Eco-logical Farming Handbook
There are so many different schemes that come under the regenerative agriculture umbrella, for instance – Climate-Smart Agriculture, Conservation Agriculture, Agroecology, and Zero Budget Farming, that it is confusing.
Search for practical resources, and you’ll find lists of practices like no-till, composting, bio-fertilisers, cover crops, and agroforestry...
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 - bring back Nature’s free ecological services to your farm. The ecological functions - nutrient cycles, water cycles, solar energy capture, and functional biodiversity provided by functioning agro-ecosystems.
What does this mean for you?
You confidently develop the best techniques for your growing conditions and production systems, as well as markets, finances, family and lifestyle. Established regenerative practices became the source and inspiration for your ideas, rather than recipes to follow.
Links to videos, showing the experiences of leading farmers, and a comprehensive tools inventory are provided in the Eco-logical Farming Handbook to help you.
Bringing back these FREE ecological services to your farm you:
- Grow nutritious and chemical-free food
- Boost production in good times and get less set-backs when the weather plays up
- Give insect pests a smaller share of your produce.
- Gain opportunities increase your income streams growing additional products within your existing 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?
In the Eco-logical Farming Handbook, there is plenty of evidence from research and farmer-led innovation demonstrating the benefits of this eco-logical approach to regenerative agriculture.
Are you ready to try this easier way to grow?
Why this eco-logical approach to regenerative agriculture makes sense
Lower production costs
Colin Seis has reduced his production costs by 75% by getting his nutrient cycling system functioning again. He uses 70% less fertiliser on crops and hasn’t fertilised his pasture for over 30 years. Yet his soil tests show increases in major and micro plant nutrient availability.
We're improving the water cycle on our farm by combining Holistic Planned Grazing with Silvopasture.
See the benefits in our dry season. Our pasture is more productive, and the legume trees provide extra forage, and bonuses bagged fertilisers can’t supply.
Hydroponic growers, Graham and Fiona Grant used to spray synthetic pesticides twice a week.
Instead they have created functional biodiversity. They use trays of 'sacrificial' crops in their growing sheds, and are working towards maintaining populations of beneficial insects by providing suitable food plants and habitat. Organic pest controls are used as a back-up.
Benefit from Nature's FREE ecological services
Working with dysfunctional ecosystems and substituting for Nature’s free ecological services - cultivating soil, applying synthetic and bio-fertilisers, and pest controls - has become the norm. Virtually everybody does it!
Most agricultural soils, for example, don’t show the customary signs of soil degradation – salinity, erosion and compaction, but are degraded because they no longer function properly. They lack functioning nutrient recycling systems and soil structures promoting plant growth.
Organic matter, soil carbon, and water infiltration are useful metrics, but we need to get our agroecosystems ‘tuned up and running' for these to improve.
Getting our agroecosystems functioning again, we use teams of technologically advanced, highly motivated insects and birds to control our pests, and soil organisms – as our experts at building soil structure and recycling nutrients for plants to reuse!
A reliable pathway to follow
Using this ‘eco-logical’ approach to regenerative agriculture, farmers take the path of least resistance, and use their know-how to trial techniques, learn, and share their experiences.
Nature contributes innovation and technology
Sectors in agribusiness promote technologies like genetically modified crops to reduce pest and disease problems and ‘auto-steering guidance systems’ in tractors to reduce soil compaction and fertiliser applications. But farmers restoring their ecological infrastructure make the real technological advances in farming.
They use the expertise Nature has developed over 3 billion years to create production systems 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
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 Ecological Farming Handbook 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 Eco-logical Farming 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).
Jessica Peace, Organic vegetable producer, UK.
"The great thing about the Eco-logical Farming Handbook - we are on a journey and understand where we want to go."
Martin Lines, UK Chair, Nature Friendly Farming Network.