Follow Nicole Masters
Nicole Masters is an agro-ecologist and educator in regenerative agriculture. She’s founder of Integrity Soils, and author of the new book, For the Love of Soil. We talk about how to apply regenerative agriculture practices for health and profit–and how these practices can have a positive transformative effect on both our well being as growers, eaters, and members of the planetary ecosystem. Nicole has been a keynote speaker in the past at the REGENERATE Conference and this year will be offering a workshop called “Getting to the Root of Quality Food Production” as part of REGENERATE 2019.
1’50 started studying great white sharks, which somehow led to soil science
3’02 experiences that led her to regenerative agriculture, including pesticide poisoning
4’19 parallel between her own healing and healing the land
5’06 how do you define regenerative
6’08 the five Ms–mindset, management, microbes, minerals, organic matter
6’37 the problem with black/white right/wrong thinking
9’23 examples from the field
10’15 turning an expense into a resource
11’25 building back topsoil a lot faster than happens naturally
12’11.1412 working with soil that blew away in the 1930s
13’38 reaching true and optimal sustainability
14’47 climatic stressors, and how to help soil repair themselves
15’51 water infiltration, making use of every bit of water
17’41 putting seed in cow minerals so that they poop out and thereby germinate native plants
18’48 seeds that lie dormant for decades and then come up when conditions are right
20’27 methods for growing topsoil
20’58 salting the fields — really! — to improve soil
22’32 “underground livestock” i.e. microbes
23’37 breakthroughs in soil science
26’29 people who need peer reviewed science if they’re going to make changes
27’59 universal and specific features of healthy soil
28’55 “rastafarian root systems”
29’41 many have normalized poor soil
30’10 colonialism led to poor soil very fast
30’41 what does the transition look like when you stop using farm chemicals
32’34 nitrogen fertilizer is incredibly inefficient
34’42 how do we close the loops and make inputs on the farm
35’17 a healthy system needs few or no inputs
35’57 ranches sometimes need soil augmentation
36’35 fallacies in conventional agriculture
38’19 thirty feet of topsoil in Montana
38’54 green revolution farming is like hydroponics
39’35 great soils on bison lands
40’19 the sounds of root systems breaking under the plow
40’45 can we make regenerative the majority way of doing agriculture
42’31 Dr. Richard Teague — drawing down large amounts of carbon
43’58 cows giving birth in mud
44’56 regenerative ag leads to stress reduction
45’49 can regenerative ag help society to shift into a more balanced state
48’00 the Regenerate 2019 conference
Joe Maxwell is a farmer and policy leader, and he knows that consumer demand is not enough to make the shift toward a healthy food system. He lays out the problems–and some ways forward.
Camas Davis had what she calls an “early onset midlife crisis” when she was around 30–and it led her to study butchering in France. But when she came home she found that the market for good, local meat needed to be cultivated.
Jovan Sage carries on traditions passed down from African and Indigenous ancestors, and is a healer on many levels–herbalist, “food alchemist,” farmer, chef, and community organizer.
Sanjay Rawal‘s new film, Gather, explores how Native Americans across the U.S. are rediscovering their food traditions–and building on them in the context of present-day realities.
LaKisha Odom of The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is helping to fund the research behind healthy soil practices so that more farmers can make the transition to regenerative agriculture and long-term sustainability and resilience.
For millennia local and indigenous farmers have been producing healthy food worldwide. In less than a century that food system has been decimated, We talk to Dr. Vandana Shiva about restoring health, democracy, species, and local knowledge.
Roberto Meza was an artist and MIT graduate student who took some time off to deal with health concerns—and found that fresh greens made such a difference in his life that he started growing them. Now he runs a thriving business and focuses on food sovereignty and equity.
Part of the experience of colonization for Native people has been the denial of their long-standing practices of agriculture. Now indigenous voices are becoming part of the conversation about how to think in a healthy and holistic manner about food.
Many food producers spend so much on interest to banks that they can’t pay for improvements to make their farms more resilient and regenerative. Zach Ducheneaux talks about an alternative that’s already having some success in Indian country.
In her new book, Judith Schwartz takes us to five continents and tell us stories of people restoring devastated landscapes–and overcoming deep conflicts that stem from degraded ecosystems. The results are phenomenal.
“What’s good for the bird is good for the herd”–that’s the basis of a win-win initiative to preserve bird habitat on ranches and grasslands. We speak with Audubon Society VP Marshall Johnson about grassland ecology and their successful conservation collaborations.
Vanessa García Polanco is from a farming family that emigrated to the US when she was a teenager. She explores the challenges that young and beginning farmers, and farmers of color, are dealing with–especially during the global pandemic.
The Eastern Shoshone people traditionally survived with the buffalo, and their way of life suffered when tens of millions of buffalo were killed by the US government. But now they’re returning to the land–and starting to renew a culture.
When the “green revolution” offered the promise of better agriculture through chemical-intensive farming, J.I. Rodale was skeptical. He started an organic farm and then an institute to study how farming could improve the land and human health. Now they’re doing great work from coast to coast.
Hopi farmers must be doing something right: they have survived and grown their own food for hundreds of generations. We talk to Dr. Michael Kotutwa Johnson about their regenerative farming and cultural practices––and the challenges to maintaining them.
Betsy Gaines Quammen has been researching the history of Mormonism and its relationship to Western landscapes for years. We talk about her new book, American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God and Public Lands in the West.