Regenerative Agriculture at Singing Frogs Farm
It was a beautiful October day in Sonoma – a couple of weeks after the first rains – at the Bioneers Regenerative Agriculture field day at Singing Frogs Farm.
The program presented diverse models, perspectives and scales of regenerative agricultural practices that work with nature’s life-promoting forces to create fertility and abundance as well as play a significant role, if scaled up globally, in healing the climate.
Tim LaSalle, co-founder and Co-Director of the Regenerative Agriculture Initiative at California State University Chico and one of the first proponents of drawing down atmospheric carbon and sequestering it in the soil, provided a compelling big picture frame for Regenerative Agriculture’s game changing potential.
Claudio Nuñez of Paicines Ranch on left (Photo by Jan Mangan)
Doniga Markegard, who manages a 10,000-acre grass fed livestock operation on multiple Bay Area ranches, explained how she uses a naturalist’s and permaculture lens to develop a holistic management system for the Markegard Family Grass-fed business.
Paicines Ranch in Holister, CA consists of 7000 acres of rangeland, 550 acres of row crops and 25 acres of vineyards – all certified organic.
Young regenerative rancher Claudio Nuñez talked about Paicines’ efforts to develop a biologically active system on large agriculturally diverse acreage in an area that gets only about 8 inches of rain a year.
Paul Kaiser of Singing Frogs Farm (Photo by Jan Mangan)
Our hosts were the wonderfully-complementary, high energy and innovative couple Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser who are intensively farming small acreage grossing $100,000 per acre while increasing their soil organic matter by 300 – 400%.
The highlights of the day were two farm tours that shared important insights on building biodiversity from below the soil to the top of the canopy in Singing Frogs’ dynamic and resilient farming system.
Incorporating compost and field residue into the soil at Singing Frogs Farm (Photo by Jan Mangan)
In attendance, were a group of folks who can help spread the word and implement the regenerative practices and ideas that were learned at the workshop.
A partial list includes people from KPFA radio, the Center for Food Safety; the Sierra Club; Jackson Winery; the Ecological Reserve Estancia Jatoba, Brazil; UC Berkley Earth Action Initiative; out-of-state farmers; a young agricultural entrepreneur from Belize; Common Ground Center, UC Santa Cruz, etc.
Working with Trim Tab Media, who specializes in telling the stories of sustainability, we captured video of on-farm interviews and all the presentations.
The edited material makes up the foundation of the Bioneers Regenerative Agriculture media series, which includes articles and interviews with other Regenerative Agriculture leaders.