It all begins with good soil.

People, animals, and plants: all need well-mineralized food for a healthy existence. Producing foods with proper nutrients and minerals requires healthy soil, a soil enriched through the practices of biological farming. Learning how a healthy, living soil functions is the key to sustainable farming.

The Farm-to-Consumer Foundation has proposed a workshop introducing the Principles of Biological Farming for the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference scheduled for January 24, 2015 in Traverse City, Michigan.

Joe Scrimger, Rebecca Brown and Tim Wightman make up F2C’s Biological Farming Team. Between them they bring together over 40 years of combined experience in the practice of creating and maintaining balanced, biologically active soils. In addition to using these methods on their own farms, they have shared their knowledge with farmers and consumers all over the world, dedicating their professional lives to the advancement of quality food and forage through increased soil capacity.

The presentation will cover a variety of management techniques, including promoting plant diversity, using cover crops, proper tillage techniques, mitigating soil compaction, and strategically applying correct soil input and foliar fertilizer at the optimal time – all with the aim of fueling the soil microbe population.

Each farm is unique, and each requires a customized plan for soil management, but every farm’s program begins with soil and plant tissue testing.  Learning to accurately interpret these test results provides the right foundation for developing the most effective soil inputs and creating a successful biological farm system.   F2C’s presentation covers the essentials of soil and plant tissue testing, and explores various types of biological soil and foliar inputs and mineral behaviors.

With the increased consumer demand for higher quality, nutrient dense foods, the benefits of developing a biological system for growers are clear: improved crop quality and yield, reduced issues of pests and weeds, better water retention and carbon sequestration and lower production costs. And the benefits for the consumer are obvious – better tasting and healthier food.