Saturday, January 26, 2019 - 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm
The Soil is an ecosystem. This workshop begins with outlining soil origins and properties and focuses on the soil foodweb, indentifying key organisms and their roles.
The last half of the presentation will look specifically at intensive garlic production. It will show the resilience of biological agriculture and how working with the soil’s ecosystem (the Soil Foodweb) produces healthy garlic.
Topics covered will include:
- best practices that include organic and permaculture methodology
- organic matter management, cover crops and mulches
- water management
- integrated pest management (IPM)
- native plants
- growing for the higher trophic level organisms (birds and pollinators),
- production inputs and yields.
The workshop will conclude by listing the benefits of biologically-driven agriculture.
Speaker: John Montague
John Montague, is a Soil Life Consultant, as well as President & General Manager of Glen Road Organics.
Glen Road Organics is a small certified organic farm that produces biologically diverse composts and biologically active potting mixes that do not require fertilizers and feed for up to 3 years. The farm grows mixed hay, alfalfa and vegetable crops to test its composts and potting mixes. Glen Road Organics is a specialist in custom soil mixes for roof top agriculture. The farm is also involved in multiyear experiments in soil building, soil fertility, soil structure, crop rotation, insect and pest management and soil water retention.
John has been involved in soil management for over 40 years; working in erosion control, bioremediation and biologically sustainable farming. John is a retired member of Durham Master Gardeners. He has studied with Dr. Elaine Ingham at Rodale Institute and The Soil Foodweb Inc. He continues to study horticulture through the University of Guelph.
The Glen Road Organics soil lab consults in soil biology, sustainable land practices, on-farm composting and soil organic matter management for a varied clientele: from home gardeners to certified organic operations, landscape professionals and international projects.
John is often heard telling his clients or at workshops & lectures: “Feed your soil. Your plants will feed themselves”. Like his mentor, Dr. Elaine Ingham, he also believes there should be a microscope on every farm.