EP 70 Maximizing Soil Function – SoR Part Three

EP 70 Maximizing Soil Function – SoR Part Three

Soil is very much alive. And hungry too. Some estimates go as far as saying that there is more life in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on the planet. You just need a microscope to see the vast majority of it. Or you do what grain farmer Blake Vince did, and bury a pair of “tighty whities” (underwear) in the soil to produce proof of the existence of this vast and diverse soil microbial community.

In the soil, you’ve got well-known critters like earthworms, bacteria and fungi and lesser-known ones like protozoa and nematodes, who have this tendency to eat the bacteria and fungi. In this bustling environment where a lot of things are eating each other, there is an exchange between soil organisms and plants so both sides of the equation get what they need to survive and thrive and produce food for the rest of us living above ground. This interaction between the soil and plants is something that fascinated Blake Vince, who farms mainly soya and corn in southwestern Ontario, it fascinated him at a young age.

Welcome to Stories of Regeneration, a podcast series brought to you by Rural Routes to Climate Solutions and Regeneration Canada. Join me, your host Derek Leahy, as we delve into the importance of supporting an agricultural system that not only prioritizes the health of our land and ecosystems but also ensures the sustainability of our farmers and ranchers. Get ready to explore the transformative power of regenerative agriculture.


  • 4:42 – Blake Vince shares some information about himself.
  • 6:50 – Did Blake always want to be a farmer?
  • 8:31 – Blake explains his farm’s environment and typography.
  • 9:45 – What have been some of the challenges for Blake this year?
  • 12:32 – What is tile drainage?
  • 18:57 – Blake talks about no-tillage.
  • 36:07 – What else is Blake doing to maintain soil health?
  • 41:55 – Blake talks about his crop rotation.
  • 51:16 – How can consumers support farmers who are in the process of weaning their soil off of inputs like fertilizers?
  • 59:13 – Does Blake find it hard, being one of only a few producers in his community farming in an “unconventional” way?
  • 1:07:06 – Blake shares his final thoughts.

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This podcast has been partially funded by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada