Soil Health is an incredible concept but can be difficult to implement because how we create soil health can be different on every single farm. A practice that works in one area may not work in another, and practices that work in one type of production system may not work in another production system. The important thing is to implement principles rather than practices. Principles can be applied in different ways within unique contexts and in case you aren’t familiar with the soil health principles, I’ve listed them below:
- Keep the soil covered
- Minimize soil disturbance
- Increase crop diversity
- Keep living roots in the soil
- Integrate livestock
Recognizing that how each of these principles are applied within a unique production system, we decided to create a new page on the SFA website highlighting many of the resources and links relevant specifically to soil health for fruit and vegetable production, because applying soil health principles on these operations may look different than it does on a dairy, beef or crop farm. Check out the soil health for fruit and vegetable growers page here!
Sarah Lindblom demonstrates four soil health tests you can do at home! Download her “Soil Health Report Card” and track the progress on your land or in your garden.