Eco-logical Farming Handbook

How to skillfully adopt regenerative practices

Using regenerative agriculture, we reduce fertiliser and other input costs, crop losses from pests, diseases and extreme weather, take carbon out of the atmosphere, and have the joy of bringing Nature back to our farms.

The challenge has been - how to do it.

There are so many different schemes coming under the regenerative agriculture umbrella - Climate-Smart Agriculture, Conservation Agriculture, Evergreen Agriculture, Agricology, Agroecology, Ecological farming, Natural farming, Zero Input Farming - that it is confusing.

Search for practical resources, and you’ll usually find lists of off-the-shelf practices, like cover cropping, no-till and bio-fertilisers, rather than an explanation of what we need to regenerate.

The Eco-logical Farming Handbook is different.

By identifying the ecological principles that underpin regenerative practices used around the world, the message is actually quite simple - get the ecological functions in your production systems operating again. Particularly, your nutrient cycles, water cycles, solar energy capture, and functional biodiversity.

What does this mean for you?

Understanding the eco-logical principles, you confidently develop the best regenerative practices for your climate, other growing conditions, and production systems, as well as markets, finances, family and lifestyle. Links to videos, showing the experiences of leading farmers, and a comprehensive tools inventory are provided to help you.

Bringing back these FREE ecological services to your farm you:

  1. Grow nutritious and chemical-free food
  2. Boost production in good times
  3. Reduce set-backs when the weather plays up
  4. Give insect pests a smaller share of your produce.
  5. Develop opportunities to grow additional products within your production systems

And what’s more, you'll supply vital ecosystem services – biodiversity, carbon sequestration, flood mitigation, and reduced fertiliser, pesticide and sediment runoff. Not because you have been lucky enough to receive a grant or incentive payment (although these are always useful) – because these services are supplied naturally as by-products from repairing the ecological infrastructure on our farms.

Does this sound too good to be true?

As you will see from the research and farmer-led innovation in the Handbook - there is plenty of evidence demonstrating the benefits of using this eco-logical approach to regenerative agriculture.

Are you ready to try this easier way to grow?

Get started now!

Price: AU $58 - including delivery

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Need more information? Then read on…

Why this eco-logical approach to regenerative agriculture makes sense

Benefit from the FREE ecological services Nature provides

By looking closely at the ecological principles that underpin successful regenerative practices used around the world, the message for farmers and other food growers is actually quite simple - get the ecological functions in your production systems operating again.

Particularly, your nutrient cycles, water cycles, solar energy capture, and functional biodiversity.

Organic matter, soil carbon, water infiltration into the soil, and biodiversity are important metrics, but we need to get our agro-ecosystems ‘tuned up’ and running for these to improve.

Most soils, for example, don’t show the customary indicators of soil degradation – salinity, erosion and compaction. But are degraded because they lack functional nutrient recycling systems and soil structural engineers building soil promoting root growth and healthy soil ecosystems. Working with dysfunctional soils has become the norm.

When farmers get their soil ecosystems functioning again, soil tests show increased plant nutrient availability. Farmers use less or zero inputs of fertilisers. Costs of production go down, without sacrificing yields - quite the opposite. As soil scientists state, it is not that nutrients are lacking in our soil, what is lacking is the biology to make these nutrients available.

A reliable pathway to follow

You will understand and then tackle your critical issues using the eco-logical principles to develop solutions that work well for you.

Established regenerative practices then become the source and inspiration for your ideas, rather than recipes to follow.

Trialing different techniques, sharing and learning with your neighbours, you'll take giant steps forward, rather than finding yourself backing off each time the recipes don’t work well for you.

Farmer-led innovation at it’s best!

Nature contributes innovation and technology

While sectors in agribusiness promote agri-tech like genetically modified crops to reduce pest and disease problems and precision agriculture to reduce soil compaction, farmers restoring the  ecological operations in their production systems  make the real technological advances in farming.

They use the expertise Nature has developed over 3 billion years to create agro-ecosystems that are easy to maintain and highly productive - using the energy and resources they have available. Which are resilient and bounce back from impacts of extreme weather events.

Everything we want for our farms.

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Wiro bound hardcover

ISBN 9780646987149

Leave your tractor in the shed. Give the job of making good soil structure to the experts – your soil organisms.

Save money on commercial pest controls with a team of technologically advanced, highly motivated insect and bird pest controllers.

Give soil organisms the job of managing your fertiliser regime.

Sustainably intensify your production by growing more with extra solar panels.

"This beautifully produced book presents really practical ‘hands-on’ information for farmers wishing to improve both the overall productivity and the sustainability of their land.

Dr Seabrook draws on the experiences of farmers around the world and her own at Hill Top Farm in tropical Australia, where she is transforming degraded land into fertile pastures and multi-layered production systems. The effects are dramatic.

She emphasises the need for individual farmers to think about what they want to accomplish, and then use eco-logical principles to achieve it.

The Handbook shows us how to work with nature to improve soil fertility, minimise pests and diseases, reduce the impacts of drought and so to maximise production - all this, without reliance on expensive agrichemicals. 

This farmer-friendly, wildlife-friendly, and climate-friendly approach is applicable around the globe from resource-poor smallholders to large-scale enterprises."

Prof Roger Leakey, Vice President of International Tree Foundation, former Professor of Agroecology and Sustainable Development at JCU Cairns, and former Director of Research at The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).

"The great thing about the Handbook - we are on a journey and understand where we want to go."

Martin Lines, UK Chair, Nature Friendly Farming Network.

Frequently asked questions

Will this approach work in my climate?

Farmers from the cold north of Scotland to the hot, sultry tropics and arid landscapes of Africa use this eco-logical approach to regenerative agriculture and agroecology. The ecological principles are the same. Tools, techniques and species differ as growers adapt these practices to their climate.

Does the size of my property matter?

Size doesn't matter. Smallholders, market and community gardeners and farms with large-scale crop operations are improving their soils and reducing crop losses by repairing their ecological infrastructure.

Will it work with what I grow?

There are orchardists, dairy farmers, market gardeners, grain producers, grazers, and even hydroponic growers already getting amazing results. The ecological principles are the same. Farmers choose suitable practices for their production systems.

Will my yields drop?

Farmers often experience higher and more reliable yields. With less impacts from pests and diseases and fewer crop losses during tough times. They also create opportunities to sustainably intensify their production by stacking new enterprises within their existing production systems.

Superb value

You get much more than a repackaged list of regenerative agricultural practices.

The Ecological Farming Handbook gives you the know-how to use regenerative agriculture on your farm. With this handbook you’ll benefit from over 10 years of research:

  1. Clarifying the priorities for regeneration
  2. Translating these key ecological functions, and the eco-logical principles used to repair them into an easily digestible farmer-friendly format
  3. Collating and validating an inventory of practices and design templates

What does this mean for you?

The hard work is done!  You'll competently repair and then maintain the ecological operations in your production systems, by choosing the best tools for the job. To help you do this, the eco-logic is explained and an inventory of tools and design templates provided as source and inspiration for your ideas.

Your production systems will be firing on all cylinders!

Extra Bonuses

1. Links to videos showing what farmers achieve

2. Inventory of tools and design templates

3. 20% off our 'GrowMap' publication

Why I am passionate about getting this resource on regenerative agriculture to farmers

Having worked with farmers for over 30 years promoting sustainable and organic agriculture - and being a farmer myself – I know it's fantastic to find a way to improve the viability of our businesses that also improves our environment!

When I moved to Hill Top Farm, fourteen years ago, I wanted to an easier way to grow. I was fed up with my low income and all the time consuming chores.

As an ecologist, looking at how farmers mimic the ways natural ecosystems handle plant nutrition, droughts, pest and disease management, and so on, made sense.

But, copying the practices other farmers used wasn’t necessarily the best thing to do. I needed to understand why what they did worked. Then I could find suitable practices for my conditions. The eco-logical principles in the Handbook were developed as a result.

It has been an exciting journey - learning from on-farm practical experiences and observations, other growers, presentations at conferences, workshops, scientific papers...

Trialing new techniques is not always smooth sailing! But making the change we see the benefits, and I no longer spend most my time mowing, mulching, weeding and spreading compost…

It's amazing what we can achieve by learning from Nature!             > Wendy's credentials

 

  • Reduce fertiliser costs – feeding your plants with a functioning nutrient recycling system

  • Boost production - growing more photosynthetic panels

  • Drought and water-proof your farm – with a functioning water cycle

  • Reduce labour and pest control costs - creating functional biodiversity and other beneficial connections

  • Create opportunities to sustainably intensify your production

Price: AU $58 - including delivery

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This product is sold by and securely delivered via FastSpring and Printondemand-worldwide - environmental award winning printers.

Published by Learning from Nature - supplying publications direct so they are affordable and printed-on-demand  so they remain up-to-date - Hill Top Farm - working with Nature Pty Ltd

Wiro bound hardcover

ISBN 9780646987149  26/4/2019

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