Gail Fuller is a pioneering regenerative farmer at the Fuller Farm near Emporia, Kansas, an area often dominated by conventionally tilled fields. Experiencing the problems of land erosion first hand is what initially drove Gail to experiment with no-till practices in the mid-1980s. After a few years of experimentations and failures, Gail realized that the key to success was asking the right questions about what the farm and the land needed. He started using cover crops and brought many different animals back to the farm. This led to a rapid recovery of the land, which also served to repair the water cycle, rehydrated the soil, and improved the soil fertility. In this conversation, we discuss the benefits and the vulnerabilities that can be involved when doing things differently in a traditional farming community, and the urgent need for a regional food system to support the conversion from monoculture landscapes—with their heavily tilled and degraded soils—to a diversified system that regenerates communities both above and below the ground.
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