Since 2011, Mid-South Farm to Table Conference has striven to cultivate a healthier and thriving local food system through educating, providing resources, and by bringing together local and regional farmers, food justice advocates, educators, nonprofit leaders, and consumers.
This year, they're zeroing in on conservation and regenerative agriculture, and they've invited keynote speakers David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé to speak on the topic. The couple has authored three books together on regenerative farming, and they have plenty of insight to share.
"Anne's a biologist, and I'm a geologist," Montgomery says. "And those are the two things: Life and minerals are what you need to make healthy, fertile soil."
- Winnie Forbes
- David Montgomery (left) and Anne Biklé
Restoring soil and maintaining its health through regenerative farming is essential to producing good crops, as degradation of land occurs with conventional farming methods, wielding one-third less agriculture and doing damage on the rest of our ecosystem. Montgomery and Biklé say more productive and eco-friendly practices under the umbrella of regenerative agriculture include using no-till or reduced till practices, feeding plants and land with organic fertilizer, rotating crops to put a bigger variety of nutrients back into the soil, and using cover crops to address weeds.
"It makes farms way friendlier places for people and for other forms of life and is far less toxic [than conventional farming]," says Biklé.
Montgomery adds, "The big picture and challenge of regenerative agriculture is to try and rebuild the health and fertility of the land so that future generations will have as fertile a planet as we have."
2020 Mid-South Farm to Table Conference, Christian Brothers University, Monday, March 2nd, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., $25, free for college students with I.D.