THE EARTH MOTHER RENEWAL PROJECT
WHO WE ARE
The Earth Mother Renewal Project is a grassroots, unincorporated nonprofit association. We are dedicated to helping people to improve their own lives and the lives of their families, friends and communities. We aspire to a future when everyone can safety grow their own nutritious food – thus enabling them to feed themselves, their families, friends and communities.
We believe that safe, healthy, and nutritious food is grown or raised on a safe, healthy and natural farm, ranch or garden. We also believe that many may need to renew the natural health of the ecosystem in which their farm, ranch or garden exists. Healthier land will produce healthier crops and animals -- which, in turn, will lead to healthier people. These beliefs are what inspired the name of our organization.
Please visit our About Us page for more information about our organization and our About our Network page to view links to the many other agencies, groups and organizations that we are currently working with. We invite you to visit our Blog page for our most recent news and updates on our current and future events and activities. We also invite you to join and participate in our online Forum.
Our educational focus is on Ecological Farming (also called biological, natural, or organic agriculture) which is based on the premise that the crops are able to take advantage of natural resources to promote healthy plant growth, fight pests, maintain or increase soil fertility, etc. -- without resorting to synthetic chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, etc. and without using any organisms that have been genetically modified.
The practical implementation of Ecological Farming requires a detailed understanding of two areas:
Agricultural Ecology is the study of agricultural ecosystems and their components as they function within themselves and in the context of the landscapes that contain them. It combines an understanding of sound ecological principles with agronomic practice to manage agricultural systems for sustainable production, improved resource conservation, and minimized environmental impact. Agricultural Ecology encompasses many diverse interests and emerging problems, including the need to address growing pest and weed control problems, to protect farmworker health, to reduce pressure on supporting natural resources, to ameliorate environmental impacts of agricultural operations and to promote sustainable agricultural production. Application of this knowledge can lead to development of more sustainable agricultural ecosystems which exist in harmony with their larger natural ecosystem and ecoregion and higher crop production yields.
Conservation Agriculture is defined as a sustainable agriculture production system comprising a set of farming practices adapted to the requirements of crops and local conditions of each region, using farming and soil management techniques to protect the soil from erosion and degradation, to improve its quality and biodiversity, and to contribute to the preservation of the natural resources (including land, water and air), while optimizing yields. Conservation Agriculture is an approach to managing agro-ecosystems for improved and sustained productivity, increased profits and food security while preserving and enhancing the resource base and the environment. Agronomic practices included in Conservation Agriculture are based on three core principles, which must be fulfilled concomitantly:
1. Continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance.
2. Maintenance of permanent soil covers.
3. Diversification of crop species grown in crop rotation sequences and/or associations.
The three main systems of applying Ecological Farming are:
1. Biodynamic Agriculture which uses a holistic approach, by treating the farm as a living organism;
2. Natural Farming is based on the replacement of conventional farming techniques with working with the natural cycles and processes of the natural world; and,
3. Permaculture which was developed to allow farmers to create different agricultural areas where they develop productive ecosystems, which have the same diversity, resilience and stability of natural ecosystems. In a practical sense, Permaculture enables plant growth in an agricultural setting to mimic plant growth in the surrounding natural ecosystem, with little maintenance work.
The implementation of these ecological crop production methods result in greater conservation and sustainability of the agricultural environment by minimizing natural environmental impacts (such as the contamination of land, water and air) and in the increased production of more natural, healthy and nutritious foods.
OUR COURSES AND ACTIVITIES
Knowledge and experience are your most important tools for achieving success.
Our primary objectives are to provide education, research and training in family- and community-level agricultural operations and production; the proper and safe handling, processing, and marketing of agricultural products; and, the design and implementation of such other activities, methods and technologies as may be needed to support the foregoing.
We understand that many can not afford a formal education in an academic institution in order to learn how to accomplish all of the above. Therefore, in fulfillment of the nonprofit purposes of our organization, the Association offers an entire series of free or at-cost courses and activities. See our Programs page for more detailed information regarding our educational offerings.
In addition to the above educational opportunities, we also provide at-cost consulting services to individuals, agencies, groups and organizations working to implement projects within our focus on ecological farming and related agricultural support topics.
The Association further fulfills its charitable purpose by providing low- or limited-income clients to access all of 'at-cost' products and services listed above on a sliding fee scale based on current federal poverty guidelines.