June 6–7, 2015, the Rodale Institute will offer a weekend workshop on soil biology and its role in sustainable agricultural systems at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA. The program, “Paving the Way for an Organic Planet: Growing with Healthy Soil Biology,” will provide an introduction to soil biology and soil management suitable for gardeners, landscapers, educators, small farmers, and anyone else with an interest in soil life and sustainable agriculture. The workshop will be taught by the Rodale Institute’s chief scientist, Dr. Kris Nichols, and farm director Jeff Moyer.
The Rodale Institute is an independent research institute that has produced a wealth of knowledge about organic farming systems, with a particular focus on compost, soil health, weed management, pest management, livestock operations, organic certification, wastewater treatment, and climate change. The Rodale Institute has conducted the longest running comparative study of organic and chemical agriculture, and scientifically demonstrated the superiority of organic agriculture.
While most of the Rodale Institute’s research and outreach takes place at the Rodale Institute farm in Kutztown, PA, the “Growing with Healthy Soil Biology” workshop will be the first event hosted by the Rodale Institute on the West Coast. The program is offered in honor of the United Nations’ declaration of 2015 as the International Year of Soils, a global agenda to raise awareness about the importance of soil for human life and to “educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development.”
“Growing with Healthy Soil Biology” will cover a variety of topics, including biological communities in the soil, management practices and their effects on soil, and tools for measuring, assessing, and monitoring soil health. The workshop will present course material through lectures, discussion, case studies, and hands-on activities. At the end of the program, participants will have a better understanding of the importance of soil life, how to manage their farms and gardens to promote healthy soil communities, and how to assess and measure soil health.
For more information about the “Growing with Healthy Soil Biology” workshop and to register, click here. Visit the Rodale calendar of events to view other workshops and programs offered by the Rodale Institute throughout the year.