Soil Stewardship

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Learn how to rapidly build soil from low cost or free inputs to produce bountiful crops, from your backyard to a back acre. We will cover together the forces that prevent good soil formation and cause soil loss, how to build soil rapidly, and how to protect and steward it for years to come. A host of skills, strategies, and techniques will be covered, including solarization, weed suppression, compost, cover cropping, incorporating animals in annual spaces, and more.


What You’ll Learn

  • Learn the basics of what soil is and how it works
  • Learn how to rapidly build healthy soil, the backbone of health plants, people, and planet!
  • Learn specific techniques and strategies, such as mulching, cover cropping, solarizing, and more
  • Learn how to use versatile, low cost infrastructure to extend your growing season for both soil and crops
  • See layouts, design, and other considerations

About the Instructor

Medium johnmoody

John Moody

John is a farmer, homesteader, and leader in the local food movement. He started and has managed one of the largest food co-operatives in the nation. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund. He is a popular speaker at the Mother Earth News Fair and other events.

Course Content

Introduction to Soil - What it is, Why it matters

What is soil? Where does it come from? Where does it go? What feeds soil so that it can grow? What causes soil to fail?

Level 2

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Converting Grass to Garden - Solarization

What do you do with new ground? Or how do you handle land that is a bit too weedy without resorting to tillage or chemcials? 

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Keep Weeds from Coming Back - Suppression

Sheet mulching not only helps improve soil, but provides a way to reduce time and labor spent weeding all season long if done properly. 

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Creating Fertility - Composts

Depending on your soil's condition, it will better from properly made and applied compost.  

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Get a Jump Start on the Season - Transplants and Soil Blocks

Long before you can put plants and seeds in the ground, you can get them going using soil blocks and tranplants.  Learn about different approaches to getting a jump start on your growing season. 

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Mulches and How to Use Them

For an organic grower, few things are as important as understanding and applying mulches properly to your growing spaces. 

 

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Wood Chip Mulches and How to Use Them - Part I

Wood chip mulches have become very popular over the past decade.  Learn about how to use them safely and properly in your growing spaces. 

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Wood Chip Mulches and How to Use Them - Part II

Wood chip mulches have become very popular over the past decade.  Learn about how to use them safely and properly in your growing spaces. 

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Straw Mulches and the Danger of Herbicide Contamination

Straw is still an excellent mulch option in many areas, but be very careful how you source it.  Even a small bit of herbicide contamination can cause you many years of sorrow. 

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Cover Crops - Nature's Best and Own Mulch

Having trouble sourcing mulch? Or not enough for your growing spaces?  Or, do you want to improve your soil even faster? Cover crops are a key tool in improving and building beautiful, fruitful soil. 

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Garden Design - Make Your Growing Easier and More Productive

Small choices and changes to your growing space can reduce labor, save water, protect from weeds, and otherwise make life easier as a grower. 


Included with the Course

Interview


Homestead Tour


Homestead Tools