Dirt to Soil

Gabe Brown


As we know from his story, Gabe Brown didn’t set out to change the world when he first started working alongside his father-in-law on the family farm in North Dakota. But as a series of weather-related crop disasters put Brown and his wife, Shelly, in desperate financial straits, they started making bold changes to their farm. Brown―in an effort to simply survive―began experimenting with new practices he’d learned about from reading and talking with innovative researchers and ranchers. As he and his family struggled to keep the farm viable, they found themselves on an amazing journey into a new type of farming: regenerative agriculture.

Brown dropped the use of most of the herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilizers that are a standard part of conventional agriculture. He switched to no-till planting, started planting diverse cover crops mixes, and changed his grazing practices. In so doing Brown transformed a degraded farm ecosystem into one full of life―starting with the soil and working his way up, one plant and one animal at a time.

In Dirt to Soil, Gabe Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to our most pressing and complex contemporary agricultural challenge―restoring the soil. The Brown’s Ranch model, developed over two decades of experimentation and refinement, focuses on regenerating resources by continuously enhancing the living biology in the soil. Using regenerative agricultural principles, Brown’s Ranch has grown several inches of new topsoil in only 20 years! The 5,000-acre ranch profitably produces a wide variety of cash crops and cover crops as well as grass-finished beef and lamb, pastured laying hens, broilers, and pastured pork, all marketed directly to consumers.

The key is how we think, Brown says. In the industrial agricultural model, all thoughts are focused on killing things. But that mindset was also killing diversity, soil, and profit, Brown realized. Now he channels his creative thinking toward how he can get more life on the land―more plants, animals, and beneficial insects. “The greatest roadblock to solving a problem,” Brown says, “is the human mind.”

Copyright 2018. Softcover. 224 pages.


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Jetta N.
United States United States


Should be required reading for all middle schoolers.

William F.
United States United States

Life Changer

Dirt to Soil is an amazing book that has completely changed how I see nature and farming. Like most people I was taught bugs are bad and the ground must be tilled. At 52 yrs of age I am just now starting a small farm and have been feeling overwhelmed with how to make this happen, not anymore. Sure I still have a long way to go and still have questions. But the feeling of what do and what equipment I need has been answered. I know now that I can do this without big loans from the banks and more importantly I can help heal the land and build beautiful rich soil.

Keeta D.
United States United States

So grateful

We are so grateful for this book! Gabe Brown and his regenerative farming ideas changed the way we think and farm.

David H.
Australia Australia

Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown

I think " Dirt to Soil" should be essential reading for anyone who is farming today as well as all politicians interested in Food Security and adressing Climate Change. Gabe outlines in easy to understand practical examples of how to make the transition to Regenerative Farming while making the whole operation more profitable. If a majority of broadacre farmers made the transition to Regenerative Farming following Gabe's example, Climate Change would no longer be an issue and human, animal, soil, and environmental health would improve dramatically. Farmers are the only ones who have the area and infrastructure available to adress Climate Change in the limited time available. We just need a change of mindset.

A Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture Customer
Michelle L.
United States United States

Best read of the year!

I wish I had bought Gabe's book much sooner in my regenerative journey. Gabe tells his story, but within his story is a LOT of wisdom on how to go about rebuilding soil. I highly recommend his book! Easy to read, as well.

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