Soils are the basis of all terrestrial life. A teaspoon of healthy soil contains close to a billion bacteria, many yards of fungi, and thousands of protozoa and nematodes. Through decades of poor management techniques such as ongoing tillage, chemical inputs, and compaction, soil has become degraded the world over. This results in a massive decline in fertility and structure, changes in salinity, loss of organic matter, erosion, and contamination. Composts and compost teas can bring life back to the soil through living organisms that help plants thrive.
Learn to steward and regenerate the soil-food-web through the use of soil amendments, compost, and compost tea (for plants not humans). Join Troy Hinke, former Rodale farmer and apprentice to Dr. Elaine Ingham, for an all-day workshop covering both knowledge and applied techniques. The workshop will cover:
Overview of soil microorganisms and their relationship to plants
Roles of the main beneficial microorganisms in the soil food web.
Essence of compost and compost tea are microorganisms.
Cycling of nutrients and the interplay between soil microorganisms and plant nutrient availability.
Protective barrier on plant foliage and roots to shield against disease and pathogens.
Review of large and small scale composting and compost tea setups
Tour of a windrow compost operation at Living Web Farms.
Pros and cons of thermal composting systems such as the Johnson-Su compost bioreactor.
Tips on successful vermicomposting.
Explore the difference between compost tea and compost extract
Tour of a commercial tea brewer using Living Web Farms’ equipment.
Tips for brewing superior compost tea.
Design and structure of tea spraying programs for farms and gardens.
Tips for brewing teas to favor different microbes, making infusions, and using organic additives with teas and compost extracts.
Navigate the confusing world of shelf-stable microbe products.
The aim of all of these topics is to get life in the soil and keep it there. Microbe-activated natural fertility is the safest and most natural way to rebuild the life in our soils.
Where: Living Web Farms, 174 Kimzey Road, Mills River, NC
When: Friday, March 6, 2020, 9:30 to 4:30
Cost: $60 with Organic Growers School Saturday and/or Sunday conference registration, $75 without.