Here at Harmony Farms I rotational graze my sheep, perform small scale pasture plantings, and (thanks to my sister the Chicken Lady) run a live pasture fertilization program. These are the ways that I am practicing regenerative agriculture on a small scale. All of the aforementioned efforts are aimed at improving soil quality across my 23 acres.
Today, however, I am highlighting Regenerative Farmers Worldwide. These farmers are small-scale growers, doing what they can with what they have. These farmers are working with land, animals, and crops to improve soil quality.
Why all the emphasis on improving soil quality? The improvement health is the backbone of regenerative agriculture. The practices we implement on our farms all tie to one question: “will this improve or destroy the soil?” The following stat from globalagriculture.org shows both the value of healthy soil and the danger that it is in:
“Our most significant non-renewable geo-resource is productive land and fertile soil. Each year, an estimated 24 billion tons of fertile soil are lost due to erosion.“globalagriculture.org
Below is “the Shepherdess Top 5” Regenerative Farmers of the month! I put no emphasis on the size of a regenerative farming operation. In this community it is the faithful stewardship of resources, not output volume, that makes a successful farmer.
Friendly Flock, cevennes, Valleraugue, France:
We have a small farm with 120 sheep 7 goats and 1 cow, all grazed as one herd! We herd the sheep in the hills where you can hardly do any fence. We use Holistic planned herding and principals to guide the sheep. We herd them everyday to fresh grass and give long recovery periods for the grass (1year plus). This extended rest period is given because growing conditions are harsh and the soil is very degraded. We started this year and we want to sell lamb of exceptional quality. Our goal is to give ecosystems the space to completely express themselves and to restore water,mineral and energy cycles. We also change where the sheep sleep (every 3 days) to create high impact and a lot of dung. The places we change every year to increase fertility of the land. We have a website: friendlyflock.fr Our goal is to sell all our products online and via shipping directly to clients.
Currently growing: sheep, goats, cows.
How are you improving soil health on your farm?: Rotational grazing.
Learn more about the farm: friendlyflock.fr
Lady’s Farm, Eastern Kentucky, USA:
Currently growing: Two major gardens (at rest for the remains of the season), chickens, and pigs.
How are you improving soil health on your farm?: We are using chicken and pig manure, cover crops and future plans of a no till garden.
Learn more about the farm: Lady’s Farm on Instagram
Holland Harvest, Honey Grove, TX, USA:
Currently growing: small garden, turkeys, egg layings chickens.
How are you improving soil health on your farm?: Animal grazing rotation.
Learn more about the farm: Holland’s Youtube Channel
de Beer Family Farms, Brooks, GA, USA:
My name is Taylor de Beer and my husband Hendri and I own de Beer Family Farms! We have a small farm in Brooks, GA. Currently we have a flock of Fullblood Dorpers, Katahdins, Cornish cross meat birds, and a large variety of free range chickens. When we moved to our property 4 years ago, there had not been any livestock on the property for quite some time. There was very little variety vegetation wise. Now, we have been rotating our sheep everyday, with the meat birds following after them in chicken tractors. We also hand seed different seed mixes of what is in season before the sheep graze so they trample them into the ground. It’s been amazing to see the change in our soil and the variety of grasses, legumes, etc that have grown since we started with sheep a short 16 months ago. The dung beetles have been amazing this year, a section the sheep have been on 2-3 days beforehand will be almost completely void of any dung. We have just started with the meat chickens, so we are looking forward to seeing the impact they have on the soil, by following the sheep.
Currently growing: Dorper and Katahdin Sheep, Cornish cross meat birds, and a large variety of free range chickens.
How are you improving soil health on your farm?: Rotational grazing sheep, raising broiler chickens, Hand seeding pasture grasses.
Learn more about the farm: de Beer Family Farm on Instagram
Groce Family Farms, Southern Indiana, USA:
Groce Family Farm offers forest raised pork, open-pasture chicken duck and turkey, and 100% grass fed beef through our meat CSA and at farmers markets in the Louisville and Southern Indiana areas. We also work with restaurants and grocers as well. Along the way we added four wonderful children, learned a lot, and have grown in our understanding of how to raise abundant healthy food and interact with land in a way that brings about diversity, health, and flourishing to the whole system, from earthworms to eaters.
Learn more about the farm: https://grocefamilyfarm.com/
Currently growing: beef, pork, chicken, duck, and turkey.
How are you improving soil health on your farm?: Rotational grazing multiple species. Chemical-free land management.
Learn more about the farm: https://grocefamilyfarm.com/
If you would like to have your operation considered for my next Regenerative Farmers post, please email me with the following info:
Your Farm Name:
Where you are located:
What you are Farming:
One way you are working to improve soil quality on your farm:
Your farm’s website or social handle:
2-3 images from your farm:
Thanks for reading!
“Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. ” Psalm 100:3