This Black Friday, we’ve partnered with Farmer’s Footprint. We’ll be donating £10 from every order to go towards regenerating the land and restoring the ecosystem. We sat down with Jess from Farmer’s Footprint to chat about the importance of regenerative farming and the work it is doing to restore human and planetary health.
What initially drew you to the world of regenerative farming, and why?
I co-founded a snack brand; Natural State with my mum back in 2010. We started out by producing a range of raw chocolate brownies with the intention to create delicious food sourced directly from organic farmers. Over the course of ten years I travelled to many different countries in search of farmers and cooperatives and became fascinated with farming practices which nurtured the soil and ecosystem. The growers we sourced from taught me that regenerative practices are rooted in indigenous wisdom and that humans have farmed 'regeneratively' since the dawn of agriculture.
What makes Farmers Footprint different to other charities which focus on agriculture?
At its heart Farmer's Footprint exists to tell stories and act as a mouthpiece for regeneration. There are thousands of charities and organisations doing incredible work to regenerate land and restore ecosystems, so the world doesn't need another. Our intention is simply to amplify and elevate the work of regenerative farmers and organisations through impactful educational programmes and digital content.
Why is the way in which we grow food so important to the health of the planet?
Farming has the potential to support and enhance or destroy soil health and ecosystems. For thousands of years humans farmed using practices which worked in harmony with nature and allowed her to thrive. Then, with the rise of industrialisation and in just over a century, soil health and biodiversity have been decimated due to chemical industrialised farming. The good news is that equilibrium can quickly be brought back into balance by re-introducing regenerative, agro-ecological practices.
How is the way we farm directly connected to our physical, emotional, and spiritual health?
Science is only just beginning to touch the surface of the interconnectedness of nature and all life. On a physical level, the way we farm has a direct impact on human health. Healthy, nutrient dense soil will produce healthy, nutrient dense food and thus support the health of our bodies. Farming in harmony with nature reminds us that we have a role to play as stewards of land. The connection to soil and land supports allows our emotional and spiritual health to thrive.
It feels like there is a growing awareness on the value of organic and regenerative farming, especially in the past couple of years, why do you think this is?
I believe this is largely due to an increased awareness in how chemical, industrialized farming is destroying planetary and human health. Toxicity in food such as the use of Glyphosate, the most commonly used pesticide, has been linked to the drastic rise in chronic disease. People are becoming more aware that we have a finite time to restore a healthy, harmonious relationship to nature. Growing and eating regenerative, agro-ecological food is a fundamental part of this healing and the growth of this global movement brings hope to the role humans can play in the regeneration of our planet.
What can we do personally to get involved in this movement?
By getting our hands in the soil! Whether that's growing herbs in a window box or volunteering at your local CSA, being witness to the wonder of food growing from a seed to harvest is fundamental to restoring reverence for nature and farmers. When you truly revere nature and see yourself as a part of it, you could not imagine harming her by intoxicating her or your own body with chemical inputs. A trip to your local allotment or community farm will quickly re-ignite awe for the abundance nature gives us.
Find out more about Farmer's Footprint here.