Regenerative Agriculture - The Climate Crisis Solution
Kirkus Review "Get It" Book About Agriculture
Regenerative Agriculture is an impassioned call to action for a sustainable agricultural system.
In this follow-up to The Great Healing (2019), Erickson implores readers to reject industrial agriculture and embrace methods that are both financially and environmentally sustainable.
The book explains how farming techniques can return nutrients to the soil as well as consuming them; how growing cover crops allows farmers to get the most value from their lands; why regular plowing does more harm than good; and how large-scale irrigation affects groundwater supplies. The author draws heavily on the work of other writers who focus on agricultural practices, particularly Wendell Berry and Vandana Shiva. Erickson introduces readers to a number of individuals currently pursuing sustainable and regenerative farming—the section on Marlon Foster of Green Leaf Learning Farms is particularly well done.
The author also explains how nonfarmers can support sustainable agriculture in large and small ways. In a whimsical touch, several chapters feature anthropomorphic animals, including Timothy the white crowned sparrow, Lucinda the monarch butterfly, and Earl the worm, who serve as entry points to the discussion of specific problems caused by conventional agriculture. Erickson does not hesitate to identify the primary enemy of regenerative farming (Chapter 9 is called “Our Arch-Villain”), and readers will learn plenty about the harm caused by industrialized agriculture and the multinational companies that dominate the industry.
The book is solidly researched and makes strong arguments backed up by both logic and data. While the author’s enthusiasm for his subject makes for animated prose, some readers may find its rendering on the pages, with copious italicized phrases (“This is the only way that exists to significantly drawdown atmospheric carbon”), to be a bit much. But on the whole, the volume is generally an easy read on an intriguing topic. Although the book clearly lays out the problems of industrial agriculture, it is done without a sense of despair, with the focus more on what can potentially be fixed than on entrenched structural issues.
A well-written and informative guide to sustainable farming.