The past few months have been harder than ever for thousands of Minnesotans. Our communities were already facing a serious farm crisis, inaccessible and unaffordable healthcare, increasing impacts of climate change, corporate consolidation across our economy, and more. On top of that, a pandemic has wreaked havoc on our healthcare system, farm and food system,… Read More →
I “care for” 50 acres of certified organic cropland east of Caledonia in southeastern Minnesota. Although small in acreage, I am intent upon building back my soil using alternative farming practices like roller-crimping winter rye and spring-seeding rye before soybeans. I’d like to share some insights I’ve gathered while figuring out how to implement these… Read More →
“What? Did you sell your cows?!?” This was the response from my neighbor, who had stopped by several years ago after seeing my pasture covered with 2.5-foot-tall grass. “I have never seen this pasture with grass longer than a golf green in nearly 30 years; you must have sold the cows!” This is a good… Read More →
There are lots of reminders out there that we have a long ways to go before building soil health becomes a mainstay of our food and farming system. Some reminders are subtle, while others are about as blunt as a baseball bat to the head. A reminder of the latter variety is featured in the… Read More →
An Indiana farmer describes his experience with cover cropping and how it fits into a bigger goal of improving his land’s soil health (part 3 of 3).
Talking about the importance of feeding soil microbes is fine. Speaking with your feet is even better. “Take a closer look—anything you tramp down is just carbon in the soil,” quips soil conservationist Jay Fuhrer on a Thursday afternoon in early September. As he says this, he’s beckoning some 120 farmers and others to follow… Read More →
While walking through a knee-high prairie planted on a central Iowa hillside Tuesday, I happened to look down. Trapped amongst all that vegetation was an impressive amount of rich, black glacial soil, the kind that produces record crop yields. And just a few feet away was the source of that soil: a soybean field planted… Read More →