Protecting the soil on the family farm

Piggy dreams

A Tamworth hog, like those raised at Morning Sun Farm. Photo by Flickr user Pat Anderson [digiteyes], used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

I first discovered the Edible family of publications when visiting friends in Cincinnati, Ohio. I’m preparing to make a return visit next month, so I thought I’d check out Edible Ohio Valley again. In doing so, a recent story by Jessica Clifford caught my eye, in which she profiles a diversified organic family farm. As she describes,

for farmer Dale Filbrun of Morning Sun Farm south of West Alexandria, Ohio, near Middletown, dirt is a precious thing. “We believe plant health, animal health, our health, and the health of the planet all begin in the soil,” he says. “We do whatever we can to encourage life in the soil.”

As any backyard gardener knows, soil is alive. It’s teeming with all sorts of creepy-crawlies, from microscopic protozoa and bacteria to fungi, nematodes, earthworms, spiders, beetles, and myriad other insects. Together with plant roots and small above-ground animals and birds, these organisms make up a network called the soil food web. It’s essential to the health of any plant.

Find the full article, along with photos by Julie Kramer, here.

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