Microbiomes, Soil Food Web, Soil Health? What does that mean and why should we care? Let’s have a discussion about the role that bacteria, protozoa, nematodes, and other microbes have in the soil with plants. There is much we do not know about soil, but what we are discovering, or re-discovering, is that soil chemistry is trumped by soil biology. In this session we will discuss what the Soil Food Web is and how it plays with plants and minerals. We will also talk about the ways to monitor these soil microbes and how to support their growth on farms and in gardens. We will conclude with why this is of value to you, your bank account, and your community and leave some time for questions and, hopefully answers.
Join us in the Conference Room at Westport Woods for a helpful presentation from soil expert, John Duke
John Duke (he/him)
For the past 24 years, John has been living on the unseated land of the Pokanoket Wampanoag in the town currently called Mattapoisett. He grew up in north central Massachusetts during the 70’s and then went to the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1987 to study Geography. After graduating and spending some time in Oregon, he returned to Massachusetts in 1994. For the next seven years, John grew produce for farmers markets and restaurants, grew Shiitake mushrooms, moved to Mattapoisett, worked at Westport River’s Winery, Jonathan Sprouts, Plymouth County Conservation District, and then in 2001, became an electrician. Sometime in 2017, he began his online training with Dr. Elaine Ingham’s Soil Food Web school which involves gaining an understanding of how the soil food web works, and assessing that functionality through microscopy. For the last three years, he has been applying that knowledge to the land that he lives on, some farms and gardens in Southeastern Massachusetts, and teaching microscopy through the Northeast Organic Farming Association / Massachusetts Chapter (NOFA/Mass), of which he is a board member.