Introducing Regenerative Farming
At the heart of BOTANISTRY Blends are our plant ingredients – seeds, roots, flowers and leaves – small and humble, yet perfectly potent. Ethical sourcing of these natural treasures was critical to our plant-based supplements and we were determined to find the best of nature’s produce, without harming mother nature during the production lifecycle. What type of farming could achieve this?
In our research and visits to Sri Lanka’s hill country, we came across regenerative farming and organic community farming. An alternate method to industrial agriculture, this involves a wide range of practices and processes that, in short, work to keep the elements balanced. They enable the environment to restore itself and become more resilient, particularly when challenged. This struck a chord with our brand ethos as BOTANISTRY is about helping to provide balance from within, taking our Blends to build vitality and resilience every day.
Organic farms that are free of chemical pesticides and fertilizers look quite different to the picture-postcard agro-landscapes we commonly see. It is a much wilder, heartier, rugged scenic beauty with flowering weeds, rogue trees and chirping birds – naturally full of life.
In regenerative agriculture, farmers are encouraged to go-back-to-basics, to follow simpler processes that were utilised before modern technology and mass production. Two areas of focus are maintaining soil health and maximising plant diversity. Both can improve the resilience of farms where they are better able to withstand harsh conditions such as strong winds and drought.
Maintaining soil health
During our visit, we saw the cut weeds and pruned tea bushes decomposing into organic fertiliser. Even leftover teas from the nearby tea factory were added for enhanced nutrients as well as rice husks which help to aerate the soil. Rich with organic matter, this soil is better able to retain water and store carbon. It is important to minimise soil disturbance, which means micro-organisms and earthworms, in greater number and variety, can work to create structurally sound soil.
Maximising plant diversity
We visited a small farmer’s 10-acre plot where we counted trees of Cinnamon, Clove, Curry Leaf, Mango, Coconut and Neem, vines like Black Pepper and Vanilla, horticultural bushes and a variety of grasses. Tall trees amidst crop plants provide shade and cover from strong rains and wind, and have deep roots that protect the soil, but most importantly, provide a safe habitat for native flora and fauna. Monocrop estates can be depleting to the environment whereas intercropped small farms with different plant species help to build a healthy ecosystem.
Discussing earthworms is far from glamourous but we are intrigued by regenerative farming practices. This is a vast area of knowledge and we are learning ourselves so please check in as we share more information in our Journal’s nature series.
All ingredients grown for BOTANISTRY Blends are certified organic under European Union regulations and are sourced from community farmers who practise regenerative farming.