Soil Fertility Management

5.19.20 // 4:00pm to 6.16.20 // 5:30pm

Organic Farming and Food Systems Practicum 1: Spring Preparation

Workshop participants will learn basic horticulture principles and practices associated with organic vegetable production emphasizing soil health and regenerative agriculture systems. This workshop focuses on soil management, cultivation and tillage practices (including no-till), plant propagation, and crop planning. The value of soil organic matter and microbes will be discussed within the contexts of industrial and regenerative agriculture, exposing participants to broader issues in the food system.

Mixing Cover Crops

Media:

  • Digital Download

This module provides farmers with a foundational understanding of mixing cover crops and provides an overview of a cover crop mix calculator tool, which can help farmers in understanding how much to seed.

Cover Crop Flashcards and Seeding Calculator

Media:

  • Digital Download

Trainers can use this teaching module to help farmers, either as a group or one-on-one, make a plan for seeding cover crops in their field, by selecting the best cover crop for their needs and determining the right amount of cover crop seeds to purchase and plant.

Cover Crops 2: How to Select Cover Crops & How to Track the Benefits of Cover Cropping

Media:

  • Digital Download

This guide can be used by trainers who want to assist pre-literate and/or English-as a second language-speaking farmers with including cover crops in vegetable production and other crop rotation schedules. It leads farmers through the process of sorting through the characteristics of specific cover crops to select the best one or mix of cover crops to meet their goals. It introduces farmers to a series of questions that they can answer throughout the growing season to evaluate the performance of the cover crops they have planted. Worksheets are provided so that trainers can assist farmers with this evaluation and with recording the results. Some data is specific to the Southeast region of the United States, but links to resources where data appropriate to other regions can be accessed are provided.This teaching resource was developed by Lauren Bailey of The Nashville Food Project in Nashville, TN in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions).

Cover Crops 1: Which Cover Crops Will You Use?

Media:

  • Digital Download

This guide can be used by trainers who want to assist pre-literate and/or English- as a second language-speaking farmers with including cover crops in vegetable production and other crop rotation schedules. It covers three major types of cover crops (mustards, legumes, and ‘other’), and the potential benefits and costs of cover crops. It leads farmers through the process of identifying what they want to accomplish via cover cropping, assists them with identifying opportunities within their production schedule for insertion of cover crops, and assists farmers with selecting the cover crop or mixture of cover crops which best match their needs and goals. Some data is specific to the Southeast region of the United States, but links to resources where data appropriate to other regions can be accessed are provided. This teaching resource was developed by Lauren Bailey of The Nashville Food Project in Nashville, TN in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). 

Soil Fertility Series

Media:

  • Digital Download

This series of six workshops covers a range of topics related to soil quality and fertility management. For example, multiple workshops focus on learning plant families as a basis for understanding the importance of crop rotation and soil management planning. Other sessions introduce the concepts of crop rotation, soil nutrients, and teach the importance of giving soils an opportunity to “rest” in crop rotation planning. Most of the workshops are appropriate for beginning- to intermediate-level farmers.

 

Taking Care of Our Soil

Media:

  • Digital Download

This is a PowerPoint presentation introducing some basic concepts related to soil fertility and fertilizers. At Global Gardens, we have a number of challenges related to soil fertility. This ppt provides an overview of what is in soil and how it becomes depleted over time. The presentation then reviews what cover cropping and fertilization methods can be used to keep soil fertile and healthy. Options for hands-on activities and engagement to add to the ppt are below.

Weed Management and Hardpan

Media:

  • Digital Download

Using this guide, farmers will learn about weeds, why it is important to manage them, and about different tools, techniques, and approaches for weed management they can use in their fields. They also review the effect of tilling on soil health. This teaching resource was developed by Global Gardens in Boise, Idaho in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). Refugee farmer training programs across the country provided feedback on this lesson, which is now integrated throughout the guide.

Soil Health and Fertility

Media:

  • Digital Download

This module contains six mini-lessons on practices and knowledge related to soil health and fertility. These lessons can be chosen and combined in whatever way makes sense for your program. The lessons address soil texture, fertilizers, soil organisms, legume crops and nitrogen, cover crops, and nutrient problems. This teaching resource was developed by Global Garden in Chicago, Illinois in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). Refugee farmer training programs across the country provided feedback on this lesson, which is now integrated throughout the guide.
 

Cornell GAP's Sample Soil Amendment Template

Media:

  • Digital Download

Use this soil amendment application template developed by Cornell's GAP program (https://gaps.cornell.edu/educational-materials/decision-trees/log-sheets...) to help record what, how much and where you apply fertilizers on your farm.  This template will help you with both the Nutrient Management Plan required by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultual Resources (starting in 2016) and to help with your farm's food safety plan.   

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