The soil we use to grow our crops, house our animals , and that we each walk on every day is alive! It’s an ecosystem full of complex interactions and processes that are happening constantly right under our feet. At the Herbert Family Farm we appreciate the importance of the soil to support the crops that we grow and how it ultimately sustains each and every one of us. By implementing practices such as crop rotation, we allow the soil to retain its organic matter and nutrient content so that we can continue to have fertile soils that support our crops. We also chop some of our straw to add to our soils which further increases soil organic matter content, improves soil structure for growth, and allows our soils to better retain moisture in the hot summer months. Better moisture retention in soil also means that the crops we grow in the soil require less frequent watering, because the soils are better able to store water in a plant accessible form, which is yet another benefit of caring for our soils sustainably. Additionally, we’ve had the soil on our cropland tested, which means that we are able to help build up the soil nutrient content where it is deficient and promote long term crop growth. On our farm we grow wheat, canola, barley and hay, and in spring of 2022 we will be adding faba beans to our rotation. As a legume, faba beans have the ability to fix soil nitrogen, making it plant available and reducing the need for synthetic chemical fertilizers. In all of these practices, we aim to further benefit the soil health so that we can continue producing crops sustainably for generations to come. It is important for us to take care of our soil so that it can nourish us and our customers!