The Insider

Planting a Seed: Food, Health, and Choice


Hello, friends and neighbors! My name is Ben Jackson, and I live in the town of Fremont, Utah. This is my home, and it is where I was raised. I own and operate Ben’s Hens and do my best to provide quality, pasture-raised eggs, poultry meat, and lamb. Over the next two months, I would like to spend some time sharing my thoughts and opinions about the importance and relationship of food, health, and choice. Obviously, there have been books upon books that have been written on these subjects, but my goal is to give you a small taste of what I have learned. I am NOT a master, but I hope to always be a student.

Ben Jackson_Planting-Seeds
Ben Jackson, owner of Ben’s Hens in Fremont, Utah. Insider

This week, we will start with food.

Regenerative Agriculture is the improvement of the soil and the health of the soil. This also includes the life within the soil (think fungi, bacteria, microbes, earthworms, insects, etc.). One major reason this is super important is because the food we consume reflects the soil it was produced with. So, how do we best obtain this improvement and create a living ecosystem? We start by increasing the biodiversity of the soil. Simply put, healthy soil is full of life.

Some basic practices for improving soil health and creating this living ecosystem will include the following: 1) using minimal amounts of mechanical disturbance (think tilling, plowing, and even driving on the soil), 2) promoting and providing both vegetation and animal diversity, 3) improving the natural armor on the soil (think cover crops, forage, or roughage to keep the bare soil covered and protected), 4) keeping a living root for as often as possible, and finally number 5) animal and livestock integration. Yes, you read the last one correctly; proper soil health requires animal and livestock integration. In addition, the natural armor significantly improves water retention. The goal is to improve life within the soil.

Tune in next week. I will continue discussing food. Thank you for your time. While you wait, I recommend watching “Kiss the Ground” on Netflix.

I understand that there are many ways to practice agriculture; this is my way based on my experience. If you see me in Fremont or at the Wayne County Farmers’ Market in Torrey, feel free to reach out with any questions or comments you may have on any of the information that I have provided in my column.

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