What’s the secret to good soil? With the profession’s emphasis on building it, prepping it and maintaining it, it’s a
question that consumes many farmers. Our answer may or may not be satisfying, because it’s something that you can’t buy, or make, and it doesn’t even have physical properties. It’s time.
Beginning farmers especially have trouble with it because they come to us all fired up by various movements that elevate soil into a religion. SPIN, however, remains agnostic. Being a production system and business model, it can be combined with biodynamics, eco-agronomy, permaculture, organics, regenerative, no-till and whatever other growing practices are currently in vogue. We don’t dictate, we leave it up to each farmer to decide based on their personal preference and resources.
Contrary to what some of the soil gurus tell you, there is no one magic potion, and your best advice is always local. What we do recommend is to use whatever soil amendments are locally available for free or at reasonable cost. Many gardeners andfarmers over-fertilize. Using SPIN’s bed setup is an advantage because you can spot fertilize throughout the season. Depending on where your soil is starting from, you should spend, at most, a few hundred dollars per season on amendments.
A local ag extension agent once commented to us that one if the biggest mistakes he sees new farmers make is trying to put too fine a point on their soil. That’s pretty much what we see too. So soil is the number one hang-up we try to get new farmers to ease up a bit on. Sure soil is important, but you don’t need to turn yourself into a soil scientist to work with it productively. It needs to be understood at a basic gardening level, respected and treated well. And because you’ll be doing a lot of growing of a lot of different crops throughout the season, you’ll have lots of chances to learn what works and what doesn’t as you go along. It just takes time.
LEARN WHAT OTHER SPIN FARMERS ARE USING TO KEEP THEIR SOIL HEALTHY IN THE SPIN ONLINE USPPORT GROUP. FREE TRIAL MEMBERSHIP COMES WITH THE PURCHASE OF ANY SPIN GUIDE HERE.