Our practices begin by recognizing our soil is a slowly renewable resource requiring thousands of years to create just an inch! Worldwide more than half of the food producing soils are degraded due to poor management. Healthy soils are essential to producing healthy food and more importantly to provide us with nature’s most complex and diverse ecosystem on the planet. There are more organisms in a handful of soil than there are people on the planet.
To keep our soil healthy, rich in soil nutrients, correct structure, water retention capacity, and biodiversity, we feed the organisms in the soil which help maintain soil health. We embrace diversity with our rotation of animals and our row crops preventing the buildup of unwanted soil borne insects and diseases. In order to create more balanced insect populations and soil structure, we reduce tillage and provide adequate borders between farming areas, as well as overwintering sites for beneficial predators. Correct timing of organic compost applications, addition of micronutrients, cover crops, mulching, and integrated pest management are additional practices which produce healthy food rich in essential nutrients and contribute to the proper stewardship of the whole landscape or organism we call our farm.
Even with our awareness of these soil aspects and farming practices, we are constantly learning more every day and modifying how we farm. Farming, as living, is not static; it is a dynamic process in which we connect with our surroundings for feedback and use that information to modify our future actions. However, there is no absolute substitute for nature's steadfast and assured approach to sustainability.