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Dirt to Soil

One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture
Written by: Gabe Brown
Narrated by: Gabe Brown
Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's 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

What members say

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excellent!

loved it and had no trouble going through it. almost wished it was longer and had more chapters. thanks Gabe, this will change my farm

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The world needs more Gabe.

Mr Brown has learned through observation and trial and error how to rebuild soil and farm sustainably. The book is incredibly important and gives humanity a shot at redemption from our agricultural sins. Thank you Gabe for sharing this information.

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Amazing

This book gives hope to those who have been told they will never make a living farming. Well written, highly recommend it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-01-29

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!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • elizabeth smouse
  • 2019-06-20

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-01-30

informative and to-the-point!

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-08-17

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-11-13

Great overview of generative farming

I really enjoyed reading this book. The story is well told, making it easy to understand what regenerative farming is about. This could and i belive should be taught at every agricultural school. And practiced everywhere. It did not cover much on CO2 sequestering and the importance of regenerative farming to achieve this. The focus was how to run the farm better, more economical and efficient.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-11-12

amazing knowledge to sustainably care for soil

loved the audiobook. spending a lot of time learning about soil as I prepare to enter into the growing market for cannabis. I already knew I wanted to be environmentally sustainable, but this book has provided me with the knowledge on how to do so and how to continuously feed my crops without synthetic inputs. Thank you Gabe.

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  • Kimberly Nelson
  • 2019-10-31

another Aha moment....

I loved this book and can not wait to share this information to my family.

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  • Layne
  • 2019-10-30

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!

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  • Patti Armbrister
  • 2019-10-28

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.

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  • andrew
  • 2019-10-17

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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  • M GUILLAUME
  • 2019-05-09

Practical and most insightful

Gabe is passionate pragmatic and factual and knowledgeable. In this book, he is lays the foundation for a viable alternative to chemistry-based agriculture. A model he experienced and lived with successfully. Another agricultural model is possible at scale; a more viable alternative is not only desirable it is essential and urgently need. Please read, challenge, apply and promote this book and teachings. We will all be better off.