Feb 28, 2022
Welcome back to Soil Solutions with Jessica Gnad.
Today's episode features Gail Fuller.
Gail shares his experience with using cover crops and soil health practices over the years. He shares the importance of the process of learning (and unlearning) farming practices that promote healthy soil, putting soil health ideas into practice, and educating others on the importance and value of healthy soil as well as the significant impact it has on the world.
Gail has been experimenting with no-till since the mid-1980's and has been 100% since 1995. The further he gets into his journey, the more regenerating soil health has become his main focus. “The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself” (FDR) is one of his favorite quotes and one he lives by!
Gail thinks the way to grow soil is through biodiversity. He believes diversity, both above and below ground, are key to growing healthy soil. Besides annual cover crops he uses companion crops and perennial cover crops. When it comes to livestock, again, diversity is key. He uses cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens and ducks to graze his covers utilizing intensive rotational or “mob” grazing. “The key to no-till is cover, and the key to covers is livestock.”
When Gail started looking into what it would mean for his family farm to be ecologically regenerative, he found himself learning the science behind soil life, photosynthesis, and the carbon, mineral and water cycles. He also started finding direct correlations between the health of the soil and his own health. His exploration led him to organize an annual "Field School" that draws speakers and guests from around the world to share the latest knowledge on regenerative agricultural practices.
For Gail, Regenerative Agriculture is not just regenerating soil, but the (re)growing of communities. This includes human, wildlife, and microbial communities. Helping to make them stronger and more resilient.