When we first started growing our own food five years ago, we didn’t know anything about soil building, but we knew we would need to learn. We’re glad to say that we do know something by now about how to build healthy soil that nourishes plants, retains moisture in the right amount, and resists erosion. In this week’s podcast we share what we’ve learned. One of the first lessons we learned was the bad news about why organic matter makes up such a low percentage of the soil here in the South: it’s because the soil is active 365 days of the year and that the organic matter is constantly “burning off.” If we want our soil to stay high in organic matter (and we do – that’s the name of the game in soil-building), we must keep something growing on it all year long to replenish the organic matter that’s constantly disappearing. So we use cover crops liberally. Black oats, lupin, and daikon radish in the cool months and sunn hemp, sweet, wonderful sunn hemp, in the warm months. And we’re always exploring other cover crops that may help us address specific problems we discover with our soil’s fertility.