Regenerative farming is alive and well at Red House Ranch.
There's a lot of buzz these days about regenerative agriculture.
To us at Red House Ranch, it's an old fashioned notion that mimics the way our grandparents farmed when they used horses instead of tractors. They used manure for fertilizer. That's all.
Regenerative farming refers to specific actions designed to breathe new life into soil that's been depleted by consistent plowing, erosion, application of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and mono-crops.
While the farmland here at Red House Ranch has not been plowed nor has it seen the use of any industrial chemicals in over 40 years, our business requires continual improvement of the soil. Our regenerative farming methods include the use of composted manure from our laying hens as well as rotational grazing of cattle, hogs, and systematically moving our hen houses over the fields.
In the photo attached to this post Dave loads composted chicken manure into our spreader. Spreading creates a plume of poop that may seem gross to some, but the manure left behind by our laying hens every winter become valuable nutrition for the soil.
Once the hens have been moved to pasture for the summer we compost the manure left behind with wood chips before spreading on our fields. Because the manure has been composted there is very little odor to this process. It is unlike anything you might have smelled when industrial farms spread straight liquid manure on their fields.
Chicken manure is rich in essential plant nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and others. In addition to elemental nutrients, composted manure adds a tremendous amount of microbial life to the soil - both fungal and bacterial organisms.
Regenerative farming means nourishing the soil - feeding the soil with microbes. This is a fundamental part of improving soil fertility which produces greener, richer, more nutritious pastures for our animals and ultimately, more nutrient density in food for humans.
We're thrilled to be a part of this global trend and when you spend your food dollars on local, clean food produced with regenerative farming methods, you become a part of this movement, too.
To learn more about regenerative farming practices check out these additional resources: