Fertility Farming Course: Strategies to Increase Soil Fertility ← Spiral Ridge Permaculture

Fertility Farming Course: Strategies to Increase Soil Fertility

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Date(s) - Oct/Tue/2015 - Oct/Wed/2015


Spiral Ridge Permaculture


Tags Nashville, permaculture, soil building, southeast

Fertility Farming Course: Strategies to Increase Soil Fertility

Fertility Farming Course: Strategies to Increase Soil Fertility

October 13-14, 2015

“feed the soil and let the soil feed the plants” – William Albrecht

Why is soil fertility important?  How can we build more topsoil?  What strategies can we use to create biologically active, mineral rich soil that nourishes the plants and creates balance in our build ecosystems?  This two-day course is designed dive into the world of soil health for our homesteads and farms.

Key benefits of soil fertility include:

Higher yields

Lower costs

Fewer pest and disease problems

Better water holding capacity and therefore irrigation savings

Higher nutrient density in food

Less inputs over time

Creation of healthy farm ecosystems

Soil Fertility at Spiral Ridge Permaculture

In this course you will learn…

strategies to manage water and fertility cycles

how to accelerate topsoil development

the history and how it affects us today

soil testing

soil structure, texture and composition

soil food web biology

thermophilic and cold composting methods

how to make actively aerated compost tea

remineralization – bio and plant fertilizers

no/low tilling/tilling approaches, appropriate use and alternatives

carbon sequestration

use of nitrogen-fixing and mineral-accumulating plants.

Lead instructors, Cliff Davis and Jennifer Albanese, co-own Spiral Ridge Permaculture, a family run education company specializing in permaculture, regenerative farming and nature connection.  Their full-scale design firm, Edible Habitats, offers consultation, master planning and implementation, in the same specialities, including Keyline® design & plow services.  Jen and Cliff also run Southeast Organic Supply, a developing organic farm & garden supply company.  They developed these businesses out of their passion to; address cultural and ecological issues that demand real and lasting solutions, encourage more people to homestead and help save family farms, by making them more ecological and productive.  They have over 26 years of combined experience studying and applying permaculture in temperate, tropical/subtropical and dry land climates and have taught hundreds of students permaculture and homesteading skills.

Spiral Ridge Permaculture Teacher Cliff DavisCliff  has vast experience in the fields of permaculture, food forestry, organics, appropriate technology, natural building, deep nature connection and regenerative agriculture, that allow him to offer an integrative approach to land and culture repair.  He empowers others to take a hands-on approach to design in his regular and advanced course offerings. His humor, straight-forward style and determination to make positive change, make him an engaging instructor, consultant and designer.   He has taught over 40 courses, and has taken over 20 professional development courses. As a professional designer, he has worked for farms, intentional communities, school campuses and homesteaders.  Cliff is the main instructor and curriculum developer for this course. He received his permaculture certificate in 2004 from the International Institute of Ecological Agriculture and his teacher training certificate from Dave Jacke. He later went on to co-teach the teacher training course, with Jacke.  Cliff has been featured twice on The Permaculture Voices Podcast, The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann, Agricultural Insights podcast, Agro-Innovations podcast, and the C-Realm podcast and has been a speaker at many sustainability/farming events and conferences.  Experience matters.  For a detailed look at his experience, training & mentors as well as a list of courses that he has taught, check out his full resume.Spiral Ridge Permaculture Teacher Jennifer Albanese

Jennifer has been an organic gardening student and practitioner for over 14 years.  She has a special interest in soil regeneration and re-mineralization to create ecosystem health and nutrient dense food.  She runs a small nursery and market garden on an off-grid homestead in Tennessee with Cliff and her family.  She has a passion for local in-season, nose-to-tail cooking, ferments and traditional foods.  Jennifer worked as a midwife’s apprentice, birth mentor/doula and course organizer, for The Farm Midwifery Center, for many years before running  Spiral Ridge full-time.  She home schools three children, and has mentored others in nature connection, permaculture and gardening at The Farm School.  She has written articles for Permaculture News, B-Real magazine, Hand Picked Nation and as a guest blogger for other websites.  Jennifer received her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2007 from the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology and Ecovillage Training Center.

Joey Thomas Spiral Ridge InstructorJoey Thomas aka “Joe Dirt” was raised on a hippie commune with 1800 acres in beautiful southern middle Tennessee. Six years ago after taking a carbon farming course with Darren J. Doherty and Joel Salatin, in his community, he fell in love with soil. What had started out as a small hobby quickly became a lifestyle. Joey has created a thermophilic composting system and compost tea operation to apply to his community land (and fortunately, the Spiral Ridge Homestead). With a few failures and many successes, he now believes he can build soil for future generations through his system.

Troy Hinke While attending Maharishi University of MaSpiral Ridge Instructor Troy Hinkenagement in Fairfield, Iowa, Troy took an intensive month-long Soil Food Web class taught by Dr. Elaine Ingham and realized a passion for compost and compost teas that expanded his love of plants and nature. This led him to apprentice with Dr. Ingham, at the Rodale Institute, to hone his skills at identifying soil microorganisms using a microscope. Rodale asked him to come on board and work with Dr. Ingham on a two-year grant, performing research with compost, compost teas, and using biology to improve soil fertility on both large and small scales. Projects included compost tea applications on 500 acres of a local farmer’s corn crop, working with perennial understory cover crops, and a side by side demonstration of aquaponics and “tea”ponics, in which compost tea was added to the water as the only source of fertilization.  Troy and his partner started and co-managed an organic farm for Deanna Naddy of Highland Realm. Here he helped to run a 10-family CSA and maintain 2800 blueberry bushes. Troy currently holds the position of Soil Specialist at Gardens of Babylon, an organic landscaping company in Nashville, Tennessee. He has taught classes on the Soil Food Web in Japan, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. He obtained his Permaculture Design Certificate at Maharishi University of Management in 2010.

Course Details:  Course venue is Spiral Ridge Permaculture.  Includes lunch and dinner Saturday and breakfast and lunch Sunday.  Free camping Saturday night.  Please see Course FAQ’s page for more info. on venue, food and cancellation policy.  If you are local and do not need camping/meals, email us for further discount.

This course is part of our Agro-Ecosystems series of courses that can be taken individually, as a complete set or with mix and match savings.  The more classes you take, the bigger the savings.  For details on the individual classes, click the links below.  For information on the whole series or mix & match deals, including prices and registration, click Agro-Ecosystems.

This Series Includes:

Regenerative Permaculture Earthworks – October 9-12 $750
Fertility Farming  – October 13-14 $250
Agroforestry – October 15-16 $250
Mushrooms, Molds, and Mycorrhizae with Tradd Cotter – October 17-18  $350


How to Register for Fertility Farming (to register for more than one class in the series, go to Agro-Ecosystems)

Please read the directions below carefully.

  • Minimum $150 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot.
  • We prefer final payments be made via personal check or money order sent to the address below or we can send you a Paypal invoice for the balance if you need to put it on your credit card.
  • Tuition balances can be paid via check in the mail, paypal or on arrival.  If you pay your balance when you arrive for class it MUST be cash, money order or certified checks.  No personal checks, when you arrive, will be accepted.  

Use the form below and pay via PayPal, or by sending a check or money order to:

Spiral Ridge Permaculture

444 Walker Rd.

Summertown, TN 38483

Class size is limited, so register early.  If you have any questions at all, shoot us an email at info@spiralridgepermaculture.com


Bookings are closed for this event.