Farming with Nature : An Internship at DeLano Homestead
Novotny, Maeve L.
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During my time spent as an intern at DeLano Homestead and throughout the writing of this manuscript, my purpose was to obtain and understand how agricultural practices can be more sustainable and how we promote healthier ecosystems by altering our land use patterns. I desired to uncover practices that had been shrouded by Western consumerism behavior and extractive economies, such as learning about the meaning of reciprocity and the importance of ceasing degenerative behaviors. As a laborer on a regenerative farm, I carried out the principles of regenerative agriculture through our day-to-day tasks, such as the planting and solarization of cover crops and in fostering relationships and respect with all living beings. In developing these relationships, I came to understand the wealth that can be afforded to us in the form of sustainable and healthy food simply by promoting soil and ecological health. By fostering sustainable relationships with the ecosystems, regenerative agriculture seems like such an obvious solution to our current climate crisis, leaving me confused as to why these principles are not seen at a greater scale. My experience at DeLano prompted my research into the potential of regenerative agriculture to aid in mitigating global climate change due to its superb ability to sequester large amounts of atmospheric carbon into the soil. In my research I learned that the deep traditions of Indigenous knowledge systems are the foundation of the modern regenerative movement and are often overlooked in Western society. Incorporating evidence-based science with the deep understandings of ecosystems by Indigenous peoples within local regions may be pivotal in altering our land use practices. Through implementation of sustainable policy as well as a cultural shift to embody the health of the ecosystem we can learn how to Farm with Nature.