The challenge facing 21st century agriculture is to design new models and systems that regenerate ecosystems while producing healthy food.
The foundation for these systems is healthy soil, which requires diverse, green, growing plants as much of the year as possible, covered soil, as little tillage as possible, few if any chemicals, and grazing animals. We are starting with degraded soils, and it will take all of our human creativity working in partnership with nature, to make the needed changes. The principles that we working from are here.
Paicines Ranch consists of approximately 7000 acres of rangeland, 550 acres of row crop ground, and 25 acres of vineyard, all certified organic. In all 3 areas we are making changes to move towards more perennial systems, more complexity, and more diversity. We expect that as we make changes in management, we will, through our monitoring, see positive changes in soil characteristics, above ground plant and animal communities, and productivity.
We expect to grow healthier food, sequester carbon which will help mitigate climate change, improve water quality in downstream waterways, increase our resilience in the face of climate variability, create an abundance of life, and generate more profit in the medium term.
Using the principles of soil health, we are managing our 550 acres of certified organic cropland using minimum till systems that will regenerate the soil while growing cash crops and grazing livestock.
The goal of our management practices on our 7,000 acres of rangeland is to steward a more perennial, more diverse, and more productive landscape. In 2008 the ranch started implementing holistic planned grazing, a system that mimics natural grazing patterns and allows for ample recovery time for both plants and soil in order to increase ecosystem health and productivity.
What if it were possible to design a vineyard that required very few inputs or human labor, produced good yields of high quality grapes, produced animal protein, improved soil health, sequestered carbon, increased diversity, and made a good financial return?
This is what vineyard director Kelly Mulville is growing at Paicines Ranch.
Sound management depends on relevant and accurate information. The research and monitoring at Paicines Ranch guides our work and is a collaboration between our staff and aligned partners.
Economically, ecologically, and socially, our relationship to land and nature is a profound human touchstone. The #NoRegrets Initiative is a relationship-centered approach to land and asset management that utilizes human, ecological, and financial capital to improve the health of agricultural soils and agricultural communities of North America.