Registration for Small Farm School 2022 is now open. Click here to register! Small Farm School is a one-day educational event for beginning and intermediate small-scale farmers and rural land stewards. This year […]
From the Natural Resources Conservation Service:
Soil health, also referred to as soil quality, is defined as the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. This definition speaks to the importance of managing soils so they are sustainable for future generations. To do this, we need to remember that soil contains living organisms that when provided the basic necessities of life – food, shelter, and water – perform functions required to produce food and fiber.
Only “living” things can have health, so viewing soil as a living ecosystem reflects a fundamental shift in the way we care for our nation’s soils. Soil isn’t an inert growing medium, but rather is teaming with billions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that are the foundation of an elegant symbiotic ecosystem. Soil is an ecosystem that can be managed to provide nutrients for plant growth, absorb and hold rainwater for use during dryer periods, filter and buffer potential pollutants from leaving our fields, serve as a firm foundation for agricultural activities, and provide habitat for soil microbes to flourish and diversify to keep the ecosystem running smoothly.
Have you ever wondered why you see such varying vegetation on the landscape depending on use? One big reason is soil compaction. Land allowed to stay in permanent vegetation is easy to plant […]
The weather is beginning to warm and spring pasture grasses are growing, but wait! Don’t turn those horses out too early! While your horses may have been hanging out in a sacrifice area […]
This is the time of year when it is difficult for pasture specialists to give recommendations. Sure, they have a lot of generalized advice, but everything depends on the weather, your soil, microclimate, […]
The 2022 Native Plant Sales are wrapping up. If you don’t get an opportunity to take advantage of one of our local partners’ sales listed below, check out this OSU native plant finder. […]
Fall pasture management can help ensure a healthy pasture for next year. As dry summer days give over to autumn rains, pasture grasses experience new root growth and work to store carbohydrates in […]
Registration for Small Farm School 2021 is now open. Click here to register! Small Farm School is a one-day educational event for beginning and intermediate small-scale farmers and rural land stewards. This year is […]
Did you know that wildfire can affect forest soils? The effect of fire on trees, shrubs, and herbaceous (non-woody) plants are easily visible. It is not so easy, however, to see the effect […]
Finding the right cover crop that works well with a particular agricultural crop is not always easy. What works for some growers and systems may not work for others. However, a local hazelnut […]