Planting Seeds of Change

Holding soil while standing in a garden.

The more I learn about potential solutions to help solve the climate crisis, the more I am reminded that the biggest solutions are sometimes the simplest and, oftentimes, are hidden in the soil right under our feet. Luckily, we have some powerful stories in our history to help inspire solutions for how to heal the soil today.

Climate Victory Garden Poster. "Fight Climate Change"

During WWII (one of the greatest challenges to face humanity), Americans back home grew about 8 million tons of food by 1944 in almost 20 million gardens; “victory” gardens to be exact. This was about 40 percent of the produce consumed at that time! Can you imagine shopping in a grocery store today where almost half of the fruits and vegetables come from your neighbors’ gardens?

Today, humanity is facing another crisis: climate change. While it may be quite different from the 1940s, the solution is similar with one minor difference; this time around it’s being called the “Climate Victory Garden.” Instead of growing food for the war effort, Climate Victory Gardens use regenerative agriculture principles (such as not tilling the soil) to help sequester carbon and reverse climate change. Research from the Rodale Institute shows that using regenerative farming methods (if widely adopted) could sequester more than 100% of current carbon dioxide emissions. That’s incredible! So we were inspired to create our own Climate Victory Garden right here at Badger. Read on to learn more about our journey and discover tips for how you can use soil to help reverse climate change. Don’t have access to any soil? Enter the giveaway below to win your very own Victory Planter!

Why is a body care company talking about gardening?

In 2018, we undertook a process of creating a long-term social and environmental Impact Plan, informed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and other innovative goal frameworks. Through this process, we identified many ways we would like to impact the world and our community, and it became clear to us that none was more pressing than addressing climate change.

For the consumer, one of the benefits of purchasing Badger products is that our ingredients list is short and easy to read. Go ahead. Check the back of your Badger product. How many ingredients do you recognize? Chances are most or all of them. That’s because just about every ingredient we use is food-grade and organic. We work directly with a lot of farmers who grow the plants we use in our products, which means we’re in a position to help encourage healthy, regenerative agricultural practices around the world. But before doing so, we thought we should first dig into the soil at Badger headquarters to find out what it really takes to practice regenerative agriculture.

Climate Victory Garden at Badger

Our Climate Victory Garden and the work we are doing to regenerate our land will serve as educational, experiential tools that demonstrate the potential to transform soil on a small scale before branching out to work with our supply network. To get a full idea of all the steps needed to build a Climate Victory Garden from scratch, check out Green America’sClimate Victory Gardening 101 toolkit.

While we’ve always had some form of a garden, here are some of the things we’re changing up this year to turn it into a Climate Victory Garden:

Don’t Disturb the Soil

Planting seeds by hand.

Did you know that one teaspoon of healthy soil contains more microorganisms than there are people on the planet!? A big way to keep soil healthy is not to disturb it. One of the largest changes we’ve made to our garden this year is committing to low or no-till farming practices. When soil is exposed to the elements, a lot of the nutrients are lost, and the soil is more likely to erode from wind and rain.

Keep Soil Covered

Covering garden beds with hay.

We’ve made a deliberate effort to cover every planting bed with straw, both during the growing season and in winter. Protected soil encourages water retention, curbs erosion, maintains topsoil, and protects soil microbes.

Get to Know Your Garden

Digging up soil samples at Badger.
Antioch University NE soil students, Ginny and Kelsey

While this may seem self-explanatory, we’ve taken extra steps this year to become better acquainted with our soil! As a start, we’ve begun working with soil science graduate students to establish baseline measurements. Additionally, we’ve worked with a local and national network of carbon farming experts to learn best practices for our land.

Want to learn the ten best carbon-capturing practices to implement in your garden? Check out this great infographic here!

Practice at Home

Ready to create your own Climate Victory Garden? We’re making it easy by teaming up with fellow B Corp, Gardener’s Supply to offer you a Victory Garden set containing a lovely Victory Planter along with all of your favorite Badger gardening essentials. All you have to do is enter below. One winner will be chosen at random.

Looking for more ways to get started? The Climate Victory Garden toolkit has tons of resources!

Sometimes individual actions like planting a garden can seem as if you’re not doing enough to make a dent in the problem. However, history has shown that when we all pull together, those individual acts can result in big changes. Good news is that you’ll have a Badger buddy joining you on this journey. Happy planting!

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