11 Regenerative Agriculture Books That Help Feed You & The Planet

These Books On Regenerative Farming Teach You How To Improve Soil Health & Food Security

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Regenerative farming is a grassroots revolution which holds the key to preventing ecosystem collapse and reversing the effects of climate change by working with nature rather than against it.

Its principles can be adopted by anyone interested in sustainable food cultivation, whether you’re a farmer or just growing vegetables in the garden. 

Regenerative agriculture books showcase a multitude of ways farmers and food producers worldwide go against traditional, industrial-scale farming, resulting in resilient and more nutritious food systems, healthier soils, carbon sequestration, and stronger relationships with the land. 

How Regenerative Farming Can Save Our Soil

We need topsoil to grow 95% of our food, but half of it has been lost over 150 years of intensive farming. It’s estimated that the US is losing soil 10 to 15 times faster than it’s being replenished. Across the globe, this rate is sped up to as much as 40 times faster.

Aggressive tilling, deforestation, a lack of plant cover and molecular imbalances all contribute to soil erosion. What’s left is harder to grow crops in, resulting in the need for even more land and fertilizers. 

Crops tend to also be less nutritious which ultimately impacts our health. 

Regenerative farming is the practice of working with nature to restore the health of farmlands’ existing soils. It’s not just a win for healthy, nutritious food. Regenerative agriculture helps tackle climate change by sequestering atmospheric carbon in the soil. 

No-till farming, crop rotation and diversifying crops contribute to a varied plant biomass that can hold more carbon. Likewise, livestock grazing rotation prevents pastures from being overgrazed, allowing them to regenerate naturally.

1. Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm By Isabella Tree

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Wilding by Isabella Tree is a multi-award-winning account of the ‘Knepp Experiment,’ a pioneering rewilding project that makes for the perfect nature holiday in West Sussex. 

In a memoir-meets-ecological account of the British countryside, Tree reveals how she and her husband decided to step back from intensive farming and allow nature to take over their land. They introduced free-grazing animals similar to the ones that once roamed Britain 3,500 years ago and as a result, saw an increase in wildlife diversity in just over a decade. 

This regenerative farming book is a narrative of hope which highlights how we can still source food from the land while allowing natural ecosystems to flourish.

2. Radical Regenerative Gardening and Farming: Biodynamic Principles and Perspectives By Frank Holzman

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One of our personal favorites on the subject, Radical Regenerative Gardening and Farming is a guide for anyone, both farmers and gardeners, who want to develop a closer relationship with their land. 

Similar to other biodynamic farming books, it aims to change our perspective and see land as a living organism with a spiritual and thoughtful approach to land stewardship. Franz Holman explores how a balanced ecosystem can form from a better understanding of the biological interactions between soils and plants. 

It’s a culmination of over 40 years of Holman’s experience in sustainable land development, education, and research—and believe us when we say it’s chock-full of useful (and highly specific) information on everything from composting to natural soil amendment techniques. 

Even after you’ve read it, this is a useful one to keep on your bookshelf for reference throughout future growing seasons.

3. English Pastoral: An Inheritance By James Rebanks

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James Rebanks’ Sunday Times Nature Book of the Year is a story of a family’s inheritance in the face of a changing landscape. 

English Pastoral: An Inheritance is a personal account of how Rebanks inherited his family farm in the quintessential Lake District countryside. But the land his grandfather had taught him to farm had changed. 

Rebanks highlights how the collapse of rural landscapes is a similar story around the world but all isn’t lost. 

The narrative centers on a farmer’s attempt to salvage his small corner of the natural world and leave a legacy of pride and hope for the future. 

4. he Carbon Farming Solution: A Global Toolkit of Perennial Crops and Regenerative Agriculture Practices for Climate Change Mitigation and Food Security By Eric Toensmeier

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One of the best sustainable agriculture books for farmers, The Carbon Farming Solution is a toolkit on how to adopt carbon farming practices to strengthen food security and tackle global warming. 

This groundbreaking book by Eric Toesnmeier argues that using crops that sequester carbon can bring the world back from the brink of climate change. 

He takes a look at the impact of easily adoptable farming practices on the environment from grazing systems to the use of agroforestry and perennial crops. 

5. Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life By David R. Montgomery

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Written by geologist David R. Montgomery, Growing a Revolution is a call to action on restoring soil health for the future of food and civilization as we know it. 

From Kansas to Ghana, Montgomery sheds light on the farmers around the world who are at the forefront of restoring our soils. 

He explains why ditching ploughs, planting cover crops and implementing crop diversity are the keys to bringing conservation to agriculture. Ultimately, when land fertility is restored, we all win. 

6. One Size Fits None: A Farm Girl’s Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture By Stephanie Anderson

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In her award-winning book, One Size Fits None, Stephanie Anderson argues that the success of sustainable food systems goes even deeper than regenerative agriculture. Farming needs to be tailored to the farmland’s local environment. 

She uses case studies from farmers across the United States who have adopted ‘nontraditional’ agricultural techniques based on their locality to improve food output without degrading the earth. 

Diverse farmer stories include an organic vegetable farmer in Florida who harvests microgreens, a bison rancher in South Dakota who uses an alternative to industrial feedlot, and a North Dakota farmer combining livestock and grain to restore native prairies.

7. For the Love of Soil: Strategies to Regenerate Our Food Production Systems By Nicole Masters

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For the Love of Soil by Nicole Masters is a roadmap to healthy soil and food systems. An essential guide for any food producer with an upbeat attitude that assures that hope is not lost, this guide breaks down the complexities of soil ecology into actionable strategies. 

It’s another favorite of ours, and one we find ourselves going back to every once in a while—usually in the bleak midwinter when we start to get a little stir-crazy for the impending growing season.

Using case studies from regenerative farmers, producers and ranchers in Australasia and North America, Masters shows how a soil-first approach is crucial for the future of food. 

This regenerative gardening book teaches you skills such as how to fast-track soil health, build resilient soil systems and understand the connection between weeds, diseases, and soil. 

8. The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet By Kristin Ohlson

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In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson explores how healing the land can improve food and reverse climate change. 

Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices have led to a loss of up to 80% of carbon from our soils. Ohlson’s idea of a “great green hope” makes a case for returning atmospheric carbon to the soil. 

Her book introduces readers to the farmers, visionaries, scientists, ranchers, and landscapers who are solving the soil health crisis and problems around drought, erosion and food quality.

9. What Your Food Ate: How to Heal Our Land and Reclaim Our Health By David R. Montgomery & Anne Biklé

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What Your Food Ate by David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé is a look under the microscope at the impact of soil health on crops, livestock and us. 

They highlight the long-standing symbiotic relationship between healthy soils and nutrient-rich crops, and how it provides us with the nutrients needed to protect our bodies. 

Conventional farming has disrupted this relationship at the cost of our overall well-being. 

They explain that regenerative farming could be the key to improving human health and tackling malnourishment.

10. Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, a New Earth By Charles Massy

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Charles Massy’s Call of the Reed Warbler explores the relationship between regenerative agriculture and our health. 

Looking at the corporations driving industrial farming and the courageous farmers finding a new way to grow, he writes about his experience changing from a farmer using chemicals on dead soils to a radical ecologist farmer regenerating a 2000-hectare property.

A book which is part storytelling, memoir, research and scientific evidence, it offers a tangible path forward and hope for a healthier world.

11. Regenesis: Feeding the World without Devouring the Planet By George Monbiot

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Regenesis by George Monbiot calls for a food and farming revolution. The Sunday Times bestseller discusses the devastating impact of farming on the environment and yet millions of people still go hungry. 

But there is hope. Monbiot documents the people who are changing the way we understand soil ecology to grow more food with less farming. Among his case studies, he shares findings from a fruit and vegetable grower making new advancements in fertility and perennial grain breeders farming without ploughs and poisons. 

This regenerative agriculture book is a deep dive into how farming can take us from the age of extinction into the age of regenesis. 

Closing Thoughts On The Best Books On Regenerative Agriculture

Our food and farming systems are fragile. With the rising threat of climate change, our food security hangs in the balance. 

While the future is uncertain, the good news is the principles of regenerative farming are becoming more widespread and the best way to make it succeed is through education. 

So share this list of books about sustainable agriculture with a friend, neighbor, gardener or food producer so we can all work towards a healthier and more food-secure world.