Episode 6: Soil and Regenerative Agriculture with Rod Olson

Episode 6

Play episode

Agriculture is a necessary sector but the conventional methods of farming focus on higher crop yield at the cost of soil health. This leads to vegetables with poor nutritional value, a high environmental impact, and higher costs of production. But what is the alternative? As you’ll discover in today’s episode, regenerative farming is growing in popularity and is seen as the solution to feeding the world while minimizing impacts on the environment. Here to help us unpack the topic of regenerative farming is Rod Olson, a passionate farmer and regenerative agriculture specialist at YYC Growers. Rod aims to build a system of food production that prioritizes the task of production by increasing access to local, ethical farmers all year round. In our conversation, we discuss what regenerative agriculture is, how it differs from conventional farming practices, and why you should care about it. We also delve into the importance of soil health, the role of fungus in creating healthy crops, the benefits of regenerative farming, the biggest challenges facing regenerative farmers, and much more! Tune in to discover the power of conscious agriculture as we get down and dirty about the importance of soil, nutrition, and how regenerative farming will change the world with today’s guest, Rod Olson!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Rod explains how regenerative agriculture is different from conventional agriculture.
  • An outline of the practices and the processes of regenerative agriculture.
  • Whether or not regenerative farming uses fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides.
  • Measuring the wavelength of a vegetable and what it indicates.
  • The vital role that soil plays in determining the nutritional value of natural produce.
  • A discussion about how people have become disconnected from food.
  • We take a deep dive into what healthy soil is and why it’s the foundation of nutrition.
  • Find out what healthy soil looks and feels like.
  • Discover what an active fungal network is and how it makes healthy soil.
  • Learn about the symbiotic relationship between plants and fungi.
  • How conventional agriculture damages fungal networks in the soil.
  • Why maintaining the ecosystem is good for framing.
  • Where to find vegetables grown on regenerative farms.
  • Some of the amazing work that YYC Growers does.
  • Whether hydroponics or vertical farming methods impact the nutritional value of vegetables.
  • Rod explains how to end the cycle of damaging farming practices.
  • What monoculture is and whether or not it fits into regenerative farming. 
  • One of the biggest challenges facing regenerative agriculture: scalability.
  • The difference in cost between YYC Growers and grocery stores.
  • Major incentives for conventional farmers to switch to regenerative farming!


“This is where we’ve got to get to because Mother Nature is constantly evolving. As farmers and stewards of this planet, we have this opportunity to continually evolve our understanding of how to take care of those natural systems.” — Rod Olson [0:03:34]

“It will definitely force people to adapt because—at the end of the day—we only have nutritious food because of the soil process. That’s it. We cannot hijack that process.” — Rod Olson [0:07:53]

“What really matters is the fact that I get to sit across [from you], look at your eyes, have an interesting conversation, and build a bit of trust and a relationship. That is what really solves the earth’s problems. We also need to connect.” — Rod Olson [0:31:15]

“If you want to get more creative, more productive, more in tune with your own essence and your own self, you’ve got to look at your diet. If you’re putting processed shit in there, that resonance has gone way down.” — Rod Olson [0:39:07]

Links Mentioned:

Rod Olson on LinkedIn

YYC Growers and Distributors

Leaf & Lyre Urban Farms


Bionutrient Food Association

Community Natural Foods

Graeme Sait on LinkedIn

Fishburn Ranch

The Eden

Rural Routes to Climate Solutions

Kiss the Ground

Nathaniel Ernst

Nathaniel Ernst on LinkedIn


NATEFIT on Facebook

NATEFIT on Instagram

Join the discussion

More from this show

Episode 6