Growing up here at the farm I have witnessed and participated in soil care and soil degradation. Thinking back on long nights plowing and thinking that there has to be a better way to farm. Thanks to mentors like Vince Utretch and Tom Spellmire my eyes were opened to soil health along with the excellent staff at the Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District.
Through observation, study, experiments and not a few mistakes our soil has improved over the last 20 years.
The soil has been improved by limiting disturbance. Keeping the soil covered with residue and diverse live cover crops between cash crops enhance the biological helpers like earthworms, and many symbolic microorganisms. As the biological and physical properties of the soil improve less synthetic inputs are needed. The grain and vegetables become more nutrient dense in phytonutrients.
This is a long term project but even at this stage the benefits are well worth the efforts. Each year with each harvest the soil has been improved reversing the erosion and degradation of our most important resource.