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FAQ

  • What is regenerative agriculture?
    The aim of regenerative agriculture is to work with nature and use the potential of cycles . Pesticides and artificial fertilizers are rejected and the focus is on the regeneration of topsoil, biodiversity and the preservation of the water cycle. The aim is to be as close to nature as possible. Essentially, the following five principles apply: Few disturbances thanks to superficial soil cultivation Permanent ground cover if possible always living roots in the soil Maximising biodiversity on the farm integrated animal husbandry (pasture or free-range) Unlike regenerative agriculture, regenerative mosaic agriculture does not require integrated livestock farming. You can find out more about regenerative agriculture here .
  • What is regenerative mosaic agriculture?
    Since 2015, SlowGrow has been developing the approach of regenerative mosaic agriculture (RMA) as a productive experimental farm. The RMA brings together the best of various farming methods: With a mix of permaculture, organic and regenerative agriculture, but also completely new approaches, a new farming system is being created. One that works with a variegated application of mulching, shallow soil cultivation, deep loosening, through to no-till vegetable cultivation and mixed bed cultures. The RMA do not require easily soluble fertilizers or pesticides. The use of modern technology is also a matter of course, for example the fields are cultivated using CTF (coltrolled traffic farming), which means that all machines drive on fixed lanes that remain the same over the years. Crops of vegetables, grains, green manure, flower strips or perennial crops are planted in a mosaic-like manner on various beds. This promotes the interaction between neighboring crops, their biological messengers, microorganisms, fungal networks and insect populations. Ecological areas are not separated from the arable land, but united with it - biodiversity becomes a decisive production factor. Innovations from different areas (machines, management system, soil treatment) make this radically nature-oriented and at the same time economical production possible on the farm. All of this enables a system in which biodiversity and production are established on the same area. The combination of practical knowledge, intuition, creativity and innovation is forward-looking and shows that agroecological principles can also be implemented perfectly in Switzerland and thus also enable "species-appropriate plant husbandry". All of the knowledge is bundled, processed and passed on in the HofLabor.
  • What are the key principles of regenerative mosaic agriculture?
    Functioning natural processes are the most important production factors in the RMA: Soil Soil life ensures that plants receive the best possible nutrition. Soil is a key factor. It must not only be healthy, but also alive. Active soil life can ensure that plants receive the best possible nutrition. Fixed lanes and GPS help avoid consolidation Mulch material and green manures nourish soil life and protect against rain and sun. The absence of pesticides and rapidly soluble fertilizers allows the development of natural symbioses between plants and bacteria and fungi. This enables the plants to be supplied with nutrients and water. Carbon-rich material in the topsoil acts as an additional driver for soil life. Crop rotation Site-specific crop rotation with knowledge of the conditions and history of each bed. Ecosystem In the farm-scale ecosystem, beneficial organisms and pests are balanced: the diverse cultivation in tractor-wide strips allows for high biological diversity. Additional structures provide space for the developmental stages of all kinds of living creatures - the basis for a balanced ecosystem. Management Machines and clever management allow efficiency and scalability: site-specific crop rotation with knowledge of the conditions and history of each bed.
  • What methods are combined in the regenerative mosaic agriculture approach?
    Regenerative Agriculture Permaculture Organic farming Mulching No-till approach Mixed bedding cultures ... and many others. This is what the regenerative mosaic agriculture approach is all about: it uses all approaches that have proven useful in practice to regenerate the soil and achieve the highest possible soil quality and biodiversity.
  • What is the difference between permaculture and regenerative agriculture?
    Regenerative agriculture is closely related to permaculture. Both concepts are based on the idea of creating healthy, fertile soils so that agriculture remains sustainable and productive in the long term. In permaculture, perennial plants are usually planted in a small space and combined with each other so that a self-sustaining system can be created. Natural ecosystems and cycles from nature are imitated. Regenerative agriculture, on the other hand, is more oriented towards annual crops.
  • Is regenerative mosaic agriculture a panacea for all problems?
    No. From the outside, it quickly seems that we at HofLabor already have the patent solution for all problems. That is not the case - of course we have learned a lot in recent years, but many new questions have also arisen. At HofLabor, we are now developing solutions that are robust enough so that we can pass them on to other farmers so that they can benefit from our experiences. We believe that every new system only has one chance and that we need a robust system before we can pass this knowledge on to other farmers. For farmers, experiments involve high risk - financially and with personal reputation in a traditional environment.
  • Who is the HofLabor approach suitable for?
    Our approach is suitable for every farmer and landowner who is looking for a sustainable, regenerative and nature-oriented way of cultivation.
  • What is the goal of the HofLabor?
    Our goal: to make the regenerative system of mosaic agriculture technically and economically scalable and easily accessible to farmers over the next three years – thanks to new technology and innovation.
  • What products does HofLabor want to develop?
    We are working on being able to support farmers in a concrete and needs-oriented way in the conversion and implementation of a nature-based agriculture that is sustainable in all dimensions. Over the next three years, the HofLabor wants to further develop regenerative mosaic agriculture so that it becomes scalable and feasible for farmers - to do this, we are bundling the knowledge of the pioneer farms, developing multifunctional methods, machines and digital management tools.
  • When can I benefit from HofLabor’s solutions?
    We are currently still developing our methods, tools and solutions. A finished product will therefore only be available in about three years. If you are interested in how we work, please feel free to contact us by email and we will get back to you.
  • Where are you currently in the development?
    We currently have more than 800 strips in trials on three pioneer farms - that means that various experiments are currently taking place there that are helping us to further develop regenerative mosaic agriculture. These findings are incorporated into the development of the products. In addition, eight key machines are in development. Thanks to iterations, we are equipping the machines ideally to work productively, efficiently and still close to nature.
  • What is the relationship between HofLabor and SlowGrow?
    SlowGrow has been a pioneer farm for regenerative mulch mixed cultures since 2015. The founder of SlowGrow is Matthias Hollenstein, who is also co-founder of HofLabor. Since 2018, SlowGrow has been growing vegetables and arable land on around 20 hectares in the Zurich Oberland and cultivating various specialty crops. The idea for the HofLabor as an on-farm innovation project arose from SlowGrow's many years of experimentation, development and testing activities. In 2021, the HofLabor was founded as an independent project. SlowGrow is now one of the pioneer farms of the HofLabor - many experiments take place on SlowGrow's land and SlowGrow provides its data for evaluation.
  • I am writing a paper in a university environment – who can I contact?
    Currently, both the HofLabor and SlowGrow are receiving a lot of attention, which of course makes us very happy. At the same time, we are unfortunately unable to respond to all requests as our team is small and time is short. Please contact us by email or via the contact form and we will review your request.
  • I am a media professional – who can I contact?
    We are very happy to receive media inquiries and reports. We are currently working on a media kit. Until then, you can contact us by email or via the contact form. Please understand that we cannot respond immediately as our team is small and we are out in the field a lot.

Untenstehend haben wir die Fragen zusammengestellt, die uns am meisten gestellt werden. Die Liste wird laufend ergänzt.

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