MemberJune 11, 2018 at 8:51 pm
Hi! I never know where to start (or end) with a self-introduction. Which story to tell? I studied Soil Science at UC Davis and after a bit of wandering and WWOOFing I settled into a ‘real job’ at the urging of my major professor. That was to do agricultural research in the Salinas Valley, but primarily oriented toward large-scale conventional vegetable and strawberry production. I learned very useful and practical skills, but I struggled against the system with my idealistic wishes for more complex, diversified and beautiful agroecosystems. I recently began a new role at the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County, where I provide technical assistance to small farmers working toward resiliency of their own.
Meanwhile, I am struggling to maintain a small farm plot which I would like to make a business enterprise but for which I am not secure enough to leave employment. Thus it receives less attention than required to thrive. I am employing no-till methods and working slowly toward resilience in that small area. The crop is elderberry, and I am looking to select native varieties that thrive in the conditions at my site. Sadly, it means tolerating losses and a slow process to begin.
Additionally, I maintain a very complex food-and-habitat-productive urban garden. The soil is poor (pure sand) and I have relied on a lot of eternal input (i.e. purchase compost) for fertility and building organic matter, but I would like to focus on cover cropping to improve the soil in-situ, even there.