A two day, four-class spring course for farmers, gardeners, and others interested in the world of soil, plant biology, and organic methods.
The goal of this class to to demystify the natural processes that govern your farming or gardening system. Have you ever been befuddled by why your farm or garden behaves the way it does? Have you ever felt uncertain about how the fertilizer or compost you’re using may or may not benefit your farm and bottom line?
Would you like a deeper understanding of how soil actually functions to facilitate the growth of healthy crops and communities?
This course has been helpful to many growers over the years in getting a richer understanding of their farm’s natural systems.
In class one we will explore the physical, chemical, and biological nature of our soils in close detail. We will discuss the mineral and organic nature of soil by going step by step through it’s macro and micro structures, exploring it’s ecological constituents, and discussing how nutirents are cycled within the system. We will use soil test analysis to demonstrate the concepts we discuss.
In class two we will focus on the plant/soil relationship. For example, how do micronutrients such as molybdenum interact with macronutrients such as nitrogen to faciliate plant growth? What do we need to understand about these relationships as farmers? We will take a look at how to conceptualize plant disease, how to examine a plant in the field, and how we can avoid large scale problems through organic/holisitc management.
In class three we will discuss the biological component of soil in greater detail, explore food web dynamics, nutrient flows, and the ecological role plants, animals, and microorganisms play. Again, using soil tests to illuminate some of the rhetoric that is out there we will take a balanced look at the controversy between a biological approach versus a chemical approach to dealing with nutrient availability.
In class four we will assess management techniques and philosophies in the organic/regenerative/alternative agricultural world. John will bring his own experiences of over twenty years of organic farming to the table while highlighting some of the more successful growers/soil managers he is aware of. The entire course is strongly influenced by question and answer opportunities and we will encourage attendees to bring their own experiences with them.
Course is taught by John Kenny of Big Train Farm.