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Science of Soil Health

01/28/20, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

The soil beneath us is alive! There are more organisms in a teaspoonful of healthy soil than there are people on earth. It is from this soil life that the nutrients needed to sustain higher forms of life (plants, animals, and people) are derived. When we disturb the soil it upsets the habitat (home) for this soil life. The misuse of chemical inputs (pesticides, chemical fertilizer and herbicides) is also detrimental to soil life. Other practices can increase soil health and improve the life in soil, like adding compost or planting cover crops. By keeping a root in the ground and adding compost we can feed the microbes who in turn mineralize the nutrients needed for healthy plant growth. This minimizes soil erosion and increases water retention in the soil for increased drought resiliance.

Workshop Topics: What is Soil Health (Physcial, Chemical, Biological)? How is soil health measured and what are visual assessments that can be done? The afternoon at Monkeyflower Ranch will provide hands on practice with assessing soil health. Biological Soil Health and Point Blue studies of Ranches in California; EQIP & CDFA Funding of Soil Health Practices; Ranch Tour and Exercises on Soil Health, Plant Observation, Feeling for Soil Moisture.


Pam Krone




Moss Landing Marine La


8272 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, CA, 95039