Cornucopia’s Take: One of the keys to strong plants and excellent produce is healthy soil. Rodale’s Organic Life offers some helpful tips to improve your soil.
Follow these tricks of the trade that soil scientists use in their own yards.
As a child, Kristin Ohlson had easy access to gardens. Her grandparents maintained a small orchard and grew produce on their farm; her parents also planted huge plots of vegetables and flowers each year. While Ohlson didn’t develop a deeper agricultural interest until she grew up (all those hours harvesting vegetables cut into childhood playtime, after all), she eventually started researching how food is grown. And that research turned into a minor obsession.
In her 2014 book, The Soil Will Save Us, Ohlson documents how soil scientists are experimenting with cover crops, composting, no-till techniques, and other methods that help farmers reduce their reliance on fertilizer and rethink their relationships with soil. “Dirt First,” her more recent feature for Orion Magazine, and a Q&A with the Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN) dive even deeper into the subject, exploring the role that microorganisms play in soil health, for both farm fields and backyard gardens.