Search Results

Searched for: soilquality

We Are Not Fated to Repeat Dirty History

The United Nations-Food and Agriculture Organization has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. That’s fitting, given how reliant the entire world is on keeping our soil in place, as well as keeping it healthy. But this isn’t exactly new information: years ago I happened upon a 1953 pamphlet called Conquest of the Land Through…  Read More

Making Diversity Pay its Own Way

NOTE: During a pair of Land Stewardship Project workshops Jan. 29 and 30, Dawn and Grant Breitkreutz will be discussing how they are using no-till row cropping, managed rotational grazing and diversified cover cropping to build soil health profitably on their southwestern Minnesota farm. For more background on the Breitkreutzes, check out this LSP blog…  Read More

Digging into a Soil Health Test

A streak of creativity brightens the landscape when farmers join forces with scientists to investigate “the standard” of what we thought we already knew. Take, for example, the fresh look at how soil functions—collectively called soil health—that has been the talk of Land Stewardship Project workshops and field days the past five years or so.…  Read More

A Farm Makes Changes to Benefit Soil, Profit & Quality of Life

Dry Creek Farms has been farming certified organic crops since 2001 and presently consists of me and my wife Terri, along with our son Jared, who recently returned to the farm after attending college. We have registered Red Angus cattle and recently Jared has added Polled Herefords as well. The cattle are raised on an…  Read More

Change Comes from the Ground Up

As the staff and member-leaders of the Land Stewardship Project conduct our organization’s work for stewardship and justice on the land, the central concept that keeps arising is “change comes from the ground up.” Whether the subject is farming practices, public policy or community vitality, thinking about positive change in this way is enormously helpful…  Read More

Feed the Plant, Starve the Soil

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

Soil’s Underground Fight Against Climate Change

At a time when there’s a lot of bad news when it comes to the state of our land, spending a bit of time in the company of optimists can be good for the soul. And there’s no doubt Kristin Ohlson and Courtney White have a positive message to relay in their new books about…  Read More

A Disappearing World Beneath Our Feet

As Midwestern farm fields take a long winter’s nap, evidence is piling up that even when the temperature’s above freezing, all that soil is basically in a bit of a stupor—so devoid of microbial life that it can’t even produce a decent crop without getting a hit of chemical inputs. The latest proof of this…  Read More

An Investment in Sustainable Ag is an Investment in a Positive Future for Rural Minnesota

If ever there was a shining example of a smart public investment in our food and farming future, Minnesota’s Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program is it. This program has been an important driver of sustainable (and conventional) farming innovations in the state for almost a quarter-century. Farmers who qualify for these competitive grants are able…  Read More

Healthy Soil, Healthy Farms, Healthy Communities (2nd of 2 parts)

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