Come and join us at Elkstone Farms for two days of soil microbe adventure. We've long been fans of Elaine Ingram's work on the biology of the soil and her ground breaking research into the soil food web. Join some of her proteges as they take us deeper into the understanding of the life in the soil. We'll use microscopes to look at the complexity of the ecology in the soil and learn useful hands-on ways to improve our soil health!
The first day we will dive deep into biological focused composting and all the different ways we can cultivate beneficial soil microbes at home. The group will tour the different bioregions of the property collecting samples to assess microscopically. We will learn how to create nematode extractions and protozoa infusions along with learning basic microscope use.
Day two we will continue our composting talks with a focus on application of compost extracts, compost teas, and infusions. The group will also spend the afternoon exploring the farm through microscopes. If you already own a microscope please bring it along, if you are new to this we will have some scopes you can try. If you are already making compost or working with living soil, please bring a sample with you so we can take a closer look at the microbes.
Soil Food Web overview
Gardening with microbes
LUNCH 1.5 hours
Tour walk around-Forest, field, food walk/tour/microbe collection
Opening- Check in with everyone
Compost- Check temps
Moisture- hand check is most important
Lunch 1.5 hours
Demo with backpack sprayer
Demo injection w/o a full unit
About the presenters;
Keisha & Casey Ernst have been focusing on soil regeneration and habitat restoration as a team since 2011. They have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingahm over the past 8 years and worked side by side with her on many projects.. In 2018 Catalyst BioAmendments was founded as an experimental and educational focused compost lot. The aim was to apply the techniques taught by Dr. Ingham to compost made at large scale and to improve the processes to ensure the product is reliably hosting diverse populations of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes.
Catalyst was successful in creating a biological focused product and since 2019 Keisha & Casey have been using the compost with their consulting. You can see examples of that success in this webinar. They aim to raise the quality of food on shelves in grocery stores by helping farmers increase microbial biomass in their agricultural soils and to help microbe farmers world wide to improve their composting practices.
Their main overarching focus is on fostering a community around microbe farming. They have a passion for helping the unseen lives in the soil come into view through images and videos taken with a microscope and hands on workshops where everyone can explore together.
Facebook: Catalyst BioAmendments, Soil Microbe Library, & Soil Matters
Your health and the well-being of our community are important to us. We encourage all participants to be vaccinated before they visit the farm or wear a mask and practice social distancing if they have not yet been vaccinated. We have upgraded sanitation protocols in place, and require that guests follow our policies, which are in compliance with all CDC and county guidelines.