Building Healthy Soils in New Hampshire
On September 3, the NH Food Alliance hosted its monthly Network Cafe in partnership with NOFA-NH entitled "Healthy Soils in NH: from Legislation to Community Action." Attendees learned more about the crucial role that living soils play in climate resilience, as well as human and ecosystem health and discovered the many actions already underway or emerging that aim to protect and revitalize this essential dimension of the Granite State. A panel featuring Rep. Peter Bixby (author of the recently passed NH Healthy Soils Bill, HB 199), Julie Davenson, Executive Director of Stonewall Educational Farm and NOFA-NH's Policy Committee Chair, and soil health advocate Steven Keleti, shared opportunities and benefits that agroecological soil practices offer to farmers, eaters, and citizens.
Watch the Network Cafe recording below to learn about: how healthy soils are connected to larger issues of food system sustainability, climate resilience, and maintaining healthy ecosystems, the importance of NH’s new Healthy Soils legislation and what it means for community members, farmers, and business owners, and how to get involved with ongoing healthy soils efforts in NH and across the region. Also below are resources from the chat shared by attendees. Follow along with the agenda HERE >>
RESOURCES FROM THE CHAT
- NRCS is working to reconvene the Soil Health Partnership.
Contact: Chad S. Cochrane, Resource Conservationist-Agronomy/GIS Coordinator
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
(603) 223-6021, firstname.lastname@example.org
- "I am interested in any links to research as to how better soil health (and how that is determined) can increase nutrient density of food."
For further reading: Life in the Soil by James B. Nardi, The Hidden Half of Nature by David Montgomery and Anne Bikle, The Soil Will Save US by Kristen Ohlson, Dirt by David Montgomery, Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown
Check out the Bionutrient Association as well for research links and an archive of presentations from the Soil & Nutrition Conferences.
Biodiverstiy for a Livable Climate
- The New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station has numerous programs on soil health and soil microbiology, both for agricultural and forest production. The cluster of scientists at UNH is one of the strongest in the northeast and is an incredible resource of the latest state-of-the-art knowledge about local soil issues.
- Is there a path forward for Payment for Ecosystem Services in NH?
Payment for Ecosystem Services in VT link— https://agriculture.vermont.gov/pes
Please take a look at https://disparitytoparity.org/ - when buyers pay parity prices in the marketplace and farmers agree to manage supply and use conservation practices, it will be possible to revive rural communities.
- Join UNH Extension Sept. 9 at the Grafton County Farm, No. Haverhill NH, 5-7pm for a discussion on practical uses of cover cropping in Ag systems. Come see a variety of cover crop species in a demo! REGISTER HERE >>
- Check out Soil Series 2021 Stories From the North, for 6 events focusing on practitioners in the north country of NH and VT.
- NH county conservation districts contact info, CLICK HERE >>
- NOFA-NH has an organic farming and gardening Bulk Order program each year that includes organic cover crop seed, soil amendments and other bulk products.
- Find your local USDA Service Center and reach out to them to find out about eligibility for cost shares on mulching, multi species cover crops, no till, reduced till, perennial herbaceous pollinator habitat, tree and shrub plantings, compost facilities and more.
- For those trying to understand the language of NRCS and those "resource concerns" that are used to rank funding, check out this fact sheet HERE >>
RESOURCE CONTACT INFORMATION
- Julie Davenson, Executive Director, Stonewall Educational Farm, NOFA-NH's Policy Committee Chair
- Nikki Kolb, NOFA-NH
- In partnership with the County Conservation Districts, the NH Association of Conservation Districts offers technical assistance to land stewards. Please feel free to reach out: email@example.com
Join the NH Food Alliance and NH Farm to School for the next Network Cafe on October 1 entitled "Roll Call with NH Farm to School: Policy, Regional Network Development, Community Engagement & More." Hear presentations from NH Farm to School Network partners featuring exciting updates about upcoming events, including the Local Food for Local Schools Reimbursement bill, NH’s Great Apple Crunch, and more. Learn how you can participate and support farm to school in New Hampshire and REGISTER HERE >>