This is Andres, founder of roots, rice & beans, farming the future by enabling circular farming models. In other words, bringing the carbon accumulated in the air back to the soil to regenerate agriculture.
During our webinar on the 9th of December 2020 on the topic of organic, locally grown food we learned more about how we can give back to nature by regenerating farm land, where to shop organic produce in Amsterdam and how to best cope with a crisis like Covid-19.
When there was a 150 kg produce of mushroom that nobody could use, Andres took action and turned it into a ragout that is now being sold at the Little Plant Pantry.
Read the full interview and know more about locally grown & organically produced fruits & vegetables in Amsterdam:
Q: How can we regenerate soil organically ?
A: Regenerating soil is actually very easy.
When you plant something in the ground, that specific plant needs specific nutrients. What we do is that with the following crop add back those nutrients that were absorbed by the previous plants. For this reason, the soil is always in perfect balance.
A balanced soil is a mixture of well-balanced minerals, high organic matter, humus, humic, fulvic and carbonic acids, good aeration and bountiful soil life. Not just extracting but actually bringing back nutrients to the soil in a natural way.
What is healthy soil ?
A: Healthy soil is difficult to measure and describe, but to know if we have a healthy soil, we need to understand organic matter. The addition and accumulation, enhanced nutrient cycling with fewer nutrient losses from soil. As a result, we need to increase soil microbial community function, formation of soil aggregates (larger pieces of soil) and large soil pores, and decrease its compaction.
You can achieve this with conservation practices including
- + conservation tillage (reduced tillage or no-till)
- + reducing soil compaction by minimizing passes over a field
- + extending rotations by growing a variety of crops
- + planting cover crops between growing seasons
- + growing perennial vegetation and mulching
Sometimes it is difficult to implement, but a combination of these conservation practices can help increase a soil's health.
Q: How can you increase a soil’s health in your local neighbourhood ?
A: Soil supplies nutrients and water, which are vital for plants, and are home to organisms that interact with plants, for better or worse. In the natural environment, plants form relationships with soil microbes to obtain water, nutrients and protection against some pathogens. In return, the plants provide food.
In short, regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm.
Q: Where can I find organic local vegetables in Amsterdam ?
There are plenty of options when it comes to finding organic local vegetables in Amsterdam. In order to support farmers and therefore regenerate soil, you can visit local markets like Noorder Market or Haarlemmerplein Market or support community supported agriculture like:
- Fruittuin van west
- Stadsboerderij Osdorp
- Tuinen van Harststocht
Check it out and help to regenerate agriculture hand in hand with farmers.
Q: How can we make the most out of a crisis like Covid-19 ?
A: This time is a call for us to open our eyes and realize that the system that society has created needs to be adjusted. We need to understand that not everything is available all year around and that by supporting local farmers. Therefore, it is importat to adjust to natural cycles. There are seasons and within this season specific crops grow. If you would like to eat something from off season you need to preserve it and consume it whenever you feel like it. .
Fortunately people are being more conscious about this topics and want to make a change but unfortunately they don't know where or how. This is why Roots Rice and Beans was born. In order to give you the option to eat as seasonal local and sustainable as possible. By buying our products you support small farms that implement regenerative agricultural methods.
Click here to know more about their products:
Q: How can you measure the impact of locally grown food ?
A: Your food travels less because almost all our ingredients are from the Netherlands. The ingredients from out of the country are European (oil, salt,etc). Batches are smaller so we do our products paying attention to the whole production, plus we don't add any preservative or artificial conservants to our products.
In order for you to enjoying a great meal with a low Carbon footprint and that are sustainably sourced, we do the most difficult job. Now is the time for a change and creating impact. Our focus is on giving you the option to choose a more responsible way of eating. We are out there, we just need to meet! :).
What else is there to say from our side ? Andres you are a hero and we are excited to follow your journey on further expanding your locally grown & organically produced products in Amsterdam.