Sign up for News & Updates

Regenerative Agriculture at Angelic Organics Learning Center

Soil Gazing

At Angelic Organics Learning Center, we are incredibly proud to practice and support Regenerative Agriculture. But what is regenerative agriculture? 

Regenerative agriculture is any means through which we increase the life and viability of our land through farming. Regeneration International, a leading global advocate for these practices, defines it this way: “‘Regenerative Agriculture’ refers to farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity. This results in both carbon drawdown and improved water infiltration and storage in soils.”

We tend to think of industrial farming as degenerative - as we farm on the land, the soil loses nutrients, pests and diseases become more common, microorganisms become less common, and the land is slower to recover from drought, flooding or harsh conditions. To deal with this, we add fertilizers, pesticides, and weed killers. Sustainable agriculture is a practice through which the viability of the soil is maintained as we farm on it. Nothing is lost, but nothing is gained either. Regenerative agriculture, by contrast, is actually so good for the land, that we actively generate more microorganisms, increase nutrients, and make the soil more resilient to harsh conditions by farming on it. An illustration of these concepts is graphed below.

What Practices are at Work at AOLC?
At Angelic Organics Learning Center, we started grazing a small herd of Scottish Highland cattle on the sloped southern pastures of our farm. At that time, we had flooding problems every spring when the snow melted and the mud would run downhill directly towards our barn and workshop building. After utilizing rotational grazing practices, the soil became healthier and healthier until it was absorbent enough to hold all the excess water, and significantly reduce the flooding issues we’ve had for years. And that’s just one example of how effective regenerative farming can be. 

Why is it Important?
We believe these practices, like rotational grazing, polyculture farming, composting, no-till farming, and silvopasture, are vital systems to promote, advocate for, and teach about. Top researchers on climate change at Project Drawdown have identified several agricultural practices as key to addressing our current climate crisis. We also know farmers are dealing with harsher conditions than ever, like intense flooding, drought, wildfires, and extreme cold. Engaging these practices will help solve global challenges, starting with those being directly impacted by them. 

The food system is the biggest system in our society, and if we change the way we eat and change the way we farm, we can literally change the world.

What Are We Doing About It?
We are members of Regeneration International, and we teach about regenerative agriculture through our various programs and initiatives. 

Our mission is not solely to promote regenerative agriculture. We’ve been advocating for farmers to have a seat at every table, and prominence in every community for the last 20 years. We believe an enduring partnership between farmers and eaters makes a brighter, stronger community. 

In this ever-changing world, we think regenerative agriculture is one of the most important topics to address today. With farmers facing unprecedented environmental challenges, and energized communities looking for solutions, regenerative agriculture is a key link between the two. 

We love to see campers learn about how farming can be good for the land, and paint a mural of microorganisms on our farm. We love to see AP environmental science students make connections between grazing cattle and sequestering carbon. And we love to see volunteers come out on a weekend to help with land restoration projects, and remember that food is nature.

What Can You Do About It?
You can support our work and our cause by signing up for a program at our farm, purchasing pasture meats which contribute directly to our regenerative agriculture systems, recommending us to a friend, or donating to us. 

You can learn more about regenerative agriculture from courses at Kiss the Ground, or on the Regeneration International website. You can also find everyday tasks you can do at home, including food and farming-related activities, that help address the climate crisis at Drawdown Ecochallenge. You can also continue to support small farmers as they grapple with environmental challenges by purchasing a CSA share, or shopping at your local farmers market.