The ‘secret’ to our success- from which all the good things come.
It started in late February 2003 – our first year of farming – at the MOSES Organic Conference in La Crosse, WI. The seminar with Gary Zimmer, on organic transition strategies. What he said about soil fertility – struck a chord with me. I bought his book – The Biological Farmer – and started learning.
We decided to go straight to organic – but to invest heavily in minerals in the soil, in the form of Gypsum (calcium sulfate), rock phosphates, compost, chicken litter & balanced organic fertilizers. Starting from 2 % organic matter – we are up to 3%, and we have beautiful soils. As Gary says – put some seeds in the ground and get out of the way. It is FUN to FARM when you do it right.
The crops we plant end up very rich in nutrients; higher in calcium, phosphorus, lower in potassium than in over-fertilized hay. We use no raw manures other than what the animals produce and distribute themselves on the pastures (poop that is). The rest has its nutrients close to 100% captured in our winter bedding packs. They are composted, along with the City of Stoughton’s leaves, and we spread compost back on the land.