Season for Soil

A week long journey extending the healthy soils message.

Season for Soil

A week long journey extending the healthy soils message.

Making a Difference -


The issue

What is a healthy soil?  What is a sick soil?  Is adding compost a viable alternative to using chemical to control invasive weed species?  What does a SoilKee Renovator do?  How does adaptive grazing contribute to soil health? What does the next generation of farmers think about regenerative agriculture?  These are just a few of the questions explored in a week long experience that was the 'Season for Soil'.  

The solution

Dr Maarten Stapper, soil scientist/agronomist extraordinaire, spent a week in and around Armidale inspiring members of our community to think deeply about the answers to these perplexing questions and generating constructive conversations about the biological power of microbial activity in a healthy soil and how this leads to healthy food production and healthy people.  The main events during the week included Dr Stapper appearing as guest presenter at 1. Regenerative Agriculture field day at two local secondary schools with 120 year 9/10 agriculture students attending, 2. Science in the Club, 3. Insitu Science podcast 4. Tag-along Farm Tours, 5. School Ag Farm visits.  

The impact

Within a week we achieved a great deal by embracing the opportunity to host Dr Stapper in a range of forums from the school grounds, the club and local farms to international airwaves (via podcast).  We identified that there is a strong interest in soil health within our Landcare community and in response have formed a regenerative farming interest group (currently 65 members).  Agriculture teachers too gained a significant insight into soil biology with the schools Dr Stapper visited now adapting his teachings around the theme of 'Biological Farming' into their curriculum.  Of particular note is the on-going support that Dr Stapper has provided these teachers so they can develop their course content based on current findings.  


Some key takeaway messages;

  • Video is a very effective tool for engagement
  • Worthwhile engaging a well recognised quality presenter 
  • Build a wide ranging program to fully utilise speaker time
  • Embrace opportunity to start an interest group
  • Powerful questions make powerful conversations

Key facts

  • Soil health education starts in kindergarten
  • More soil microbes in a teaspoon of soil than people on the planet
  • Maintaining ground cover is integral to soil health
  • Regenerative agriculture - a growth movement in the New England

Project Partners