We start with a regenerative farming model. Rather than trying to fix the endless barrage of problems industrial farming has spawned, we simply don’t create those problems in the first place. Instead, we are cultivating something both innovative and ancient: a logical, forward-thinking, regenerative agriculture model that is built not on a nearsighted drive towards maximum profit, but on our triple bottom-line. If a practice isn’t ecologically, economically and socially viable, it simply isn’t an option.
Our methods are informed by indigenous practices, supplemented by the farmers’ own experiential learning and validated by rigorous scientific testing. Every decision is assessed for its impact on the entire ecosystem. This means we implement not only poultry paddocks and cover crops, but also solar heating in the coops, perennials that protect the chickens and provide revenue, and grains that strengthen the soil and feed the poultry. Since energy-efficiency and symbiosis are at the heart of any sustainable system, these relationships are critical. The cycle creates a variety of products that support the farmer and the model itself and can be aggregated to build regional strength and resilience.
Chickens are at the center of our system because they work so well with the crops, farmers, and environment. They’re a one-stop weed-eating, bug-killing, soil-enhancing replacement for the counter-productive synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers destroying conventional farms and their communities. They can also start to reverse global warming by increasing the soil’s ability to absorb carbon. More carbon sequestration means an actual reduction in greenhouse gases – something that conservation alone cannot do. Not only can Main Street Project’s regenerative farming system repair rural ecosystems, it can actually cool the planet.
At the heart of our model is free-range meat and egg poultry raised in a well-managed paddock. Each paddock area is planted with a combination of perennials, cover crops, and small grains that provide additional cash value to the farmers and nutrition and shelter for the chickens; the chickens in exchange provide the manure to fertilize not only the paddock and the plants within, but also other vegetables and perennials that provide associated agricultural enterprises in the area. With their short turnaround or life cycle, chickens, whether for meat or eggs, provide a positive revenue stream at a low cost of entry. With its cultural familiarity, poultry production provides immigrant communities with the opportunity to move from laboring in an exploitative system to owning a small business. At the same time, the community benefits from the increased access to local, healthy food, and the economic boost of thriving local markets. Everybody wins.