Juergen and I attended a 3 day Biofertliser workshop conducted by Eugenio Gras at Milkwood Farm from 21 – 23 October 2011. A sustainable agriculture consultant, researcher, teacher, farmer, advocate; Eugenio specialises in Key Line Design and Biofertility, working intensively in the training of farmers, producers, academics and professors throughout Latin America.
In the grassroots work that he does in Mas Humus (More Humus), Eugenio works with a team of Mexican colleagues to introduce pioneering solutions to enable farmers to grow healthy food, celebrate community and live a simple life in abundance.
Going beyond the the words of organic, regenerative agriculture or Permaculture, he puts up a convincing argument of why chemical farmers should be the ones with labels, and certifications, not the farms operated by genuine farmers which work in connection and partnership with the land, nurturing family and community. Looking back at the 10,000 years of agriculture that we have behind us, isn’t it an irony that modern chemical agriculture which has only been around for the past 50 – 100 years has been conveniently termed ‘conventional’?
Very much a Mexican at heart, Eugenio has bundles of enthusiasm and radiating positivism, that can take any chemically worn down farm and turn it into a biologically thriving system, given the patience, commitment and perseverance it requires. He is passionate about helping rural communities and farmers of all scales (from small acreage family farmers up to farmers which own thousands of acres), liberating them from the vicious cycle of immense chemical input and often resulting debt, therefore increasing not just their income, but their quality of life.
Eugenio has spoken worldwide on innovative techniques for creating organic, natural fertiliser from whatever is at hand on a given farm, and is part of the Regen Ag group, where he spends some time in a year spreading the innovations of Soil Chromatography and Bio Fertilisers beyond Latin America.
Some of the cool things that we learnt from him at the Biofertiliser workshop at Milkwood Farm is how to make and use:
A soluble form of Phosphorus that is suitable for plant intake, made from bone ash.
A microbial brew made from locally sourced materials, that energises plants with a full range of biologically active minerals.
A plant and soil friendly application for preventing fungal infections.
A cheap and easy way to make a qualitative assessment of your soil.