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Understanding Soil Health in Horticulture Systems (Part 1/Intro)


January 16 @ 08:00 - 17:00

£35 - £110

Event Location

Meanwood Valley Urban Farm
Sugarwell Road
Leeds, LS7 2QG
+ Google Map
Event Details:

Please check the original event link for any updated information or last minute changes, we don’t accept responsibility for out of date information.

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A one-day course on the principles of soil health, using problem-based learning.
Learn what the soil health principles are, where they are gleaned from and how their application improves- and creates soil crumb structure.
The soil health principles work, from large farms to market gardens, when implemented doggedly they bring real results: better soil structure, healthier crops and more consistent yields. What’s more, the growers that have applied these principles the most rigorously have the more profitable operations today.

Course Schedule
• Morning – theory & first principles
• Lunch – packed lunch
• Afternoon – site tour, soils testing demo, further learning

> Living Roots – Covered Soil – Minimal Disturbance – Diversity <

Topics/Structure
Regenerative Agriculture – The Broader Context
• The imperative
• 4 Ecosystem Processes
Empirical case for good soil management
• How different strategies affect soil structure
• Reducing grade-outs and crop failures
• Minimising moisture stress
Defining soil health
• How it’s articulated and how to measure it
Soil Health Principles
• What they are & the processes that underpin them
• Empirical evidence of their application on market gardens
Evidencing soil health
• Aggregation, spade tests, visual soil inspection
Aggregation and crumb structure
• What creates it, and how to maximise
Nutrient Cycling
• Fostering nitrogen fixation for all crops
One Key Insight
• Microbes Matter
Soil Health Principles
1 Living Root – for as Long-/as Often as Possible
2 Covered Soil – with Residues or Living Plants
3 Minimise Disturbance/Compaction – Tillage
4 Maximise Diversity – in Rotations/Plantings
5 Feed Soils – with Organic Matter (Between Cropping)
6 Incorporate Animals – Ideally Adaptive Grazed
7 Minimise Use of Chemicals/Synthetics
Best Practice Management Solutions
• Cultivation systems
• Cover crops
Sign-Posts & Practical Tips
• Case studies
• Monitoring & trials
• What to do this season

What you take away from the course
• Printed hand-out
• PowerPoint Presentations

Who is this course for?
• Market gardeners
• Commercial growers
• Nursery workers
• Horticulture managers
• Apprentices, trainee growers

What to Bring
• Packed lunch (cafe on-site also serving lunch)
• Warm clothes
• Waterproofs, wellies, brollie
• Notebook, camera, smartphone

Student Testimonials
“Inspiring course, taught me so much. Very enjoyable”
“Highly recommend this course, packed full of informative content. I have left full of ideas that I can’t wait to implement”

About Niels Corfield
Niels Corfield has been working to deliver a truly sustainable food system for over 10 years.
He is an advisor, researcher, educator, designer, grower and nurseryman. Working to create regenerative landscapes, farms and operations in the UK and Europe. He is focussed on agroecological systems that are low maintenance and productive.
He advises and mentors on: soil health, agroforestry, planned grazing and setting-up on-farm crop trials. He provides whole-farm planning and design services for transition farm operations, through an inclusive framework.

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