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Dirt to Soil

One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture
Narrated by: Gabe Brown
Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Environment
5 out of 5 stars (71 ratings)

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Summary

Gabe Brown didn’t set out to change the world when he first started working alongside his father-in-law on the family farm in North Dakota. But as a series of weather-related crop disasters put Brown and his wife, Shelly, in desperate financial straits, they started making bold changes to their farm. 

Brown - in an effort to simply survive - began experimenting with new practices he’d learned about from reading and talking with innovative researchers and ranchers. As he and his family struggled to keep the farm viable, they found themselves on an amazing journey into a new type of farming: regenerative agriculture. Brown dropped the use of most of the herbicides, insecticides, and synthetic fertilizers that are a standard part of conventional agriculture. He switched to no-till planting, started planting diverse cover crops mixes, and changed his grazing practices. In doing so, Brown transformed a degraded farm ecosystem into one full of life - starting with the soil and working his way up, one plant and one animal at a time. 

In Dirt to Soil, Gabe Brown tells the story of that amazing journey and offers a wealth of innovative solutions to our most pressing and complex contemporary agricultural challenge - restoring the soil. The Brown’s Ranch model, developed over 20 years of experimentation and refinement, focuses on regenerating resources by continuously enhancing the living biology in the soil. 

Using regenerative agricultural principles, Brown’s 5,000-acre ranch has grown several inches of new topsoil in only 20 years! The key is how we think, Brown says. In the industrial agricultural model, all thoughts are focused on killing things. But that mind-set was also killing diversity, soil, and profit, Brown realized. Now, he channels his creative thinking toward how he can get more life on the land - more plants, animals, and beneficial insects. 

“The greatest roadblock to solving a problem,” Brown says, “is the human mind."

©2018 Gabe Brown (P)2018 Chelsea Green Publishing

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Thought provoking and unexpectedly emotional

As a farmer I found this book challenging but inspirating and emotional as I reflect how the Gabe's early story reflects my early experiences of conventional farming.

1 person found this helpful

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A survival ESSENTIAL!

Gabe with his fresh eyes, fresh insight & razor sharp intellect & observations, shows the way not simply to “food” production, but way more important, nutrition production.
In doing so Gabe gives us back our sustainable world & balance of nature. This man & his family are modern day agricultural heroes. A must read & “digest” kinda book.

1 person found this helpful

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outstanding

A wonderful audio book, that could help to save the Earth and our species, truly nspirational and illuminating

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such a great listen

all farmers need to give it a chance. will listen again lots of information. I can't wait to start trying new ideas

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Must Read for all Farmers

This book is a MUST READ / LISTEN, not an option for any and all farmers, current and aspiring to be. It clearly explains how and why our current agricultural production model is not fit for purpose and in fact destructive to us right now and getting even more so each day we remain in this model which will ultimately destroy us all.

MOST IMPORTANTLY though is Gabe explains how a farmer can change to a regenerative farming system and the multiple benefits that come with it, not only a healthy, profitable and very resilient farming business but a healthy regenerating earth along with very healthy life including humans!!! AND IT CAN GO ON!!!

For any farmer who would choose to not do what Gabe Brown has done after becoming aware of regenerative agriculture in my mind could be considered as dereliction of duty to the earth and the life that lives on it! I know that for many it is not easy because of many internal and external forces that keep them in the rut, however IT MUST BE DONE AND DONE NOW!!

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Amazing Story

A fantastic and inspiring book. I’ve recently converted our dairy farm to organic but this book has answered a lot of questions and filled some blank spaces for me towards ‘WHY’ I am doing what I’m doing.

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Must Read Book for ALL farmers<br />

Even if your not interested in regenerative agriculture this book will make you think about your current farming system

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Full of useful information

I can't help feeling I will be turning to this book again over the coming years once I've read all the other books mentioned.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-01-19

loved it.

I hope every farmer, gardener and lawmaker reads it. I think it should probably be required reading in every conservation and agricultural course.
I am almost done listening to it for the 4th time. Gabe Brown should be nominated for Person of the Year on Time Magazine!

6 people found this helpful

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  • elizabeth smouse
  • 20-06-19

Inspiring

If you’re looking for a different (better) way to do things this may be your saving grace. If someone is telling you there is only one way to do something and all the while they are profiting from you doing it that way, chances are they are either lying to you or are uninformed about alternatives. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and if you look hard enough you’ll find in most cases the “cat” didn’t need to be skinned in the first place.

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  • Layne
  • 30-10-19

Everyone should know this information

This book can and will actually change your life if you take action with the practices described. I have been doing regenerative agriculture for 7 years and can see major changes in soil health.
I have been to the authors ranch and met him. The information is legitimate and the authenticity is real. What a great book!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-08-19

Happy to hear someone is doing something

The author is the narrator, he has and accent and unusual reading style. To be honest I almost stopped listening in the first few minutes. I'm glad that I didnt. If your interested in farming with the help of nature instead of against it, you need to listen to what this man has to teach you!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 30-01-19

informative and to-the-point!

I enjoyed listening to this book and my version is full of bookmarks. Thanks Gabe Bown!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Patti Armbrister
  • 28-10-19

Must read if you grow food!

Dirt to Soil is a book every farmer, ranchers, grower, gardener, extension agent and NRCS employee should read. In fact if you eat food you should read this book. You will gain a better understanding of food and nutrition. Plus gain a much larger respect for agriculture and the soil microbes that you and your health is dependent upon if you eat food! I teach school and believe that the book should be getting read in middle school so all students can gain knowledge about the future of agriculture and our food production system.

1 person found this helpful

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  • andrew
  • 17-10-19

Great book for large scale AG

Not many people are able to talk to the subject of large scale agriculture. Gave had done an excellent job of it! I like that he read it too.

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  • david
  • 25-05-19

Good knowledge

I think this book gives good knowledge from his experience. It is very motivating. It does NOT give you the formula for you to do it though, you need to research afterwards. That is why I gave it 4 stars.

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  • Tamlin Chamberlain
  • 01-05-19

A must read for anyone interested in regenerative agriculture.

Gabe it does a wonderful job telling his life story while teaching us the fundamentals of regenerative agriculture. Very engaging and entertaining while extremely educational at the same time. He uses his own as well as many others stories illustrate the importance of integrating livestock into agricultural production methods for growing food crops. Gabe’s passion comes through and his “can-do“ attitude is refreshing in today’s climate of negativity and pessimism.

1 person found this helpful

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  • option31AW
  • 07-12-18

Full of real and practical ideas.

Beyond a doubt the best book I have read/listened to. Real ideas that are of great help no matter where you live. It is not a technical scrib, it lays it all out in simple terms. Several changes I am going to make spring 2019, buy a soil temperature meter, mix a more diverse cover crop get soil tests that include carbon amounts in soil.

1 person found this helpful