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What's Going On Down There? Soil Health & Fertility Assessment for Growers at Black Dog Gardens
Black Dog Gardens
Monterey, MA
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What's Going On Down There? Soil Health & Fertility Assessment for Growers at Black Dog Gardens
In this free on-site workshop, NOFA/Mass Soil Technical Assistance Advisors Laura Davis and Caro Roszell will review and interpret soil tests results for Ruth Greens sustainable homestead in Monterey, MA, where Ruth lives and grows vegetables and fruit for personal consumption. You are invited to join us, learn about the practices that produced the soil were analyzing, and learn how to take and interpret soil tests for both fertility and soil health.

As a professional organic landscaper, Ruth has successfully integrated her annual crops with horticultural plantings  especially native plantsand fruit trees. She will give a tour of her 2-acre home site, comprising half an acre of cultivated areas and the rest devoted to second-growth forest land. Green considers soil stewardship to be her most important task and has worked for 18 years learning to turn sticky clay soils into biologically active and nutrient-rich loam.

Caro will demonstrate a few soil health field tests that any grower can do using simple tools, and will point out soil health indicators. We will demonstrate how to take a brix reading, and Laura will then review the findings of the Logan Labs report, including a saturated paste test. Discussion will include how to calculate amendments and what considerations to make about amendment sources.

Caro and Laura will round out the day by facilitating a group discussion to help participants make sense of the lab report and findings. Topics for discussion will include: How does brix relate to soil health and fertility? How does soil organic matter and cation exchange capacity relate to long-term fertilizer needs?

Participants go home with a Soil Health Field Test Manual (instructions and data sheets) and a handout of resources for labs where you can send samples of your soil.


Black Dog Gardens (View)
435 Main Rd
Monterey, MA 01245
United States



Minimum Age: 4
Kid Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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