Honoring the Land, Restoring the Soil.
Written and Photoraphed by Mary Mathis For Ipondr.
Our soil is dying. This may not seem like a huge deal, but what goes under our feet is what sustains our life above ground. One third of the world's topsoil is degraded, meaning it’s been overused or eroded to the point that it’s no longer healthy for sustaining life and organic matter. Degradation of topsoil means less plant life, and less plant life means more greenhouse gases in the air. It means our ecosystem is at risk.
This is avoidable. Ethan, 29, and Zach Withers, 31, are brothers who are trying to change this on their farm called Polk's Folly, a regenerative farm in the foothills of the Sandia mountains in New Mexico. Their goal is to create healthier soil, and the way to get healthier soil, after years of drought and overgrazing, is complicated.
The two brothers will claim what they do isn’t rare at all, even though it takes a lot of passion for conservation of the land to start a regenerative farm, something they did without any farming experience 5 years ago. It’s a slow practice, meticulous, and not always cost effective. But the benefits of regenerative farming are boundless for our environment. Iit uses less water, and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. It aims to produce new, nutrient-rich plants, and biodiversity. Regenerative farming restores the land, and honors it by treating it as a natural resource.