Scientists from the UC Berkeley Soil Health Project will present the results of their soil ecology, bird ecology, and social science research on the topic of soil health on organic vegetable farms. We studied 18 organic farms to learn about different farming practices and innovations farmers are using to protect the soil. Organic lettuce and vegetable growers along the Central Coast of California use many different practices to support soil health, from cover cropping and composting to planting hedgerows. How does the farming model affect the challenges and opportunities for using soil health practices? How does the use of these practices impact nutrient cycling and soil carbon, suppression of foodborne pathogens in soil, and conservation of bird communities? In this session, we report back on our research over the past two years and share our findings on the benefits and challenges of implementing practices that build soil health.
This workshop is part of the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) Organic Agriculture Research Forum (OARF).