Cultivating the Soil Food Web June 24 – July 2 Hosted by Anadolu Meralari Location: Köyceğiz, Turkey

I am so pleased to have been invited back to this incredible country.  Not only is the land beautiful and diverse, the people are beautiful, diverse, hospitable and incredibly intelligent.  This year I have been invited back to repeat last years course and expand it further into field exploration and monitoring.  Come one come all and enjoy the celebration of expanding the brain and friend circles.  It’s time to build some soil!

As “Anadolu Meraları”, the Savory Hub in Turkey, we are happy to organize this training in our 2017 regenerative agriculture education program.

The registration for this training is open to both Turkish and international students.

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Understand soil food web roles and functions
  • Understand foundational principles for the creation of high quality Compost, Compost extract and Compost tea
  • Apply soil enhancing products at key times for greater success
  • Identify the key active soil food web members in soil and soil products through the use of a microscope

A properly balanced and diverse soil food web will supply your growing system with:

  • Plant Productivity
  • Disease Resistance
  • Nutrient Retention and Nutrient Cycling
  • Water Retention
  • Soil Stabilization
  • Reduction of Weed
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Toxin Breakdown

This year’s training will be held in 2 sessions. The first session will last 5 days, and the second session, right after will focus on practice of microscopy  and living soil product applications.

Location of the training: Köyceğiz, Turkey

Köyceğiz is a nice, small town next to Köyceğiz Lake and near the Mediterranean Sea. Transportation is very easy with international Dalaman Airport (to which there are a number of flights everyday from Istanbul and foreign cities) that is 20 minutes by car. The region offers very strong and diverse natural and cultural wonders.

Dates of the training:

First session: June 24 – 28 (5 days)

Second session: June 30 – July 2 (3 days)

Training Programme

Foundations of Implementing the Soil Food Web in Growing Systems

Session 1

Day 1: Decomposition and Cultivating the Soil Food Web (5 hours)

We will introduce you to the cast of characters that make up the Soil Food Web (SFW). By the end of this lecture you will understand the symbiotic relationship between plants and soil microorganisms. You will understand which microorganisms you’re growing system needs to thrive. You will understand how to establish a growing environment that increases and maintains SFW population for plant productivity and disease resistance.


Day 2: Composting Methods and Applications (6 hours)

This day’s lecture will cover aerobic thermal Compost, static Compost, and Vermicompost. We will discuss the basic rules of these methods and how to ensure that a beneficial SFW is being cultivated. As a group, we will creat an aerobic thermal compost that will be monitored each day for the duration of Session 1 and Session 2.  We will also create an aerobic thermal static compost to be used in one years time.  Each morning for the rest of the course will be spent monitoring and turning the compost we build.


Day 3: Compost Methods Continued & Identifying the Soil Food Web (5 hours)

A continuation of the discussion of compost methods will be combined with ways to monitor the compost processes to assure a finished high quality product.  We will discuss how to make and use compost amendments such as humic acid, Compost extract, and aerobic Compost tea.

The second portion of today’s course will delve deeper into knowledge of the soil food web by learning how to identify them using the microscope.  This day will include lessons on how to responsibly use a microscope in addition to viewing of photos and videos of soil food web organisms to understand their morphology and habits.


Day 4: Identifying the Soil Food Web Continued (5 hours)

This days course will be a continuation of identifying soil food web organisms combined with time spent on the microscope for learning integration.  We will look at various composts and soils student have brought with them.  (Bring your Compost and soils – international students – take a trip to the woods or take a walk and gather samples to bring to the class, find a gardener at the market and ask for some of their compost or soil).

Day 5:  Identifying and Documenting the Soil Food Web Continued (4 hours)

We will revisit sampling and identifying organisms. This is a skill that takes time, practice, and patience.  The spreadsheet for a qualitative soil analysis will be introduced.  The duration of the day will be spent doing soil and compost analysis using the microscope and spreadsheet.  A discussion on the data gathered will allow for determining action plans to create a better compost or soil system.

*Students should bring a laptop on this day for successful learning integration.


End of Course Summary and Closing


Foundations of Implementing the Soil Food Web in Growing Systems

Session 2

Day 1: Field Monitoring (6 hours)

It is important to do field monitoring to know if the inputs for a growing system are getting desired results.  Monitoring to take place in the fields will be (but not limited to): Water infiltration, root depth, compaction, brix readings, soil biology, plant species diversity, soil armor, and fixed point photography.  Students will receive data sheets for the monitoring practices.  We will establish control and test sites for biological applications in the following days.


Day 2: Compost and Compost Amendment Creations & Applications (6 hours)

In this course, we will be assessing Composts made from the week prior as well as Composts that are available onsite or that students have brought with them.  We will make a Compost extract and apply it to the land.  Spray equipment will be tested to assure that biology is getting out of the equipment successfully.  We will also assess and apply the Compost tea made from the prior days course.  A new compost tea brew will be made for the following days course work.


Day 3: Applied Microscopy for Regenerative Agriculture Success (4 hours)

This course day will be a summary of the last week and a half.  We will assess the Compost brew from the day before and apply it to seeds and to land.  We will brainstorm additional product creation and applications methods.  We will celebrate our time together and our future of regenerative agriculture.


About Trainer: Molly Haviland

Molly C. Haviland is the founder of  Haviland Earth Regeneration, L.L.C., a soil building company.  The goals of HER are to build soil as quickly as possible, grow food that is medicine, and train others to do this for themselves.  By the end of this decade, soil food web knowledge and soil building practices should be common knowledge.  HER is the catalyst for making this happen.

HER trains, consults and lectures across the USA and usually goes where invited. Invitations have come from across the globe in Hungary, South Africa, New Zealand and Turkey. Most of the trainings are for large-scale annual agriculture in the Midwest USA and to compost operations. The strength of HER is in teaching the basics of soil food web knowledge and practical applications of making the composts, assessing and applying them.

In 2010 Molly attended a month-long course from Dr. Elaine Ingham while attending the Maharishi University of Management, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sustainable Living.  Molly continued to work with Dr. Ingham at the university for two years as a teaching assistant, three years as co-teacher, and one year as a full-time teacher for the month-long Living Soil Course in 2016.

During her course work, Molly created a work-study position in the campus greenhouses as a Soil Builder and maintained that position for one and a half years. Her work was focused on making hand turned quality Composts. After completing her work in the greenhouse, Molly took ownership over The Living Soil Compost Lab. The lab made Composts, extracts and teas as well as ran qualitative analysis on soils, Composts and soil products.   The lab held training courses for students and farmers. This work eventually merged into consulting with farmers in the Midwest America and branched out into the globe.

“The beauty of this work is that it is regenerative and can be sustainable.  Plant nutrition and fertility can come from materials that surround farms, cities, villages…it’s a matter of putting the mix together properly and understanding the nuances of incorporating that living soil product into the growing system.  Looking seven generations into the future, could this practice be viable?  Absolutely! Now, let’s build some soil!” -Molly C. Haviland


Training Language:

Training will be held in clear, simple english. There will be no consecutive or simultaneous translation into Turkish. Intermediate level of english will be good enough to enjoy the programme.


Soil And Compost Samples

You can bring soil and/or Compost samples from your land. We will have the opportunity to examine these samples under microscope and investigate the Soil Food Web within.

Instructions on how to take the samples and safeguard them will be shared within the “Participant’s guide” that will be emailed to the participants a priori the trainings.


Acquiring a Microscope

A set of criteria for the microscope suitable for this training and followup work will be shared with the participants in the “Participants’ guide”. Anadolu Meraları also will do its best to facilitate/organize bulk-buying of microscopes. If you’re interested in that, please state so in the registration form.


What is a Compost (and why it’s with a capital C?)

Molly Haviland defines Compost as a material that it living and therefore has the ability to create fast and effective regenerative impacts on all practices of agriculture. The “compost” with a lower case c is defined as the relatively low-quality product that we prepare mostly for recycling our organic waste.


Our 2016 training’s evaluation by the students

These are average of the points given by 14 students anonymously online, following the training.

(Score given on 10)


“I’m happy with the training in general”



“The training have met my expectations”



“I’ve understand the foundations, principles and methodology of Microbiology Herding”



“After this training, I now feel more ready/prepared/equipped on my work/life/dreams”



“The trainer was satisfying, experienced and well-equipped in terms of knowledge”



“The trainer was satisfying, experienced and well-equipped in terms of teaching methodology and capacity”



Training Fees and Registration


There is limited number of seats available for the training.


The training fee includes the tea/coffee breaks and lunch. In case the training venue is suitable, there will be also camping possibility.


Early Registration

1st Session (5 days) – 600 $

2nd Session (3 days) – 360 $

(Available only for half & non-refundable payments until March 3rd)


Normal Registration

1st Session (5 days) – 675 $

2nd Session (3 days) – 400 $

(Available only for half & non-refundable payments until April 7th)


Late Registration

1st Session (5 days) – 750 $

2nd Session (3 days) – 550 $

(Available only for full non-refundable payments until June 16th)


Contact Information

Durukan Dudu




You can choose to pay half of the training until the dates mentioned above, to finalize and secure your registration. In that case, you need to pay the rest of the fee until April 14th.


About refunding


For this training, the refunding is possible only in case of cancellation of the training by Anadolu Meraları due to not-enough number of registration until April. In such case, the whole amount of paid fee will be paid back to the participant.


accommodation and Travelling


detailed information and guidelines will be provided in early Spring through the “Participant’s Guide” that will be emailed to the participants. We are working hard to suggest and organize a full array of accommodation for different budgets.


Transportation is quite easy to the town where the training is happening, with the international Dalaman Airport.


Note for potential participants who have doubts on security aspect:

We’re aware that today’s Turkey provides a number of reason to have doubts and fears on safety angle, yet the training will be held on rural/semi-rural setting, which is very safe in all aspects.


Application and Registration
Go to this link:  the form to apply for the training. We will send you an email within a day or two and will provide all the information for you to finalize your registration.

Soil Building Workshop in New Zealand

Hello Friends,

Come to Tauranga, North Island New Zealand for a three day course consisting of 2 days of classroom learning at the Hotel Armitage in Tauranga, followed by a 1 day Field Trip to Chaos Springs Farm in Waihi.  A return bus will be provided for the Field Trip.

Follow the link below to register:

Kiwi Fertiliser in conjunction with Chaos Springs and MyNOKE Compost are hosting Haviland Earth Regeneration to discuss thermal and worm composting, and the benefits of their application in modern eco-agriculture.

HER will present pertinent and up-to-date knowledge on enhancing plant productivity through cultivation, identification, and documentation of soil organisms.  Your growing system can be more than organic – it can be regenerative.

With properly balanced soils and a diverse soil food web there will be:

  • Plant productivity reaching full potential
  • Disease resistance
  • Nutrient retention
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Water retention
  • Soil stabilisation
  • Reduction of weeds
  • Toxin breakdown
  • Less reliance on bought and bagged Nitrogen
  • Carbon sequestration

For more information please contact Ron McLean of Kiwi Fertiliser, on 0800 549 433 or email

I hope your growing season offers you health, wealth and happiness.  See you outside!

If you’re in Minneapolis, you should know this guy

Check out this link for a video about this incredible man!


Minneapolis parks employee demographics show that the workforce is overwhelmingly white. Russ is working to help the MPRB institute hiring and promotional practices that will require equitable hiring and promotion of people of color.  Because equity isn’t about using nice words, equity means equal access to resources like jobs.


Your support is needed to help Russ win for equitable parks by showing up on 2 dates:

  • April 4th, Precinct Caucuses and,
  • June 24th, City Convention

Click here to become a delegate for Russ!

And you can show your support by donating here.

Together we can grow People Powered Parks!  

Russ Henry
Candidate At-Large for Minneapolis Park Board


-=-=-Paid for by Russ Henry for Parks

Created with NationBuilder, software for leaders.

Terra Tek Ag Services Brings HER to MO for Soil Health Course


February 22, 2017 ~ Hickory Log~ Dexter, MO

~9:00 – 4:00~

$150.00 includes lunch

  • Approx. 2 Hr. discussion on “Below the Surface Bio-diversity”
  • “A Microscopic View of Mineral Balanced Soils” (3 local soils analyzed)Establishing microbial benchmarks and the appropriate compost systems
  • Open discussion on composting systems and implementing into farming operation

Space is limited.  Reserve your spot/s with Damon (573) 270-0513 or email

Instructor:  Molly C. Haviland

Molly is the founder of Haviland Earth Regeneration (HER), the Soil building company.  In 2012, she gained her BS in Sustainable Living with a focus in The Living Soil. Under the mentorship of Dr. Elaine Ingham since 2010, Molly has been working with farmers, grazers and compost operations across the globe in engaging regenerative Soil practices. She is one of a handful of Certified Soil Life Consultants in the world. Her specialties include training her students to: 1) identify soil food web organisms in Soils and Soil building products through easy and affordable microscope methods, 2) create local Soil building products such as living Composts, Compost Extracts and Compost Teas, and 3) successfully integrate living Soil products into growing systems. The primary goals of HER are to build living Soil as quickly as possible, grow nutrient dense crops, and train people to do this for themselves!  A living Soil is the primary life sustenance that can retain and cycle nutrients, sequester carbon, filter water, and breakdown toxins. It is the buffer for a myriad of climactic changes that our growers are experiencing across the globe. “


A Great Question

Hello everybody!  I was just sent an email with a great question.  I would like to share this with you in hopes it will add to your tool box of knowledge for regenerative agriculture techniques.
This is copied from an email send by a lovely young lady from France:
“As I explained, my father is using compost tea on our fields. My question was, do you think it would be good for the tea if we add a handful of our soil during the extraction process? In order to obtain a tea that is adapted to our microflora in our soils? 
Also, you told me to apply 3 times the tea in the spring at the key stages of the plant, could you please remind me which one it was? 
We talked about the impact of tillage and herbicide on the soil, we did found an article about it, I didn’t verify yet who did write it etc but I found it quite interesting. In case it might interest you:
I am really glad that we’ve  met and hope to see you again at one of your courses ! Thank you for the presentation you did on the Monday evening, it was really interesting and I think it is an important subject today in agriculture ! “
Here was my response:
Thank you for your feedback!  It was a pleasure to meet you as well.  This is important work indeed.  It’s an interesting article that you sent me. I have made bold a couple parts of the excerpt to expand on.

“Here we can look at a meta-analysis, not just a review. A meta-analysis combines data from multiple studies and re-analyzes the combined data. Nguyen et al. (2016) looked at the results of 36 studies and found “Notably, field application rates [of glyphosate products] had no significant effect on SMR [soil microbial respiration] or SMB [soil microbial biomass].” They did find effects when applied at higher rates, but that is why we have the EPA and pesticide labels. Rose et al., reviewing the specific findings on glyphosate, observed “Numerous studies have found that glyphosate applied at standard application rates has little impact on the microbial biomass in soil, and stimulation rather than inhibition is more commonly observed.” They report that recent research, “the first to use next-generation sequencing”, found no significant effects of glyphosate on the structure of the microbial community. Another recent study, Newman et al. (2016), found “no overall effect of glyphosate on bacterial community diversity.” Rose et al. concludes, “To date, there is little evidence to suggest that long-term, repeat applications of glyphosate to soil causes negative shifts in soil microbial communities or functions.” While not conclusive, this evidence does not raise any red flags about the use of herbicides and their effect on the soil.”

Find link  to article here.
This is a bacteria centric article.  Remember how I talked about bacteria being one part of a huge story?  The SMR tests don’t test species, they just test CO2 respiration and you don’t know WHO it’s coming from.  Additionally, it would be good to know how the soil microbial biomass(SMB) was tested.  General tests such as these involve fumigation and then organic C measurement.  Again, WHO was there? If they are growing out organisms on plates, diversity is reduced drastically.  So only 10% of the story is being told in the results.  Glyphosate will feed some species of soil bacteria, it’s true.  Yet when glyphosate hits the human biome – it slaughters our gut microorganisms, making it hard to digest food.  Glyphosate is one of the culprits of autoimmune disease and the leaky gut.  Our gut biome begins in healthy soils.  Food grown in healthy soils is the transport mechanism for getting a healthy human biome.
To answer your questions above about adding your farm soil into the brew tank – diversity rules the roost.  Adding a handful of HEALTHY soil is a good idea.  You need to know if your soil has a  majority of good critters or if it’s holding significant amounts of disease.  How do you know? Take a peek, with a microscope,  and see who is there.   One untested theory I have in favor of adding your soil to the brew is that the organisms living there have been able to survive the chemicides that have been going out on the land, they might even be consuming some of the toxins.  These types of organisms are needed to survive in the system as you are able to make a transition away from the chemicides.
 Since you don’t yet have the ability to use the microscope,  I suggest that you seek out a thriving organic or biodynamic farm in your area, take a handful of that soil and add that to the brew.  This is not ideal (the not looking at it part) but those types of soils will likely will have more diversity.  You could take from a healthy forest system as well.
Having assessed no-till conventional soil systems, I see little in the way of soil life diversity beyond bacteria.  Usually the fungus that is there is the disease causing type.  Again, all farms are different, so I can only speak to what I have seen on the farms I have been on.  So, again, take a peek and see who is there.
It is imperative to know what is growing in your brew.  Are you growing beneficials or disease?  It is imperative to look at what is in the brew, as the brew can wake up dormant spores and cysts that would otherwise not have woken up.  This is is an aerobe/ anaerobe thing.
Consider the soil like the human body.  If a person has just come off of antibiotics – it’s important that they are “inoculated” with beneficial before going out into the world where beneficial and diseases exists.  If they go out as a blank slate, it can happen where disease will take over because there is 1) no competition or castle wall of protection and 2) remember that disease causing organisms tend to be the most opportunistic.   Disease causing organisms and weeds are quite similar.  They are r-selected species that have a short life span but produce offspring quickly.  The offspring express epigenetics to endure the challenges that previous generations experienced. When one bacteria becomes two in 20 min – think of how quickly life can become resilient to toxins or chemicides that are thrown at them.  Thus we have herbicide resistant weeds and non beneficial insects that are no longer effected by the pesticides that worked just last year.  Soils contain the potential for all possibilities – to respond with our beneficials or to respond with disease.  When we brew, we must know which we have woken up.
When are ideal times to protect the foliage of plants?  For annuals I suggest first true leaf stage, flower bud swell and flower opening.  Additional sprays can be applied  at signs of stress or disease.
Keep me posted on your farm. “
If you want to learn how to use the microscope to assess soils and soil building mediums, try an online course.  Here is one to start with.  Do tell them Molly Haviland sent you.  I recommend a follow up with a Certified Soil Life Consultant that can work one-on-one with you to be sure you are doing the assessments correctly.