All of these grazing experts in one program: The Crazy man himself Ray Archuleta, Grazing specialist Gabe Brown, Dr. Rick Haney and Local farmer Russell Hedrick
The 2017 Southern Soil Health Field Day was again being Hosted by JRH Grain Farms of Catawba county NC. The day began with registration and a quick Field trip in the morning to see corn and soybeans growing in the field with and without cover crops. The lunch was be provided buffet style.
In the evening there was a Distillery Tour at the Foothills Distillery to see locally crafted spirits.
This was proudly sponsored by:
- JRH Grain Farms, LLC
- Catawba County Soil & Water
- Yetter Farm Equipment
- Seedway Seeds LLC
- North Carolina Farm Bureau
- Carolina Farm Credit
- NC Cooperative Extension
Some of my takeaways were the idea that tillage is intrusive and much of our agriculture related environmental problems result from overgrazing and tillage, which then causes infiltration problems.
This event was really about bringing life back to the farm and this graphic on understanding the context shows how:
- Adaptive Management using Holistic Planning
- Reducing Chemical, Biological, and Physical Disturbance
- Covering the Soil at All Times
- Growing a Living Root 24/7
- Diversity, Crop Rotation, Cover Crops
- Integrate Diverse Animals
- Human Integrity = Ecological Integrity
Ray Archuleta recommended these books to help anyone interested in understanding more of the context:
Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web by Jeff Lowenfels
Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition by Jeff Lowenfels
Teaming with Fungi: The Organic Grower’s Guide to Mycorrhizae by Jeff Lowenfels
Farming in Nature’s Image, An Ecological Approach To Agriculture, by Judy Soule and Jon Piper by Jeff Lowenfels
This last image is from the cover crop under the corn at Russell Hedrick’s farm which increases the soil health through increased infiltration and ultimately increasing water extractable organic carbon.
Stay tuned for more on regenerative agriculture education.
Author: Lee Warren
Lee Warren has been homesteading and farming in cooperative community for more than 20 years. She is the Executive Director of Organic Growers School, which has been offering organic education to Southern Appalachia since 1993. She is the co-founder of Village Terraces CoHousing Community, a collaborative, off-grid neighborhood at Earthaven Ecovillage, and the manager of Imani Farm, a pasture-based cooperative farm. Lee is also an herbalist, writer, teacher, and food activist, with an avid interest in rural wisdom, sustainable economics, and social justice issues.