Growing healthy food doesn’t need to be such hard work

Functional biodiversity in eco-orchard - energy and nutrients used efficiently
Alleys grow extra layers of solar panels and improve microclimate at Hill Top Farm
Saving our energy - chickens making compost right where you need it
Grow living mulch instead of mulching. It's less work and better for our soils

Looking closely at the science behind grower-led innovation in regenerative agriculture, and ancient growing practices that have maintained soil fertility for generations - the message is simple.

We need to bring back Nature’s FREE ecological services to our gardens and farms.

To get the key ecological functions - nutrient and water cycles, solar energy capture, and functional biodiversity - running as well as our equipment and machinery! Bringing back these free ecological services, food growers reduce costs without sacrificing yields and grow nutritious food in low maintenance and resilient eco-systems. Ready to battle extreme weather.

We'll help you do this >

Using this ecological approach makes practical sense.

We use the expertise Nature has developed over 3 billion years to create ecosystems that are self-maintaining and highly productive - using the energy and resources they have available. Ecosystems that quickly bounce back from extreme weather.

Everything we want for our farms and gardens.

Take a look at the native vegetation in your region. It doesn’t need anyone to spread mulch, compost and other bio-fertilisers, control pests, weed or mow.

Makes economic sense.

There is enough data to demonstrate the financial benefits for farmers.

Input costs are reduced without sacrificing yields. In fact, often the reverse, as farmers and gardeners experience higher nutrient availability in their soils, and fewer impacts from pests, diseases and extreme weather events.

Makes sense for organisations supporting farmers and communities.

Farmers and gardeners supply important ecosystem services - biodiversity, carbon sequestration, flood mitigation, plus reduced fertiliser and sediment runoff. Not because they lucky enough to receive a grant or incentive payment (although these are always useful)!

These services are supplied naturally as by-products from repairing their ecological infrastructure.

Productive

Easy to maintain

Resilient

Sustainable

How we help.

In regenerative agriculture there are many techniques to choose from.

You need to find the techniques that regenerate your ecological infrastructure and work for your particular growing conditions, rather than following off-the-shelf practices. One-size-fits-all solutions don’t work well in gardens and farms that function ecologically.

We'll support you to:

  1. Understand the ecological principles (eco-logic) behind improving your ecological infrastructure
  2. Apply this new knowledge to develop solutions that well work for your particular climate and growing conditions
  3. Implement these improvements working with the resources in your ecosystem rather than imported ingredients

And you'll get off the treadmill that guarantees the manufacturers and suppliers of agricultural and gardening products a steady income!

> Are you ready to try this easier way to grow?

Get our toolkit of ecological practices.

How gardeners and farmers benefit from using this ecological approach

Broadacre producers are farming in ‘nature’s image’

Gabe Brown and family found the answer to their degraded soil was “to imitate a healthy, native rangeland ecosystem“.

They changed from a production model of fixed grazing, tillage, monocultures, synthetic chemicals, to one of zero tillage, diversity of crops, soil-building ecological support plants and grazing animals to feed soil biology. “I needed to farm and ranch in nature’s image. To work with nature instead of against it. Then we can get regeneration, and get back to supplying healthy foods.” “We average approximately 30% higher production  than the conventional farmers do in the county. We have more lbs of saleable products. Our products are more nutrient dense. We have a higher quality of life…. and we are storing a lot more carbon. Our profits are higher and most importantly we are regenerating the resource for future generations.”

North Dakota, USA

Less mowing has benefits

Sometimes the solution can be very simple. For example, orchards infrequently mowed develop permanent populations of beneficial insects. These natural enemies of pest species, are attracted to the flowering plants and abundant alternative prey.

No more mulching …

The orchard is one area of Dr. Wendy Seabrook’s farm that has been dramatically transformed using this ecological approach to regenerative farming.

“After several years of mulching and watching my trees still fight a losing battle against the competitive introduced African grasses, I replaced them with a ground cover of living mulch plants.

Using a mixture of ecological support plants I get additional ecological services as well as the organic matter and root exudates to support the growth of my fruit trees."

Hill Top Farm, Cooktown, Australia

Reversing degraded land and incomes through “nature teaching us”

For the owners of Knepp Castle in England, conventional agriculture had rapidly become a liability.

Fourteen years ago they embarked on a ‘re-wilding’ project across the 3,500-acre estate, dramatically changing their land management.

“We took on board the theory that grazing animals are key drivers of habitat generation and biodiversity in this landscape, and introduced Red deer, Fallow deer, Longhorn cattle, Exmore ponies and Tamworth pigs. These animals are proxies of some of the fauna that would have been present in the landscape. Roaming freely with minimal interference they have brought back biodiversity and we are proud to have 2% of the UKs Nightingale population.”

Culling livestock provides a new income stream. The meat is organic and they sell the ‘wild meat’ for top dollars.  Safaris and Glamping (glamorous camping), provide further income. Isabell Tree, one of the managers says “The joy of a project like Knepp is that Nature is teaching us, rather than us imposing our will on Nature and then wondering why it isn’t working”.

Sussex, England

Growing healthy food is easier with functioning soil

Have you ever visited a garden where the vegetables look extraordinarily healthy? Carol Laing’s veggies are like that.

The wonderful thing is that her soil tests demonstrate why. On her 600m2 block in tropical far north Queensland, Australia, Carol has transformed sandy soil into a dark, rich matrix of organic matter and soil aggregates. She has done it by growing layers of biomass accumulating food and ecological support plants.

Composting all her household and garden waste and kick-starting her soil restoration process by adding rock minerals, blood and bone, and biochar. Carol’s recent soil test shows that her soil is now a loam soil with a pH 6.9, and organic matter 6.8%. By comparison most farmers aspire to have 4% organic matter!

Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Who said food forest don’t produce much food?

A forest garden on the cold edge of Europe produces over one tonne of food on one-fifth of an acre (0.08 ha), with less that two days work a week. Graham Bell and his family started the garden 25 years ago, adding layers of vegetation, and over 150 food and ecological support plants.

“We have one chest freezer full of soft fruit by July and in the freezer room we dry apple rings and store marrows and pumpkins, which keep until May,” Graham said. “Jams, jellies, chutneys, pickles and fruit cheeses go into jars. We feed visitors on open days and have provided for permaculture events feeding up to 100 people on a day, half a dozen times this year”. “We are reminded daily that it is not the number of species that make the garden successful, but the web of complex relationships between all the elements in the system”.

The Red Shed, Scotland