12 episodes

The Soils for Life podcast brings you the voices of farmers around Australia who are regenerating our precious soils and landscapes.

In each episode we share the stories of farmers who are discovering ways to farm with nature, and explore how we can all help more farmers to head in this direction, for healthier food, humans and planet.

These stories show how resilient, regenerated soils and landscapes can support profitable food-producing businesses, thriving and resilient people and regional communities, and abundant and nutritious food.

Produced by Grow Love Project and Soils for Life.

Soils For Life Soils For Life

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 28 Ratings

The Soils for Life podcast brings you the voices of farmers around Australia who are regenerating our precious soils and landscapes.

In each episode we share the stories of farmers who are discovering ways to farm with nature, and explore how we can all help more farmers to head in this direction, for healthier food, humans and planet.

These stories show how resilient, regenerated soils and landscapes can support profitable food-producing businesses, thriving and resilient people and regional communities, and abundant and nutritious food.

Produced by Grow Love Project and Soils for Life.

    Small steps for big change in cropping, with Joel Williams

    Small steps for big change in cropping, with Joel Williams

    In this episode we talk with Joel Williams about how growers can start weaning off costly chemical inputs, rules of thumb for seed treatments and foliar sprays, why he likes tweaks and incremental improvements, the growing scientific evidence behind regenerative farming practices and more!

    Joel Williams is an independent plant and soil health educator based in Canada, working on soil management, plant nutrition and integrated approaches of sustainable food production. Joel is interested in designing farming systems that focus on managing soil biology along with crop and soil nutrition to optimise plant immunity and soil function. 

    At Soils for Life we’ve recently launched a major project focused on cropping systems, and we thought Joel would be the perfect person to talk about why and how growers are transitioning to a more regenerative, resilient approach to cropping.

    Find out more about the project via soilsforlife.org.au/cropping-resilience/.

    If you have any feedback or questions about this podcast, or suggestions of topics or people you’d like us to include in future episodes, please reach out on social media or via info@soilsforlife.org.au.

    • 44 min
    You are what you eat… and the soil it’s grown in: Is soil the key to better human health?

    You are what you eat… and the soil it’s grown in: Is soil the key to better human health?

    We’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat”. But, as we'll hear in this episode, it really should go “You are what you eat, and the soil it grows in.”

    Over half of our adult population are considered to be malnourished, and this is in part due to a decline in the nutrient density of our food. As the world's population grows and remaining arable land decreases, growing healthier, nutrient dense food might just be a part of the answer to improving human health outcomes.

    In this episode we talk with two farmers and two researchers about the question: ‘Is soil the key to better human health?’. 

    What we find is a complex tangle of connections between soil, plants, animals, and humans that science is only just beginning to understand. 

    Thank to our wonderful guests

    Matthew Evans - Farmer, chef and food writer and the author of ‘Soil: The incredible story of what keeps the earth, and us, healthy”

    Courtney Young - Co-owner at Woodstock Flour and project manager at Soils for Life

    Robyn Alders - Honorary professor with the Development Policy Centre at the Australian National University.

    Dr Stephan van Vliet - Assistant professor of nutrition at the Center for Human Nutrition Studies at Utah State University He holds a PhD in Kinesiology and Community Health. Dr. van Vliet also holds a Masters in Nutrition Science.


    Additional research links


    A database of chemical compounds found in foods by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
    Matthew Evans book 'Soil: The incredible story of what keeps the earth, and us, healthy.'
    Dr Stephan van Vliet's presentation on their research

    Hosted by Susannah Kable from the @GrowLoveProject and James Diack from Soils for Life. This Podcast has been produced by Grow Love Project in collaboration with @SoilsforLife. 

    For more episodes of our podcast, head to soilsforlife.org.au/podcast

    • 43 min
    Mick Green and Rachel Ward on the power of getting started

    Mick Green and Rachel Ward on the power of getting started

    If you’re a long-time listener to this podcast, you’ll be used to our in-depth episodes co-hosted by Grow Love Project’s Susie Kable and Soils for Life’s James Diack. We’re continuing to make these episodes, but from time-to-time we’ll be bringing you shorter interviews with farmers doing interesting things to regenerate soils and landscapes. This is the first of these interviews, with actress-turned-farmer Rachel Ward and farm manager Mick Green.

    Mick and Rachel jointly manage a farm in the Nambucca Valley on the NSW mid-north coast. As newbies to regenerative farming, they decided to make the most of Rachel’s lifetime of experience with film making to produce a documentary about their journey. That documentary - called Rachel’s Farm - is out now on limited release.

    This is a broad ranging conversation about getting started in a new approach to farming, working as a team, learning from friends and neighbours, and dealing with pests and extreme weather. Most of all, I enjoyed hearing about Mick and Rachel’s incredibly humble and curious mindset - always questioning, never afraid to admit to a mistake and learn from it. I hope you enjoy listening to this conversation. And just a note, you’ll hear some references to ‘Normy’ in this podcast - Normy worked with Mick and Rachel during the early days of their journey, and was the ideas man and inspiration behind many of their shifts.

    If you have any feedback or questions about this podcast, or suggestions of topics or people you’d like us to include in future episodes, please reach out on social media or via info@soilsforlife.org.au.

    Thank you to Rachel Ward and Mick Green for sharing their story and their wisdom.

    Hosted by Eli Court from Soils for Life. This podcast has been produced by Soils for Life, and edited by Michelle Watts.



    #regenerativeagriculture #biodiversity #soilsforlife #podcast #farmingpodcast #samvincent

    • 34 min
    From monoculture to multispecies cropping: Making diversity work

    From monoculture to multispecies cropping: Making diversity work

    Building cropping resilience through diversity



    In this episode we hear from croppers who are growing multispecies crops as a way of building soil health and improving diversity. We discover why and how these farmers are moving from growing monocultures to establishing polycultures.

    Find out more about how croppers around Australia are regenerating soil and landscape health by reading Soils for Life’s new cropping case studies: soilsforlife.org.au/case-studies



    Thank you to all our guests:

    Rob and Judi Hetherington - Walma

    Martin Williams - Nyngan Seed Graders

    Grant Simms - Down Under Covers



    Hosted by Susannah Kable from the Grow Love Project and James Diack from Soils for Life

    This Podcast has been produced by Grow Love Project in collaboration with Soils for Life. This project is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s Smart Farms Program.

    • 42 min
    Weeds are telling us something - are we listening?

    Weeds are telling us something - are we listening?

    The industrialisation of agriculture has created large paddocks of monoculture crops and increased the chemical burden on farmers and their environments. Global herbicide use has continued to increase as farmers have shifted to no till practices and adopted herbicide-tolerant crop cultivars over the last 30 years. One result of this is that the list of herbicide resistant #weeds is growing.

    Some farmers spend huge amounts of money on herbicide and scarce time removing weeds; Meanwhile, exactly how much damage is being done to native plant species and soils is not yet fully known. Either way, the current model is not sustainable

    In this episode we are exploring a paradigm shift to an ecological systems approach to weeds with Soils for Life agroecologist Sarah Fea. We visit four farmers to understand their changing relationship to plants. Including a grazier, seed producer, a farmer who has enlisted the help of goats and another who has developed no kill cropping.

    We take a fresh look at weeds and how we can benefit from seeing them through a different lens. We hear how specific weeds germinate to heal damaged soils, showing us what the soil needs and how we can help them heal it.

    James Diack from Soils for Life visits grazier Martin Royds at his farm Jillamatong in Braidwood. They sit down to have a yarn over Martin's fascinating story of change and repair. James also talks to farmer and soil microbiologist Bruce Davidson, who has a great story about how he approaches Blackberries and African Lovegrass. And Agroecologist Sarah Fea talks to seed producer Russel Young who talks about the challenges he’s facing as someone who is earlier on in his journey of transition to a more biological approach to farming. She also visits Bruce Maynard to hear more about his approach to weeds. Bruce is a farmer and educator who has developed methods such as No Kill Cropping and Self-Herding.

    Thanks to all the our guests

    Martin Royds - Jillamatong

    Bruce Maynard - Willydah 

    https://soilsforlife.org.au/willydah/

    Bruce Davidson - Soil Smith 

    https://www.soilsmith.ag/about/

    Russell Young - Young Seeds

    Hosted by Susannah Kable from Grow Love Project and James Diack and Sarah Fea from Soils for Life

    This Podcast has been produced by Grow Love Project in collaboration with Soils for Life. This project is supported Australian Government’s Smart Farms Program.

    • 49 min
    Farmer led research – embracing complexity

    Farmer led research – embracing complexity

    Agricultural scientific research is really good at honing in on specific issues in the sector to investigate targeted solutions. But nature doesn’t always work that way. A fundamental principle of regenerative agriculture is to observe landscapes as a whole system and to build resilience by embracing ecological complexity.

    The importance of farmer and researcher collaboration is highlighted in this episode with the need for research models and questions to meet with the complexity of farming with a whole systems and holistic approach.

    In this episode we ask how the experience of regenerative farmers can contribute to research and build a strong evidence base for regenerating agricultural soils and landscapes. We will hear from two farmers that have transitioned to regenerative farming practices and two researchers working in the space.

    Hosted by Susannah Kable, Grow Love Project and James Diack, Soils for Life

    Thank you to all our guests:

    David Marsh: https://soilsforlife.org.au/david-marsh-the-regenerative-farmer

    Colin Seis: https://soilsforlife.org.au/winona-pasture-cropping-the-way-to-health/

    Kirsty Yates: https://soilsforlife.org.au/about-soils-for-life/our-people/

    Liz Clarke: Senior Executive Designer and Consultant https://www.thinkplace.com.au/



    The book David Marsh refers to is Andre Voisin the French farmer scientist who wrote Grass Productivity

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

growconnection ,

Regenerative thinking

These podcasts are great conversation starters. I love hearing the multiple voices on each topic.

lrcgully ,

Excellent!

Love a positive story about hands on climate action and increasing the health of Australian soil and therefore life, land and agriculture generally

Not_nilc ,

Very inspiring.

It’s timely that an upbeat and inspirational podcast be released. These topics are important. Great work!

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