Tina and Orion Weldon from TerraPurezza
Why Regenerative Farming Is the Future
TerraPurezza is the first model for economically viable regenerative agriculture. We prove that it’s possible to build nutritionally-dense and scalable food systems that exist in balance with native ecologies.
With all that we ask of our natural resources, it is the greatest challenge of our society to meet increasing human needs while living in harmony with the environment. By combining traditional regenerative agriculture techniques with modern technology systems, we regenerate soils to build a more vibrant foundation for the growth of native plants and nutritionally-dense food. We empower others to do the same.
We have proven in the tough Texas terrain that these practices are not only feasible, but also scalable to any level.
Our practices include rotational grazing of high-density livestock, effective water management via land augmentation, restoration of native grasses, and the highest quality of animal welfare. With two campuses, our working farm is a real-world example for how different regenerative agriculture techniques can succeed at local and global scales.
We have conducted in-field research to ensure our results are data-driven and replicable. We also offer educational experiences in nutrition, ecology, and public policy through collaborations with universities and other organizations.
Located in the Texas Hill Country, TerraPurezza was founded by Tina and Orion Weldon in 2015 in Spicewood, TX and has rejuvenated over 100 acres of native Texas prairie, with another 200 acres in progress. With backgrounds in nutrition, agriculture, technology, and conservation ecology, the TerraPurezza team applies a multidisciplinary approach to establishing a more resilient food system.
TerraPurezza. A better way to better food.
Their farm started in Spicewood, TX.
Orion had a quick and easy birth. How did she regain her figure so quickly afterwards? Followed a whole food based diet.
When the real labor pain started, she surrendered and knew she would make it through.
Their current diet is varied with meat and fat heavy.
Orion used to be vegetarian, but needed more iron, protein, B12. After contracting Lyme Disease at 12, doctor told her to eat pasture-based meats, especially organs.
Orion worked on farms to understand small-scale agriculture. Then studied dietetics at Rutgers.
They met in 2014 in New York City at a climate protest march of Rutgers’ students.
Tim came to regenerative agriculture from a wildlife perspective, not health. Conservation ecology major. Wanted to save threatened and endangered birds, realized saving wildlife came down to land management. Even before they first met, each of them wanted a regenerative agricultural farm.
TerraPurezza Farm means pure soil. Emphasis on food, land, better health.
What is regenerative vs. organic vs. sustainable? Regenerative is beyond organic. Building soil, health, and habitat. Impacting land with animals to bring in nutrients, periods of rest, repeat. Integrating soil, habitat, aquifers, food waste. Uses endangered and threatened breeds, feeding them food waste otherwise going to a landfill, using a zero emissions vehicle. Next is a solar carport.
Sustainable means must also be financially sustainable. Creating partnerships.
Farming is indescribably hard work, entailing logistics, unpredictability, financial challenges, hard work on the body, and trial and error.
Started from scratch with nothing but 5 acres of hilly, rocky, caliche-soil land given by Tim’s parents. Want to be an exemplar for other lands world-wide where desertification process is ongoing because of overgrazing.
Running a farmer’s market requires caring for relationships of all involved. Needs integrity of showing up. Running 2 farmer’s market in Texas currently. Demand outstrips supply. Characterized by cooperation not competition.
Why pigs? Can’t get their kind of pork at grocery stores or suppliers. Doing pigs correctly is very hard work, people not willing to do it. A lot of hands on labor. Almost all pork is supplemented with corn and soy, even pasture-raised. Pigs aren’t ruminants, so you eat what the pigs eat.
TerraPurezza started with chickens and pigs, which are monogastric animals. Ruminants eat grass and hay, so how do you return nutrients to soil with ruminants? Chicks and pigs are fed Whole Food waste. They return the nutrients to the land and break up the hard soil. Get more yield from a pig than a cow, faster return of capital.
Lard from pasture-raised pork is the highest vit D containing food from outside the ocean. Also high in omega 9, which is in olive oil. More collagen content from pork than beef.
Healthy pork doesn’t need to be cooked throughout. Danger of parasites and bacteria is from industrial pork. Rotational grazing eliminates tapeworm or parasites.
Corn and soy fed pork gives an unpleasant mouth feel and have a soft fat. Corn high in omega 6’s, which are inflammatory. Instead, want a fat that’s part of the meat.
Cholesterol ring needed for health, need it to make Vitamin D and hormones.
How to get vivid yellow yolks in eggs? 30 different breeds of heritage hens. Rotating hens on native pasture. Certified organic layer feed with trace vitamins and minerals.
Chicken needs to withstand various cooking techniques. Industrial chickens have thin skin that’s fragile. Their chickens have thick skin, yellow chicken fat, taste that chef’s prefer.
TerraPurezza Farm uses post food-bank food waste. Whole Foods gives them unsalable raw produce and cooked food daily leftovers.
Willy Nelson’s wife Annie fed TerraPurezza food to her family. She invited them to move the entire operation onto Willy Nelson’s Luck Ranch.
TerraPurezza Farm uses heritage breed livestock guardian dogs. Have started breeding them.
Will be acquiring a herd of 60 sheep to sell lamb meat at farmer’s market.
Looking for people willing to do farm work. Entails manual labor, willingness to be up and personal with the animals, requires interest and ability.
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