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Welcome to HGF, our produce for the next week will be updated at Friday 5pm.

Restaurant delivery is every Tue, Thu Sat & Sun and lead time is 2 days.

Regenerative Farming

Healthier Crops and a Healthier Climate Begins with Regeneration

Did you know that your food choices can either mitigate or exacerbate the impact of climate change? Today around 24% of greenhouse gas emissions come from “food, agriculture and land use”. What we farm, how land is managed and what inputs we use on the ground all either work to restore or degrade our ecosystem; the latter of which contributes to climate change.
Primary Sources of Greenhouse Gases
Source: Project Drawdown, “Farming Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis”, Dec 2020

Extractive and unsustainable practices used in conventional, industrialised farming systems include deforestation, chemical use, mismanaged animal waste and heaving plowing; the same practices that degrade soil and emit greenhouse gases. On the other hand, regenerative farming systems increase biodiversity, improve farmers’ livelihoods and keep carbon where it belongs - in the soil. 
“Rainbow Diagram” of Emissions and Sinks
Source: Project Drawdown, “Farming Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis”, Dec 2020

What hasn’t been known before is that agricultural land and oceans serve as a carbon sink and help to store excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Currently, earth’s land mass and oceans combined can absorb approximately 41% of total GHG emissions produced annually. But because of the way we have been damaging these natural sinks, their ability to sequester carbon has been hindered. If we were to farm in a more regenerative way, we could increase the capacity to absorb carbon more effectively than we currently do. Afterall, nature is the best carbon capture technology we have!

77% of soy grown worldwide is used as animal feed
Source: Ritchie and Roser, "Forests and Deforestation", Published online at OurWorldInData.org 2021

Source: Foley, "A Five Step Plan to Feeding the World", Published on National Geographic.

Industrial agriculture that heavily profits from mono crops such as corn, wheat and soy, are often grown to make processed foods as well as to feed livestock. In fact, only 55 percent of the world’s crop calories feed people directly; the rest are fed to livestock (about 36 percent) or turned into biofuels and industrial products (roughly 9 percent).

Source: Ritchie, "How much of the world’s land would we need in order to feed the global population with the average diet of a given country?" Published on OurWorldinData.org

And while livestock takes up nearly 80% of global agricultural land, it produces less than 20% of the world’s supply of calories. This inefficient and wasteful use of land and natural resources is the leading reason for ecosystem degradation and climate change. If we continue with industrial practices, our planet’s ocean will continue to acidify, deteriorating marine populations; and our soils will continue to lose microorganisms and the plenty of minerals and nutrients needed for healthy plant growth, leaving agricultural farms ultimately non-arable.

Soil erosion on Suffolk farmland in the UK. 
Source: The Guardian, “Earth has lost a third of arable land in past 40 years, scientists say”, Dec 2015

Regenerative agriculture focuses on nurturing and protecting the health of the soil by supporting biodiversity both above and below ground. This practice is a combination of diversifying crop rotations, planting cover crops, green manures and perennials, retaining crop residues, composting, managed grazing, no tilling and no synthetic chemicals. With these practices, soil organic matter increases, the water cycle improves which would also minimize droughts and erosions. 

Green manures can help add organic matter to soil and improve its structure and nutrient content.
Image from https://horticulture.co.uk

Furthermore, through the process of photosynthesis, carbon dioxide enters the soil through the roots and eventually increases the number of microorganisms in the soil - which are essential to support a healthy ecosystem. In fact, global adoption of regenerative practices across both grasslands and arable acreage could sequester more than 100% of carbon dioxide emissions generated by human activities!
How Carbon Sequestration Works
Source: Moyer, Smith, Rui, and Hayden. Regenerative Agriculture and the Soil Carbon Solution. Sept 2020

A recent study also found that, compared to conventional farms that use chemicals, crops from regenerative agricultural farms have higher nutrients. This includes an average of 34% more vitamin K, 15% more vitamin E, 14% more vitamin B1, 11% more calcium etc.

Since Q3 of 2021, Zero Foodprint Asia (“ZFPA”) have been working hand in hand with Homeland Green (“HLG”) to help spread the message on regenerative agricultural principles. As non-profit organizations, ZFPA hosts a crowdfunding campaign via their 1% Pledge Program, allowing restaurants, food businesses and diners to participate in climate action. Funds raised are granted to farmers in the region to purchase materials, and adopt regenerative practices on their farms.

Mrs Josephine Mak, Chairman of HLG, along with a group of technical assistant providers (TAPs) work diligently to pass on knowledge to the farmer grantees, provide oversight and validation as well as collect scientific data to support this transition. The focus is to educate farmers about the importance of soil health, increase microbiology above and below ground, and improve crop quality. Ultimately, through ZFPA’s program, these grassroots organizations hope to increase the beneficial ecosystem services provided by agriculture, specifically to advance climate action via improvements in soil health and sequestering atmospheric carbon. 

Image: Homeland Green leading farm study with group of regenerative farmers, TAPs and soil health consultants.

Image: Testing Fungal: Bacterial ratio using the Microbiometer Test Kit 

In summary, healthy soil = more nutrients = more resilience to climate change = better produce.
Regenerative farming is a vital solution to tackling not just climate change, but a sustainable food and farming system.