Plants For Biodiversity and A Changing Climate
One of the key measures of environmental health is biodiversity. As of February 2022, Ozark Akerz is home to over 540 species of plants, insects, reptiles, birds, fungi, mammals etc.
Our strategy for increasing biodiversity at Ozark Akerz has taken many forms. This includes but is not limited to:
In terms of labor, planting native perennial plants in the food and medicine forest has been the most intensive. We have planted 130+ trees, shrubs and other perennial plant, all of which require regular watering, weeding, and hand picking insects like Japanese Beetles every morning for 3-4 weeks during summer to ensure they have a fighting chance to grow. The increase in plant species has had a knock-on effect on the increase in insect, reptile and bird species.
Why Grow a Food and Medicine Forest?
A Food & Medicine Forest attempts to mimic nature. It provides bio-diverse, perennially growing food and medicine and tools. The benefits of growing a Food & Medicine Forest range from carbon capture to self-reliance to increasing biodiversity. We started converting a small area of Ozark Akerz Regenerative Farm to a Food & Medicine Forest in 2017. We’ve allowed wildflowers and ‘weeds’ to grow and added native species of shrubs, trees and flowers, and perennial food plants. Our goals have been multi-fold. In no specific order, these include:
Subscribe to download the Ozark Akerz Guide to growing your own food & medicine forest and the food, medicine, tools, pollinator habitat and other benefits that are provided by 150 trees, shrubs, vines and flowers.
You may also like: Video: How a Regenerative Farm Boosts Biodiversity & Conservation
Understanding Graze Against The Machine Regenerative Farming
We all like knowing where our food comes from and how it’s grown and raised. I hear a lot of people say “the best way to do that is to get to know your farmer.” Our practices of Graze Against The Machine Regenerative Farming is inspired by indigenous principles. Our approach is constantly evolving as we slowly learn from indigenous communities and unlearn the deep-seeded propaganda of industrial agriculture that even pervades some organic practitioners.
We find that not everyone has the time let alone knows what questions to ask to get to know a farm. Here are a few suggestions to get started down the path of understanding the philosophy and practices of a farm.
You’re liable to get a few blank stares if you ask all these questions at a conventionally managed farm, but the questions will hopefully help open a broader discussion of what healthy farming is. Question 6 is a bit of fun to help you learn your farmers background and history.
Keep reading to learn our answers and how we Graze Against The Machine.
Check out our YouTube channel