The best books on regenerative agriculture

Courtney White Author Of Grass, Soil, Hope: A Journey Through Carbon Country
By Courtney White

The Books I Picked & Why

Dirt to Soil: One Family's Journey Into Regenerative Agriculture

By Gabe Brown

Dirt to Soil: One Family's Journey Into Regenerative Agriculture

Why this book?

Gabe Brown didn’t set out to change the world when he first started working alongside his father-in-law on the family farm in North Dakota. But a series of weather-related crop disasters put Brown in desperate financial straits. He decided to quit the industrial model of food production and began experimenting with regenerative agriculture instead. He stopped using herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilizers. He no-tilled diverse crops into his fields and changed his grazing practices. By doing so, Brown transformed a degraded farm ecosystem into one full of life. Brown has grown several inches of new topsoil in only twenty years and turned the farm into a diverse, profitable enterprise. This book is a great introduction for all readers.


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Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, a New Earth

By Charles Massy

Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, a New Earth

Why this book?

In this book, Australian farmer Charles Massey takes a ‘big picture’ view of regenerative agriculture. It’s full of personal stories but it also goes deep into the history of industrial agriculture, the damage it continues to do, and how we can heal the planet. Massey lays out an inspiring vision for a new agriculture and the vital connections between our soil and our health. It’s a story of how a grassroots revolution can help turn climate change around and build healthy communities, pivoting on our relationship with growing and consuming food. 


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Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land

By Leah Penniman

Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land

Why this book?

Farming While Black explores an often neglected perspective on regenerative agriculture. It is a “how to” guide for aspiring African-heritage growers to reclaim their dignity as agriculturists, but Penniman also wants everyone to understand the contributions of African-heritage people to farming. She explores soil fertility, seed selection, using whole foods in culturally appropriate recipes, and sharing stories of ancestors including the trauma associated with slavery and economic exploitation. The book tells the story of Soul Fire Farm, located in upstate New York, a national leader in the food justice movement.


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For the Love of Soil: Strategies to Regenerate Our Food Production Systems

By Nicole Masters

For the Love of Soil: Strategies to Regenerate Our Food Production Systems

Why this book?

In this lively book, soil scientist Nicole Masters digs into the global soil crisis and explains how regenerative agriculture can restore degraded land, repair natural cycles, and bring vitality back to ecosystems. The book translates the often complex and technical know-how of soil into understandable terms with case studies from regenerative farmers and ranchers in Australasia and North America. Along with sharing key soil health principles and restoration tools, Masters provides an action plan to heal the planet.


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The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

By Wendell Berry

The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

Why this book?

Farmer and author Wendell Berry is a personal hero of mine. From his home in Kentucky, Berry has been writing about regenerative agriculture for decades. The Art of the Commonplace gathers together twenty of his best essays. They articulate a compelling vision for people dissatisfied with the stress, anxiety, disease, and destructiveness of contemporary life. Berry is also the author of numerous works of poetry and fiction.


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