Have you ever found yourself scratching your head trying to make sense of all those terms like polycultures, cocktail crops, intercropping, cover crops, companion cropping, and relay crops? It’s understandable! They all seem to be part of the vast landscape of good land stewardship practices, like sustainable agriculture, organic agriculture, agroecology, permaculture, and regenerative agriculture. Oh, and let’s not forget our personal favorite—agricultural climate solutions. But here’s the thing: are these different systems truly distinct, or are they more closely related than we think?
Join Rural Routes to Climate Solutions and the Train the Healer Initiative of the Regenerative Agriculture Lab in a hands-on polyculture learning opportunity.
In recent years, mycorrhizal fungi have become a hot topic, especially when talking about soil health.
Mycorrhizal fungi are vast networks of nutrient exchange between plants and other microscopic critters you can find in the soil. Fortunately, the management practices for maintaining this conduit of nutrient exchange tend to be the same ones we’d use in good pasture management.
Can this vast network under our feet help out calf-cow producers in a dry year?
When it comes to soil amendments, charcoal is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But if you really think about it, charcoal is carbon that’s been locked up, in the same way that coal is carbon, perfectly sequestered. There’s a catch – you can’t burn it. But if we can’t burn it, how do we activate the carbon in biochar?
In this episode, Rob Lavoie of AirTerra helps us understand how to unlock that carbon and feed those hungry little soil microbes that feed us.
Join Young Agrarians, Rural Routes to Climate Solutions, and Dr. Jillian Bainard of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to learn everything you need to know right now about polycultures.
With fertilizer prices hitting $1,000 a ton, it’s no surprise that cover crops are a hot topic. It makes sense that non-synthetic inputs like cover crops are becoming more and more appealing to producers. There’s many benefits to cover crops – including feeding livestock and pollinators, improving water filtration, suppressing weeds, building soil carbon and improving soil biology. In this episode, we’re joined by Kevin Elmy, of Cover Crops Canada, to discuss the ins and outs of cover crops.
The Gelowitz’s kept a garden on their farm where they grew several saskatoon bushes. Rick, who grew up in Calgary, but spent quite a few summer vacations on his uncle’s farms in Saskatchewan, has had a lifelong love for the native prairie berry. “It was my wife’s suggestion that we try to grow Saskatoon berries,” he recalls. “And that’s how it started.”
While Ian Griebel grew up on his family’s mixed farm south of Castor, Alberta, he never thought he’d one day become a farmer. Griebel studied carpentry and pursued his journeyman certificate, and envisioned a life away from the farm. But in his late twenties, he and his wife, Dana, realized they wanted “to get back to the land”, and that his family’s farm in Castor presented an opportunity.
Sustainability is a shared family value at Valley View Ranch and Flying Heart Meats, a fifth generation family ranch located east of the town of Strathmore, a short drive from Calgary, Alberta.
Rod and Beth Vergouwen’s agricultural roots in Strathmore stem back to the early 1900s when Beth’s great-grandfather emigrated from Illinois with the vision to farm and ranch in southern Alberta. In 1909, he named the land “Valley View Ranch” — a name that Rod and Beth, along with their children, who represent the next generation of farmers on the family ranch, have preserved and continued to date. “We have a long, deep rooted connection with agriculture on both sides of the family farm,” explains Rod, whose own grandfather emigrated to southern Alberta from Holland in the 1920s.
Join Young Agrarians, Rural Routes to Climate Solutions, and Rob Lavoie of AirTerra to learn all about AirTerra’s vision is to increase nutrient cycling efficiency on farms using biochar.