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.

Show Notes

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

How to Listen

iTunes • Sticher • I heart Radio  • Google Play • Spotify • RadioPublic

More Episodes

Episode 58 – The Science of Water

Episode 58 – The Science of Water

Kate Zeigler is a geologist who works with farmers and ranchers in the arid Southwest to monitor their wells and the water table that keeps them flowing–and helps them to come up with water conservation strategies.

read more
Episode 57 – Know the law…save the farm

Episode 57 – Know the law…save the farm

Jillian Hishaw works with farmers to protect themselves, their families, and their land–legally and financially. Attorney and food systems strategist, she provides free or low-cost services, particularly to African American farmers.

read more
Episode 56 -Hemp: Growing into the future

Episode 56 -Hemp: Growing into the future

The hemp plant is amazingly versatile and resilient, and it can be used to produce innumerable healthy products and services. So why was it made illegal, and what does the future hold? We talk to hemp farmers Ed Berg and Scott Perez.

read more