Field trip to see Bellevue House Kitchen Gardens (September 9th 2019).
Field trip to see Forman Farm, Ironwood Organics Farm, and QUBS Bracken Tract (October 5th 2019).
Charlie Forman: "Our goal is to harvest the sun's energy.... Soil health? - Look at the dirt, smell it, watch for water puddles.... Monsanto (and Bayer) have made farming simpler, easier, and a more enjoyable workplace. Farmers can use an economical pesticide to clean a field of unwanted grasses and broadleaf weeds quickly before planting, with no residual effects on the next crop - hence my ability to grow non-GMO crops.... Economics has trumped environmental concerns in almost every farming decision. People want cheap food."
Chris Wooding of Ironwood Organics Farm: "Our goal is to maximise species diversity......Conventional agriculture relies on dirt; Sustainable agriculture relies on soil....Herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, insecticides... all end up inside (human body)....Our restorative farming practices have doubled the soil carbon concentration from 2.5% to 5%."
QUBS Bracken tract factorial water availability x fertilisation x deer herbivory exclusion experiment:
Lab activities: Food insecurity and poverty; The biology of compost and vermiculture soils
Field trip to see Ravensfield farm (October 20th 2019).
Titia Posthuma: "A farmer needs to work with the land, letting it determine what can be grown most effectively.....It's the soil that matters - you need to work with, and enhance the soil....Animals, and especially ruminants, are the essential means of taking recalcitrant vegetation such as grasses and making it into high quality soil organic matter."