Better Together Farms strives to be a farm for the future. We believe that means simultaneously addressing three broad trends:
- Climate change: We choose our farm enterprises and manage them to maximize robustness in the face of increased frequency and severity of severe weather. We are minimizing our long term greenhouse gas emissions as we are able in ways that seem best to us at present.
- Energy descent: Humanity reached the apex of oil-equivalent reserves around 2008. Many things in the modern world presume cheap and abundant energy, e.g. global trade, the growth economy, the prevalence of plastics, industrial agriculture, cloud computing, and the internet of things. We consider the lifetime energy requirements of things on our farm (embedded energy) and use permaculture principles as a guide to minimize the energy we use and our future energy requirements.
- Regenerative agriculture: The history of farming can be summed up as depleting soils and moving on (see David Montgomery's Dirt: the erosion of civilizations). Humanity needs all the oceans and forests as carbon sinks so the buck stops with our generation: we need to find ways to feed ourselves without depleting the soil. After more than a century of accelerating soil depletion, "sustainability" -- just holding productive capacity steady -- is not enough. We need regenerative agriculture: growing food in a way that leaves the soil more fertile than when we started. Rotationally grazing cattle is our keystone practice to regenerate the soil.