Stories from the Soil

Cool Planet and the Future of Agriculture traveled the U.S. and captured stories from the ground level of soil health management practices, innovation, and realities. We are excited to share these stories with you. Check back often for new episodes and stories from different perspectives to learn more about the impact soil health has on our agricultural and horticultural productivity and sustainability. Let’s work together to advance soil health knowledge and management to ensure a long-lasting and productive foundation for growth.

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Stories From the Soil – Episode 1: Uncovering Stories From the Soil

Stories From the Soil: Episode 1 – Uncovering Stories From the Soil. Cool Planet and the Future of Agriculture have teamed up to hear from farmers, land stewards, and researchers from across the U.S. on soil health management practices, innovation, and realities from the ground level! Follow Stories From the Soil to gain a greater understanding of the significance of soil health to agricultural and horticultural productivity and sustainability. See and hear from farmers and land stewards like never before.

Stories From the Soil: Episode 2 – ‘There’s Science in that Soil’

Hear from Dr. Abbey Wick, Assistant Professor, Extension Soil Helath Specialist at North Dakota State University (@NDSUsoilhealth) on the realities of managing shifting soils and building organic matter. Dr. Wick discusses the realities of cover cropping and no till practices and how to implement management practices improve farmer’s return on investment, productivity, and sustainability.

Stories From the Soil | Episode 3: Shifting Soil of the West

Stories From the Soil Episode 3: Sifting Soils of the West features Jay Hill (@HillJay45), owner of Hill Farms, Wholesome Valley Farms on his soil health management practices that are limiting wind erosion, building soil organic matter, and improving his operations productivity and sustainability. Follow Jay throughout his fields to understand how cover cropping, crop rotation, planning ahead, and soil testing are revitalizing the overall soil health on his fields. Jay’s soil health philosophies consider the future agricultural sustainability of his land and ensure lasting societal benefit!

Stories From the Soil – Episode 4: ‘Carbon: A Buried Treasure’

There is some controversy about whether you can actually increase carbon in soils in certain growing regions. In this weeks episode we will hear from farmers and researchers in the San Joaquin Valley of California who are teaming up to flip the script on our conventional thinking. Hear from veteran farmer and soil health builder, John Diener, on the impact reduced disturbance has had on his bottom line. Gain insight from Jeffrey Mitchell, PhD (Cropping Systems Specialist from UC Davis Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center) on the exciting new frontiers of the ground beneath our feet.

Stories From the Soil | Episode 5: Against the Grain

Being a pioneer is not easy and takes a lot of courage, especially as farmers in agriculture. After visiting John Herrmann’s no-till farming operation in Haxtun, CO, it gave me new perspective on how some farmers must overcome critical voices when adopting soil health methods that are viewed as being ‘against the grain.’ This episode from stories from the soil explores no till and cover crop techniques utilized to optimize acres. Farmer John Heermann describes his approach to building soil carbon in order to provide a habitat and nutrition for soil biology (microbes). Join the soil health movement and innovative agriculture technology working to improve farmers’ profitability and sustainability.

Stories From the Soil – Episode 6: Soil In the City

Beyond the farm fields, we often forget about soil health right under our feet in cities and urban areas. No where is this more apparent than the Big Apple, where the NYC Parks and Recreation team is working to ensure their soils can sustain growth in the concrete jungle. This weeks episode takes us to New York City to meet with Nave Strauss, Director of Street Trees Planting, with the New York City Parks and Recreation department. Learn from Nave on how optimizing soil health with carbon based materials improves tree quality for greater societal benefit.

Stories From the Soil Episode 7: ‘Next-Gen Farming’

How do you determine and implement a game plan for optimizing soil health in land that has been sitting vacant for over 10 years? In this episode we’ll hear from two generations of organic farmers about how they combine conservation tillage with soil testing technology to build and verify healthy soils. For the Morales’ operation, productivity and quality crops starts by establishing a healthy and fertile soil. Their innovative agriculture techniques combine next-generation farming tools with hard learned lessons from the past to improve the physical, chemical, and biological properties of their soils in the central California region.


Stories From the Soil: Episode 8 – ‘Tools of the Trade’

Farmers are being asked to grow more food on less acres on soils that are sometimes depleted. In this episode of Stories From the Soil we will learn how organic farmers are relying on age old techniques and new technologies to accomplish this without sacrificing the level of agricultural sustainability that we have enjoyed for centuries. Hear from Don Perry, Organic Specialist at Simplot Grower Solutions, on emerging technologies and next-generation tools that growers are implementing in organic farming practices. Don explains that productivity and sustainability begins in the soil and how building a healthy soil foundation is integral to sustainable and profitable farming.