Barrels full of promise
Updated: Apr 14
Today we saw vats and bottles of soy sauce; how it was made from the first sowing of the crop to being in a bottle, but it was more than that. The ingredient list on the bottle included wheat, soya beans, salt and microorganisms. But the key ingredients in the bottle are unseen: patience, dedication, drive and the desire to care. Care more about the taste, care more about the nutrition and to care more about where the ingredients come from and how they impact on nature and our planet.
We had the privilege along with 10 other supporters of regenerative practices in visiting the Soil Heroes farm of Jeroen and Melanie Klompe in Mijnsheerenland and BoerBakkerBert brewery, making Tomasu soy sauce (soyu) in Rotterdam. The Klompe farm is an example of how to make regenerative practices work – producing a delicious product with a high nutritional value that is also regenerating the soil.
When we say regenerating the soil, that is a reference to the often traditional, indigenous farming practices that rather than being new: have often been forgotten and refound. Regenerative Agriculture (or in many parts of the world the term agroecology is used) describes "farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle". (Regeneration International)
You can read further here on the link between regenerative farming practices and the care economy. Farming with nature, not against it, is an essential part of the care economy.
The combination of the regenerative farm and the brewery shows that with patience and dedication, knowledge grows, mistakes are learnt from and there can be a financially viable model for a farmer which works with nature. Their farm produces soya beans for the only top rated soy sauce outside of Japan. Tomasu is an outstanding example of soy sauce, but also of business in general. They know the impact of every one of their ingredients: the impact on the flavour and impact on nature.
As if it wasn’t enough to be bowled over by the single mindedness and dedication of Jeroen and Melanie (boer- farmer) and Thomas (Bakker- baker) and Bert: I was surrounded by 10 other professionals with a background in soil research, investment in regenerative practices and regenerative farming:
Antonella Totaro and Koen van Seijen, brought all these people together. They run the Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Food podcast
If the fate of the world was in the hands of these 20 people, we would not only be safe but the world would be repairing itself.