Course date: This course has already run in November 2017. However, if you are still interested let us know and we will look at holding the course again.
Course tutor: Niels Corfield
A one-day course on promoting and preserving soil health, using problem-based learning methods. Introduction to the soil health principles and how they can be applied to a growing operation. Simple testing methods to measure soil health and soil carbon. Management techniques for better soil health: cover crops & crop rotations, amendments, biochar, composting and more.
Lunch – packed lunch or choice of a delicious lunch at the Old Dairy Kitchen at Trill by Chris Onions for £15.
Afternoon – tours & rotation planning exercise
Topics/StructureThe empirical case for good soil management
How different strategies affect soil structure
Slake test etc
Defining Soil Health
How it's articulated, and
How to measure it
Evidence for soil health: aggregates etc
Spade tests/visual soil inspection
Soil food web
Theory and relevance
Soil organic matter and soil carbon
What is it and how it differs from straight organic matter
Fast hot composting
Novel types: cocktail cover crops etc
Selecting/designing mixtures appropriate to your situation
Selecting appropriate soil management practices, to:
Preserve soil structure and biology
Accumulate SOM and soil carbon
Minimise weed burdens
Rotations and crop planning exercise
Identifying points of intervention in existing rotations to improve soil health
Exercise - based on student's own examples
Sizing operations for best returns
Biochar, compost, minerals etc
Nutrients and Nitrogen
Which fixes more N: clovers or maize?
Monitoring and testing
DIY soil health tests
Measuring plant health
Brix, plant sap pH
Trials and experimentation
Setting-up and running your own small-scale trials
Comparative, split-field and controls
Biochar pit burn
Starting a hot compost pile
Booking & Payments Payment for the course is preferably made in full in advance by bank transfer, and as soon as possible. Cash payments can be made in person at the class, if necessary. Deposit can be made up to 1 week before the course to half the total. Bank DetailsName: Niels Corfield Account: 90807842 Sort Code: 20 27 48
Please use the reference “SHG” and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the date you made the transfer, your name and how much you have paid.
About the Tutor Niels Corfield is a designer, educator and consultant, working to create sustainable/regenerative landscapes and farms in the UK and Europe. He is someone with a diverse skill-set who can tie together disparate projects into a coherent whole using cutting edge- and best practice systems.
He is passionate about tree-based, ecological systems that are low maintenance and productive. He has extensive experience with designing, establishing and managing diverse agroforestry systems, forest gardens and ecological orchards. He is a skilled propagator and nurseryman.
Since 2007 he has been teaching certified Permaculture Design Courses, as well as a range of specialist training and education, from design through to practical skills. He has created a suite of professional education resources to carry-out multi-stakeholder/participatory design workshops (Designing for Real).
He is the director of Edible Cities, a successful urban design consultancy, education and nursery business. Creating productive and ecological low maintenance edible landscapes since 2008. He counts amonst his clients: the Ecology Building Society and various councils and is currently working on a 500 home development in inner city Leeds.
He runs a commercial nursery and is proficient in propagating productive, named-variety: trees, shrubs, vines and herbaceous plants. He also delivers specialist courses for designing tree nursery and plant production systems.
He designs and installs rainwater harvesting and irrigation systems for growers in the UK.
He has been supporting and consulting on small-medium UK farms since 2012. Consulting on soil health, agroforestry, planned grazing, whole site design and setting-up crop trials on-farm. He also offers a specialist mapping service to growers and farmers to facilitate decision-making and planning.
This year he is coordinating a research trial of organic no-till cover crops across a number of sites in the UK. Establishing an empiric case for soil organic matter generation in these systems.
He has been trained by Darren Doherty (RegenAg Design), Kirk Gadzia (Holistic Management), Starhawk and Penny Livingstone-Stark (Permaculture Design).