The Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. NOFA/Mass welcomes everyone who cares about food, where it comes from and how it’s grown

Growing Organically Since 1982

*FREE EVENT* What's Going On Down There? Soil Health & Fertility Assessment for Growers at Black Dog Gardens

September 7, 2019 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Black Dog Gardens
19 Norwalk Acres Rd
Monteray, MA

FREE EVENT- Registration requested- click the Brown Paper Tickets Link




What's Going On Down There? Soil Health & Fertility Assessment for Growers at Black Dog Gardens

In this free on-site workshop, NOFA/Mass Soil Technical Assistance Advisors Laura Davis and Caro Roszell will review and interpret soil tests results for Ruth Greens sustainable homestead in Monterey, MA, where Ruth lives and grows vegetables and fruit for personal consumption. You are invited to join us, learn about the practices that produced the soil were analyzing, and learn how to take and interpret soil tests for both fertility and soil health. 

This event is part of a three-year, statewide series aimed at increasing the understanding of farmers, gardeners and the general public about a range of lab-based soil tests and field tests for soil health assessment, as well as how these tests can help inform each other when a grower is considering the condition of her soil. 

This year's program will focus on standard soil tests, saturated paste test, brix spectrometer (plant tissue) and field protocols that you can do in your own garden or field to assess soil health. 

As a professional organic landscaper, Ruth has successfully integrated her annual crops with horticultural plantings  especially native plantsand fruit trees. She will give a tour of her 2-acre home site, comprising half an acre of cultivated areas and the rest devoted to second-growth forest land. Green considers soil stewardship to be her most important task and has worked for 18 years learning to turn sticky clay soils into biologically active and nutrient-rich loam.

Caro will demonstrate a few soil health field tests that any grower can do using simple tools, and will point out soil health indicators. We will demonstrate how to take a brix reading, and Laura will then review the findings of the Logan Labs report, including a saturated paste test. Discussion will include how to calculate amendments and what considerations to make about amendment sources.
Caro and Laura will round out the day by facilitating a group discussion to help participants make sense of the lab report and findings. Topics for discussion will include: How does brix relate to soil health and fertility? How does soil organic matter and cation exchange capacity relate to long-term fertilizer needs? 
Participants go home with a Soil Health Field Test Manual (instructions and data sheets) and a handout of resources for labs where you can send samples of your soil.


Register Online

For questions contact Caro Roszell, Education Director, at or (508) 360-0874.

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