the soil instead of crops.

The Guardian explains regenerative agriculture.

Farmers Weekly: Is regenerative agriculture the future?

A beautiful explanation of regenerative farming by Maggie Eileen and Kiss the Ground.

The difference between regenerative farming and organic farming.

Many of the two farming methods are similar or the same. Regenerative agriculture uses a ‘no-till’ method meaning no ploughing of the soil which keeps carbon in the ground and preserves the soil structure. The farmer can use chemicals to keep the weeds down, but may not necessarily use them.

In organic agriculture the farmer may plough the land to get rid of weeds and will not use artificial pesticides or fertilisers on the land. There isn’t an accreditation for regenerative agriculture in this country so the consumer cannot buy food knowing this is how it’s grown unless bought straight from the farm.

Riverford: about regeneration.

The Soil Association: about organic farming

Rules for organic agriculture:

  • No artificial pesticides or fertilisers
  • Exceptional standards of animal welfare (better than free range!)
  • No genetically modified (GM) ingredients or animal feeds
  • No routine use of antibiotics
  • Free from artificial preservatives and colours
  • There are strict rules for food to be labelled as organic. Farms are inspected and certified.

Farmers using regenerative or organic farming methods find that once this is established ( which does take a couple of years or more), they have found this way of farming improves soil health, reduces the amount of chemicals needed and returns biodiversity to their farms.


Monoculture means growing only one type of crop in a large area.

Monoculture – miles of one crop

There are many farming benefits to this:

  • Maximum yields of crop
  • Less maintenance
  • Less types of machinery needed
  • Can use crops more suitable for the area
  • Easier to treat pests, diseases and weeds
  • Easier to harvest
  • Easier to sell

Disadvantages of monoculture:

  • Destroys the soil and its nutrients
  • Loss of wildlife including beneficial insects
  • More pest build up so more chemicals are needed
  • After harvest, the chemicals remain in the soil and pollute groundwater or run into rivers during rainy weather.
  • More fertilizers need to be added to the soil to artificially improve soil health
  • More water is needed because of poor soil health

Further resources

Kiss the Ground – film and website: Awakening people to the possibilities of regeneration.

Food documentary: The Need to Grow – A film about how we need to look after our soil, trailer and more about the film.

Watch the film for free – The Need to Grow – film

More documentaries and films – WaterBear Films


Regenesis – George Mombiot

Dirt to Soil – Gabe Brown

No dig gardening – Charles Dowding