Upcoming Courses for the New Year

January is a month of opportunity for the Midwest to learn more about the soil food and and microscopy.  Check out these events and courses, perhaps you and your community would like to join in on the events!  If you want a hands-on microscope day, then check out the Milaca, MN event!  It’s very affordable and you will learn how to do the microscope assessments.  How cool is this?

The Minnesota Organics Conference is jam packed with excellent speakers and workshops to propel your growing system forward.  I will be speaking both days.  Here is what I’ll be covering:

January 8, 2016

Session 1: The Art of Microherding – Establishing below ground diversity for above ground resilience

This course will begin with understanding how the soil food web is a tool that can be used to increase productivity in all growing systems.  You will be introduced to the key organisms that are responsible in holding and releasing soil fertility. The discussion of their food and environmental preferences will allow you to understand why they may or may not be present in your growing system. We will discuss applications of composts, extracts and teas and how you can know you are using the products that will  make a change in the growing system.  Please attend Identifying the Microherd to understand how to identify and qualify the soil organism presence in your products or growing system.
January 9, 2016
Session 2: Identifying the Microherd – Create an on farm lab to monitor efficiency in your soil and in living soil products.
Have you ever wanted to see what soil organisms are in your soil, your compost or that tea your buying?  Using simple microscope methods you will be able to track what life in active and present in your soil now and how/if it’s changing based on the treatments you are putting on the land.    This course will introduce you to the basics of identifying and accounting for beneficial organism presence in soil, composts, extracts and teas.  We will discuss how to sample, when to sample and how to be sure that the organisms are getting onto your land.  Welcome to the underground!  Let’s build some soil! *This course is a continuation of Session 1, it is highly recommended for you to attend session one to gain the most from this course.
Microscope course in Milaca, MN
When: January 11, 2016
Where: 632 2nd Street SE Milaca, MN 56353
Time: 9 A.M.— 4 P.M.
Tuition: $80
Registeration: Contact Florence Dehn 320-983-2154 Florence.Dehn@mn.usda.gov
Please register by January 9, 2016. Course is limited to 15 students. Participants are recommended to have a compound, bright field microscope with a 10X eye piece and 4X, 10X, and 40X lenses as well as appropriate sampling equipment. Equipment list will be sent after registration is complete.
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