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Soil Health Tip Tuesday: Learn from fellow champions

Do you want to save money on fertilizers, but are not sure how to add organic matter to your soil? Do you want to learn how to test your soil? Do you care 4 the Soil, but you’re not sure where to start?

Learn from and alongside fellow soil health champions! Follow your local extension office, soil and water conservation district (SWCD), master gardener chapter, and farmers at the market for upcoming events and workshops.

Becky Szarzynski of Mountain Glen Farm serves as a coordinator of the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council's (VFGC) and Virginia Soil Health Coalition's (VSHC) farmer-to-farmer mentor programs. Becky emphasizes that people and systems have to be adaptive to meet challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that emerge with soil health, grazing management, and new markets. Then, tune into our two-part conversation with Becky on the podcast 4 The Soil: A Conversation episodes 23-5 and 23-6.

Virginia Grassland Council

FB: Virginia Forage and Grassland Council

Virginia Soil Health Coalition

FB: 4 The Soil

IG: @4thesoilva

Michael Carter Jr. of Carter Farms in Orange County, Virginia is a fifth-generation farmer with a passion for small farm outreach, the decline in the number of black farmers and black-owned farms, and efforts to restore equity and justice in farming and access to land. Carter Farms hosts workshops and events on a range of topics. Don’t miss our two-part conversation with Michael on the podcast on episodes 22-13 and 22-14.

Carter Farms

FB: Carter Family Farms

IG: @carterfarmsva

Lydia Fitzgerald is an integrated cropland agronomist with Virginia's USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Virginia Tech. In her outreach and education role, Lydia uses hands-on soil health demonstrations and research to encourage farmers, ranchers, market gardeners, and land managers to take an integrated approach to soil, crop, and natural resource management. Like Becky, she also works with the VSHC's Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring program. Check out our conversation with Lydia on the podcast episode 22-16.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is finishing their three-part Soils series on April 8, 2023. Learn from instructor Karin Stretchko about “soil pH and the many factors affecting it within soil chemistry, plant nutrition, and the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium cycles, including fertilization and how to read fertilizer labels. Parts 1 and 2 examined the physical properties of soil, life in the soil, organic matter, and sustainable gardening.”

IG: @lewisginter

FB: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition (VBFRC) offers peer-to-peer networking, resources, and events. VBFRC is led by Katie Trozzo, Program Coordinator, and Kim Niewolny, Program Director. Find their Youtube playlist, resources, and more information on their website

FB and IG: @VABeginningFarmer

Virginia State University College of Agriculture hosts events and workshops to learn with fellow soil health champions. See their upcoming events on their website:

IG: @vsu_ag

FB: Virginia State University

4 The Soil sends out a bi-weekly newsletter full of resources and tips to care for the life in the soil. Sign up by taking the pledge!

IG: @4thesoilva

FB: @4TheSoil

Countless soil health champions across the region are sharing or have shared their knowledge.

Who have you learned from? Give them a shout out today!

Logos of the partners of the 4 The Soil initiative
Partners of 4 The Soil initiative

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