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Jon has always been interested in making a difference. He specialized as an oncology nurse for many years and realized that there was much more that needed to be done as our populations’ health continued to decline. Jon grew up on a farm and once again craved the benefits of having access to fresh organically grown food. He started relearning how to grow his own food and through research discovered Dr. Elain Ingham. He enrolled in Environmental Celebration Institute in 2016 and later joined the newly formed Soil Food Web School to become a consultant with the mission to help farmers help the world by growing highly nutritious food while restoring the planet.
Jon Emery
Mike studied marketing and advertising at Portland State University. He also grew up with Jon farming and has always been interested in sustainable agricultural practices. Mike's goal is to help Jon to grow BioArva to reach as many farmers and producers as possible. Mike has always been interested in learning more about sustainable ways to increase crop yields and use fewer resources. Sustainable soil practices, systems and technologies are much needed for the future and BioArva is on the leading edge of bringing these sustainable technologies to farms and agricultural producers of all sizes. There is a lot to be done to restore the soil on this planet!
Mike Emery

how do organic farming practices relate to soil health?

This is a question that many farmers and agricultural producers are asking as growing interest and demand for organic produce is increasing around the world...


Soil health or soil deficiency is an overall condition of the soil, which demonstrates its ability to meet its biological and environmental roles as required to its natural environment. In more colloquial sense, the condition of soil reflects its ability to meet its needs as regards the nutritional content needed by the plant to survive. Also, it is an indicator of soil health and productivity of the land where the soil is located.

Soil health or soil deficiency then is a combination of various conditions that are required for plants, animals and humans to thrive. Healthy soil is critical for plant health and when agricultural soils are healthy, then people who consume the plants are also more likely to be healthy.

A soil health expert analyzes the condition of the land, agricultural soils, and the living organisms, such as plants, fungus and microorganisms, that exist within healthy soil. The focus of the analysis of soil fertility is on determining what is needed for a particular crop to grow well and produce good quality food. One such key component in improving soil health is ensuring adequate levels of organic matter. Soil organic matter levels refer to the amount of organic matter in the soil, such as the amount of sand, peat or decomposed material.

There are two main factors that affect the quality of soil health:

  1. The physical structure soil
  2. The type of organisms that exist in agricultural soils

Good soils contain a combination of these ingredients: humus, carbon dioxide, water, organic matter and nutrients. Poor soils typically have only one of these ingredients and, often, very low levels of soil organisms, organic matter, and soil fertility. Soils with good physical structure include those that are firm, rich in structure and free from silt and sediment, and have a pH within the range of 4.5 to 7.5.


Beneficial soil organisms that live in healthy soil

In addition to improving soil health, beneficial soil organisms, also known as mycorrhizae fungi, play an important role in regulating nutrient exchange, enhancing plant growth and providing protection from environmental stresses such as drought, pollution and fire. Certain types of fungi are able to manipulate plant growth by mycorrhizal fungi. These beneficial soil organisms can be either plant roots or animal roots. The mycorrhizae fungi live in plant roots and regulate plant nutrient use, including water, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.

Improving soil health and soil stewardship can also be enhanced through proper use of natural, organic fertilizers combined with routine crop rotation to improve soil health. Fertilizer applications should not be too frequent, because frequent use decreases the impact upon healthy crops when pursuing sustainable agricultural production processes.

Applying too much fertilizer increases the need to replenish it because the organisms living in it like earthworms are unable to digest the nitrogen back into the soil. Fertilizer applications should be made in intervals rather than all at once. Also, fertilizing after the first year will help to ensure that the soil is not depleted of all nutrients.


Pay attention to weed sources to improve soil health

There is a viscious cycle that some farmers experience when trying to improve soil health and manage cover crops. Something as simple as not thoougly cleaning farming equipment and tools could cause the undesired affect of unintentionally adding to the soil organic matter such as weed seeds. Farmers weed, spray, and then transplant the weed seeds back onto the locations where they are trying to create healthy soil. All yard equipment, such as tillers, sprinklers and hoses need to be checked to be weed free before returning to use them.

If any weed seeds have managed to survive the weed control methods, they may prove to be even more resistant. This can lead to an increase in the need for the use of stronger chemicals, such as herbicides. By reducing the weed seed population, soil will be free of undesirable chemicals, which will improve both soil health and weed control.

Improving soil health through the addition of soil organic matter can take two forms. One can add natural organic matter by increasing the fertility of the soil through composting or other means. The other way is by adding organic matter to the soil through a process called ion exchange. Both methods work by exchanging unwanted soil minerals for plant nutrients, which in turn provide improved crop production.

Inversion can also be used to enhance soil fertility. Inversion is the process of turning a piece of land, usually practiced in the upper Midwest, in order to bring the soil up to a higher level, typically 50 feet or more. The soil is placed in a vase, which is weighted, and is moved slowly and gently into the position in which it will be put into the ground. After the movement is complete, the plow is performed. The plow can either be performed with the back-end load plow, which puts more strain on the machine, or front-end load plow, which lessens the amount of damage to the soil.


How do organic farming practices relate to soil health?

How do organic farming practices relate to soil health? Many people, including many "soil health experts," believe that organic farming is healthier for the environment. They also believe that soil health is directly related to the quality of the final product. But are there really benefits to be gained from organic farming practices? What are the long-term effects on our soils? Does organic farming promote soil health?


What is the relationship between soil health and vegetation health?

The relationship between soil health and organic farming practices can be understood when one considers the source of nutrition for plants. Plants obtain their nutrients, or plant life, from two primary substances, nitrogen and potassium. Nitrogen is contained in plant leaves and stems, while potassium is found in fruits, vegetables and other foods.

When plants grow, they use both nitrogen and potassium to obtain a sufficient amount of these nutrients for development and growth. However, the excessive use of these substances can cause soil to become depleted, which in turn can lead to a lack of healthy plant life.

A major concern of farmers and scientists alike is the problem of over-farming and the use of chemicals to improve crop production. Excessive fertilizer use, or "cover crops," can take up a lot of nutrients that would otherwise be left in the soils for future use. Also, excessive use of chemicals can affect the climate and environment, polluting water sources and killing birds and other natural wildlife.


Do nitrogen-based fertilizer actually hurt soil health over the long term?

Another concern of soil scientists is the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers and pesticides, which often make the soil less acidic and increase the rate of soil evaporation. These practices, together, can diminish the nutritional value of the soils, promoting deficiencies in the essential elements such as nitrogen and potassium.

Another way to improve soils is through organic farming practices, which reduce the inputs used in the production process and focus on the use of natural composts, manure and plants as well as animal wastes. Manure, which contains all animal products, including eggs, is the most effective form of organic matter. The nitrogen content is also higher in this type of soil. Another consideration is the amount of water used to keep the fields well-watered. Low-water crops may still have high nutrient content but may lack flavor and appearance because of low water.

By working with nature, farmers can boost the productivity of their fields. They increase crop yields and cut down on costs by conserving water, using highly productive seeds, and using cover crops (no more weeds). Manure management, fertilizing, and applying pesticides are less frequent, thus improving the soil's ability to absorb the nutrients it needs. This leads to soil health that is not only healthy, but continues to improve over time. Organic farming practices have been found to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance the quality and yield of soil, and improve air quality.

Manure management concentrates on improving fertility through appropriate timing and quantities of plantings. This improves the structure of the soil. Manures have greater access to sunlight and nutrients than conventional crops and are free of herbicides, pesticides, and other synthetic substances. Beneficial insects and bacteria help to control weeds. In addition, chemical fertilization reduces the nitrogen input to the soil. Finally, crop rotation ensures a predictable soil cycle that enhances biodiversity.


How do microorganisms affect humus and thereby soil health?

Humus is formed by living organisms. It is the condition of living organic substances on the face of a host rock. Most of the time, these organisms are in the form of microorganisms. Microorganisms are known as living things which have an advantage over other forms of life in that they secrete chemical compounds for the benefit of their own survival and the benefit of the host. In the case of soils, the microorganisms serve as the major controlling force for the dissolution of rocks and the release of soils for plant growth.

Microorganisms are categorized as single cells or communities. Each cell has the ability to function as an individual and thus have different needs. Microorganisms affects soil properties in several ways. These include the increase in the availability of nutrients such as nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, potassium and sulphur. They also affect the permeability and the conductivity of the soil. It is due to the interaction of microorganisms and soil organisms that plants grow and flourish.


What kinds of microorganisms live in healthy soil?

There are two major types of soil microorganisms. The first one is collectively known as pathogens. Pathogens can be grouped into two major types. One type of pathogen is a fungus that is the result of an infectious agent and the other is a bacteria. The major types of pathogens are: Streptococcus viridans, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemosporidium and P.Acnes. These pathogens can seriously contaminate the soil where they occur and thus have major effects on humus and thereby on soil health.

The other group of microorganisms are plants and these include many different types of plants and animals. The plants are responsible for the release of essential substances like oxygen, carbon dioxide, water and various types of nutrients that are required in the process of plant growth. Microorganisms in the form of plant life are important in controlling the distribution of these nutrients and also in the accumulation of these nutrients in the soil.


What is the role of microorganisms in healthy soil?

Microorganisms that are present in the soil also help in the accumulation of these nutrients and this process is called humus formation. The process of humus formation is mainly controlled by the existence of various factors such as number of plants in a haphazard manner, the type of organic matter present in the soil, the presence of different nutrients, etc. Microorganisms also play a major role in the release of certain essential gases like nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, phosphorus and potassium among other elements. These microorganisms help in the decomposition of organic matter such as inorganic fertilizer and the release of these nutrients to the atmosphere.

The microorganisms are known as single cells of prokaryotic or eukaryotic organisms. There are about 101 billion bacteria present in the earth and some of them are found within the soil where most of the food is taken for growing the plants. In addition, there are some other forms of bacteria that are also important in the process of humus formation. Such forms of bacteria are called anaerobic bacteria. They have the ability to increase the atmospheric oxygen concentration to a level which is beneficial to plant growth.


How to restore soil health?

How can you restore soil health in a field that is experiencing problems? When you hear the expression "soil health" this means the abscense of soil compaction, minimal soil erosion, high soil fertility, and the strategic use of cover crops that are found in healthy soil.

Many farmers do not know how to restore soil health and attempt to reduce soil erosion and mineral depletion through diverse crop rotations. Some farmers think they can save money and time by just doing their usual maintenance work, like seeding, tillage, and other general farm management tasks. They may even do those things well, but they are missing a very important fact. They are not properly studying their soil's needs through applied soil science and understand what sort of organic systems are found living in healthy soil.


Are earthworms found in healthy soil?

Most farmers don't realize how important earthworms are for soil health. Earthworms have an important role in improving the quality of the soil in a variety of ways. By increasing fertility, earthworms help to balance the water and nutrients in the soil. In turn, by increasing earthworm populations, farmers can improve their overall competitiveness in the agricultural marketplace.

There are two very distinct types of farming practiced today. One type of agriculture focuses on increasing the productivity of the soil, and another type of agriculture tries to enhance the biodiversity of the soil in a way that will support the needs of future generations. No matter what kind of farming you practice, however, it is critical that you be aware of the importance of good stewardship to the health of your farming system. Good farmers focus on improving their soils through proper management and effective tillage, along with using good organic practices for weed control and compost and mulching.

Agriculture's role in protecting and improving soil health is very important. Without healthy soils, farmers cannot produce healthy products that are safe for humans and the environment. For example, farmers need to do regular evaluations of their soils to be able to determine whether they are in need of some form of amendments that will improve the health of the soils. This assessment, however, is often missed by farmers, which leads to a lack of action on the part of the industry to protect and improve soil quality.

BioArva encourages farmers to adopt sustainable agricultural practices that involve organic pest control, composting, and nutrient management, along with the recycling of all agricultural waste. A program of this kind, when implemented correctly, can help improve the health of the soils, and in turn, the production of natural resources for human consumption and economic growth.



How soil health is reflected in the gut

How the soil reflects what is happening in your body can be key to how well you are able to absorb nutrients, how quickly you heal from injuries, how well your seeds germinate and much more. Just like any other organ in the body, the digestive tract needs good bacteria, enzymes and nutrients to function properly. Without these "vital components", digestion is not possible. A healthy intestine is therefore important for anyone to have.


What is the correlation between healthy soils, healthy crops, sustainable agriculture, and water quality?

The importance of healthy soil cannot be underestimated. It is vital that the quality of the soil you grow your foods in is good, or else your efforts will go to waste. This is because when it comes to growing healthy plants and crops, the soil is one of the primary ingredients. Healthy soil is one of the factors that influence the development of healthy plants. It is therefore crucial that we pay attention to the condition of the soil where we grow our foods.

Your intestines are a direct reflection of the health of your soil. When you eat, your food leaves the stomach via the small intestines and goes to the large intestine. Here it is broken down further into different nutrients and starches and eventually reaches the colon to be absorbed and used by the body. When the nutrient-rich foods reach the colon too quickly, they are not able to be fully digested, which is why you often experience gas and indigestion after eating.

This is also one of the reasons why you feel bloated after meals - your food is passing too quickly through the body and there are not enough nutrients being absorbed to meet your body's requirements. Healthy soil, on the other hand, allows the nutritious foods to be properly digested and absorbed, leaving you with a full feeling after meals.

If you take time to look at the condition of your soil, you will notice that it has lost a lot of its nutrients. As you can see from the above image, the nutrient levels in the soil are decreasing year after year. The reason behind this is the overuse of chemical fertilizers. Another reason is that heavy use of agricultural products like pesticides has led to the breakdown of the soil's natural bacteria.


The organisms living in your soil are representative of the organic systems at work

The best way to ensure that your soil is in the best possible health is to make sure that you use organic products for your gardening. This is especially important if you have children. Organic fertilizers, on the other hand, work very efficiently in ensuring that your soil is in good shape. In addition, they do not contain the dangerous chemicals found in commercial fertilizers.

Soil quality is directly reflected in the gut feeling you get when you look at your garden. You may be wondering how soil health is reflected in the gut feeling, but you can actually find some clues. When you look at the overall condition of your soil and see that it has lost a lot of nutrients, then you should start using organic fertilizers. When you see that the soil has a healthy feel to it, then it has been given the necessary nutrients through the organic process.



Why is soil health important to food production?

Why is soil health important to food production? Simply put, there are many nutrients in our foods that are not available in the soils on which we grow our produce. These nutrients must be brought into the plant in order to meet the demands of the plant's natural growth process. Too often, however, soil is thrown to the side, or at best, watered down so much that the plants' roots are unable to absorb the vital nutrients needed to provide the plant with the energy it needs to grow. This leads to a lack of overall crop production.

Not only is soil health important for food production, but it is essential for the health of the people who work in the fields growing and harvesting our food. In fact, without healthy soil, the whole food production process will be compromised. Without healthy soil, crop rotation techniques, including fertilization and pest control, are simply impossible. Ultimately, crops become sick or even die when they are not fed properly. This, of course, can have serious social, economical and environmental consequences.

So how can we improve the health of our soils? Much of this can be done through simple planning, but some of it will also need to be done on the farm. Pests, for example, can be easily controlled with proper preventive management. When we grow crops that are not under strict control by irrigation and other means, we put ourselves at risk of losing control and seeing the crop production decline as a result.

It is also important to pay attention to the preparation of the soil. Many farmers say that their biggest problem is over-irrigation, or excessive water used to wash the fields before planting. This can lead to excessive water in the soil and a breakdown of the structure of the soil. This can lead to nutrient loss, affecting the overall soil health. If the soil is over-watered, it can even be harmful to the plants that grow on it.

The second question we might ask is, "What about genetically modified foods?" These are food production techniques that are becoming more common place as a way of improving upon the soil and the ability of the food to grow. By crossbreeding certain types of seeds, farmers can create crops that are stronger, tougher and better able to withstand some of the different elements of the environment. This, of course, can help increase the yield of the crop as well as make it healthier for us, consumers. There is some controversy surrounding the use of these techniques, but overall, this is an important area of why is soil health important to food production.

Beyond these two examples, the real problem comes from how we handle the runoff from the land. We often let this run off into rivers and waterways, which can damage the eco-system that exists there. There is also pollution from agriculture. These two problems alone account for over 40% of the water pollution in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. All of this has a huge impact on our food supply.



How does soil erosion affect human health?

Ground erosion can have a very serious effect on human health, because not only does it erode the land and soil away, it also exposes people to potentially dangerous chemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals can cause serious health problems, including stomach infections, headaches, asthma, and cancer. While we are constantly exposed to these chemicals in the air and water, there is another factor that plays a much larger role. That factor is our dependence on fossil fuels for energy, and the resulting pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels for heat and energy.

Soil erosion can also threaten to take away from the fish and wildlife that exist within the riverbeds, as well as the plants and animals that live in the forests and on the forested hillsides. A recent study showed that if the rate of soil erosion continues at its current rate, it will be impossible to live within the rivers, lakes, and streams by 2021. The threat isn't entirely theoretical. Recent studies have shown that erosion rates have already been increasing along many of the major rivers throughout the northern hemisphere. At the same time, soil erosion has been affecting many smaller stream and riverbeds. Whether or not these smaller streams and rivers will survive the onslaught of increased erosion is in doubt, as not all areas of the Earth are experiencing the same climate conditions.

Soil erosion occurs when a person, or more than one person, steps onto a valley that has eroded away from the mountainside. This erosion can occur when you walk along a river bed or mountain trail, or it can occur when you drive through a forest. It can also happen when you are walking along the beach or pond side when you come upon a riverbank that has eroded away from the mountain. When this happens, it is likely to have an enormous negative impact on the environment.

There are many reasons why a river is eroding. Sometimes the reasons are related to the amount of precipitation that falls in that specific area. Other times, soil could be losing its hold on the mountainside, and with no outlet stream or other outlet the sediment slowly makes its way down the slope towards the ocean or seas. These "tsunami" floods can add enormous amounts of sediment to the ocean bed, and while this does not have a great impact on the land below, it does impact the marine ecosystem.

In addition to the loss of a river's runoff into rivers and streams, another reason for river erosion is the rate in which plant roots attempt to colonize the newly exposed soil. A recent study showed that rapid loss of riverbed layers can result in substantial losses of vegetation within a few years. The study did find that certain species have a difficult time establishing new roots in the new sediment. This means that they could quickly gain a foothold, and in turn decimate the vegetation in the area.

There are many natural and human-made controls that can help prevent or reduce the problem of soil erosion. For instance, farmers planting cover crops, especially during seasons when plant growth is extremely fast, can greatly reduce the loss of topsoil. Landscaping around large pools can also prevent or limit erosion by diverting runoff away from the pool into something more stable, such as back-woods areas where tree-root systems are more established. All of these efforts can help slow or even reverse erosion in some areas.



How does soil pollution affect human health?

Human health is affected by several different pollutants but the most immediate danger to health comes from what is known as 'safe' ground water. This can come from a number of sources including industrial wastage, surface runoff and agricultural runoff. Although not as common as other contaminants, radioactive material is a growing concern for those who suffer from a suppressed immune system, such as those with AIDS or cancer. Soil that has been contaminated with nuclear waste can cause a variety of cancers and chronic immune system disorders. Contaminated soil can also affect the quality of life in rural communities by reducing the availability of drinking water.

Pollution in the aquatic system, water bodies and the soil is known to have profound effects on human health. In particular, pollution of the aquatic system has the effect of altering the local aquatic environment to the detriment of aquatic invertebrates, fish and birds. The indirect effect of this can be detrimental to human health by affecting the food supply. The contaminants in the soil can impact on human consumption through direct effect, indirect effect through contamination of drinking water and an indirect effect through direct absorption into the body. Impurities in the soil can affect the production of bioactive phenolics, an important source of dietary fiber.

How does soil pollution affect human health by affecting the natural balance of the ecosystems and preventing the efficient functioning of ecosystems in overall health? ecosystems are the structures and functions of the eco-system, including plant communities, soil, water, trees and other organisms. In fact, ecosystems help to conserve energy and nutrients in both the aquatic and terrestrial systems and regulate temperature and precipitation.

Agricultural pollutants can have a significant effect on soil quality and the bioavailability of nutrients. This can have implications for human health. Pollutants can act as a barrier to access by increasing the cost and limiting the effectiveness of water based systems such as irrigation. Pollution in landforms such as water and land salts has adverse effects on aquatic life, decreasing oxygenation and leading to drastic changes in the concentration and quality of oxygen in aquatic habitats. Pesticides and other chemical fertilizers increase the concentration of pesticides in surface waters and the environment, potentially altering the structure of aquatic ecosystems.

When humans consume food, they are ingesting nutrients that are necessary for their growth and well-being. Unfortunately, some of these nutrients are destroyed by the process of digestion, and these nutrients are transported to the intestines, where they are used for energy and other purposes. These non-absorbable nutrients have the potential to harm human health, through reduced immune system, decreased nutrient absorption, and increased toxicity. Non-absorbable materials also disrupt the digestive process, reducing the speed and efficiency with which the body absorbs nutrients from the foods that are consumed. Thus, many of the diseases and illnesses that have been blamed on "gluten intolerance" and other similar conditions are often attributed to soil pollution. The reduction or elimination of these toxins may lead to improved health, a reduction in incidences of chronic diseases, prevention of serious physical conditions, and an increase in the quality of life.

While some pollution is necessary for the survival of all life, excessive pollution can have detrimental effects on human health and the environment. Earthworms help to regulate the levels of nutrients in the soil, but without proper management, they can cause great damage to the ecosystem. There is plenty of pollution in our world, but preventing it at its source can help to ensure a healthy future for everyone. Learning about how does soil pollution affect human health can be the first step in protecting our environment and one's health.



Why do farmers care about soil quality and health?

One of the most important questions one can ask oneself is 'why do farmers care so much about soil quality and health?' This is not an easy question to answer given the fact that most farmers, even those who grow traditional, organic produce, still till their land using modern techniques. They use combines, fertilisers and pesticides on their crops, and even when they do not, as with traditional farmers, they still use the very same techniques to promote desirable crop yields. These practices are totally unsustainable in the long-term and serve to accelerate the rate at which the soil loses its nutrients.

The soil therefore becomes depleted and is even prone to flooding. As a result of all this, farmers must take very good care indeed of the quality of the soil in which they grow their food. With modern synthetic fertiliser and pesticides, the food that they produce is no longer free from the threats that chemical substances present to it. Neither are they any healthier for us, as many of these chemical additives Leach into the water table and ultimately into human and animal health.

But how can this be avoided? The only way is to return to an old-fashioned technique of farming, one that has sustained our planet for centuries. It involves putting in the right amount of natural substances into the soil so that it will provide the necessary nutrition to the crop, but without the danger of turning it unhealthy. We need healthy soil to grow food, which is the only way to make sure that our children get healthy, too. And by extension, we have to care about soil quality and health because we have a responsibility to our offspring as well as ourselves to ensure that they have a healthy environment in which to grow up.


Is modern farming actually hurting long term plant and crop growth?

In modern farming, synthetic substances are used to enhance the soil's fertility, so that it can support a greater amount of food production than would be possible if the land was left in its natural state. But in doing so, farmers may be polluting the soil in return. This means that when the crop actually does begin to be grown, those who consume the food may not be getting all of the nutrients that they could be. That is why the focus should be on organic matter, which is the natural condition of the soil.

It may not be easy to know exactly what organic matter is, since it is difficult to distinguish it from non-organic matter. But it is usually comprised of both organic and non-organic elements. Man made fertilizers and pesticides add chemicals to the soil, and this in turn depletes the soil's natural contents. As such, the soil is no longer capable of supporting plant life.

Why do farmers care about soil health and quality? They do it for the same reason that we care about eating healthy - we don't want to eat something that is potentially harmful to us. In this case, the risk is that farmers are inadvertently polluting the soil and the plant life along with it.



How to test soil health


In addition to the important role played by living soils in the process of environmental restoration, they also play a critical role in agricultural productivity. The quality of soils in most areas of the world has been degraded over the years due to excessive water use, improper tillage methods and inputs such as chemicals and pesticides. These toxins eventually seep into the ground and create unhealthy environments for growing crops and resulting in less productive land in production for local food markets. Soil scientists have spent years testing soils for their ability to provide a healthy, productive environment for growing crops. In the past, they relied primarily on field tests and laboratory studies.

Now that we have the ability to test living soil directly, we are able to determine what needs to be done to restore and enhance their vitality. Living soils contain carbonates, nitrates, sulphates and potash and all of these elements need to be maintained in favorable environments in order for them to provide plant growth. Carbonate and nitrates are the major component of living soil and need to be kept up by regular carbon filtration and replacement or, in the case of excessive amounts, by burning off with carbon monoxide or other toxic gases. Sulfates are a by-product of sugar cane and can be removed from fields through mechanical means, although this is not recommended. Potash and sulphates should be replaced by lime and other organic substances when they become too soluble. If this happens, the roots will rot, not provide the beneficial aeration needed to maintain the health of the plant growth.

Aerating the soil not only provides ample nutrients to plant roots, it also provides them with the atmosphere they need to survive. Soils with proper levels of air and water are highly fertile and provide excellent growing conditions for crop production. When soils lack aeration, plant growth becomes slow, producing lower quality fruits and vegetables and causing seeds to germinate in poor soils. Improper soil aeration also results in nutrient deficiency and reduced crop yields.

Aeration increases the permeability of soil allowing better transfer of air and moisture. Higher permeability also allows better plant root transport of nutrients and recoverability of soil structure. Also, higher air and water inflow allow for faster root growth and development. Aeration also increases the availability of nitrogen and phosphorus to plant roots for efficient root growth and development. This is important because these two nutrients are essential for plant growth and development as well as pest and disease management.

In order to test the quality of your soil, you should test the levels of different natural living soils, called bio-compost. Bio-composts are extremely pure and contain all the necessary microorganisms, minerals and nutrients that are necessary for plant growth and development. These types of soils also have a high water holding capacity, which is important if you want to grow plants that can tolerate drought or flood. Your local home garden center will usually carry different types of bio-composts to test the quality of your soils.

You can use covers to grow plants in the winter and in the summer add them to your soil so they can recover. Cover crops can be planted in the fall before the first freeze to help them recover. The fall is also a good time to try new varieties of cover crops like radishes, alfalfa, broccoli, zucchini, turnips, peas, carrots, herbs, spinach, cucumbers and asparagus. Adding cover crops will help you rebuild the soil as well as keep weeds at bay. Planting living soil organic matter materials in the fall will ensure good nutrition and a healthy root system for next year.

Our Process

In most cases, our comprehensive soil analysis and restoration service follows a variation of this sequence relevant to the property in question.

1. Testing

We will conduct a soil test as a starting point for our strategic soil restoration plan.

  • Test your soil to determine microorganism presence and fertility levels
  • Based upon soil test results, define a strategy to improve soil conditions
  • Coordinate strategy with a timeline of activities that works with seasonal and management schedules

2. Application

We create a locally-derived blend of biological inputs for the microorganism profile.

  • Locally produce the soil food web microorganisms to be applied to your soil
  • Educate staff how to manage biologically complete compost
  • Monitor the biological inputs being applied to soil in conjunction with proposed timeline

3. Analysis

We measure results and adapt to soil biology changes by making scientific adjustments.

  • Routine soil biology testing to monitor the health of microorganism colonies
  • Monitor farm activities to see if microorganisms are being affected by activities
  • Continued input and analysis activities to ensure all soil food web organisms are optimal

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