BIG SANDY, Mont. – Northern Plains Resource Council is working to promote soil stewardship by presenting innovative growing and land management practices that increase the sustainability and productivity of farms, ranches, and gardens. The conservation and family agriculture group is hosting an on-site workshop (or “soil crawl”) on Saturday, July 9 in Big Sandy.
The soil crawl will take place at the regenerative Quinn Farm where participants will tour through diversified experimental dryland vegetable plots, a fruit orchard, and a newly designed greenhouse. Topics the event will feature include how to successfully farm and garden in an arid climate as well as discussions of the geomorphology and soil characteristics of the region.
Event attendees will learn from host Bob Quinn, organic farming pioneer and founder of Kamut International which promotes ancient wheat, Patti Armbrister of Agrarian Food Web, and Charley Overbay of C&S Produce.
A similar event was planned for last summer but was indefinitely postponed due to a severe drought and destructive grasshopper impacts.
“We are pleased to have somewhat better conditions this year,” said Quinn, who is also a member of Northern Plains Resource Council. “The extreme droughts we faced the last two years are a reminder of how important it is to cultivate and maintain healthy soils. The principles we’ll be exploring allow soils to capture and hold rainfall with much greater efficiency, making our working landscapes more resilient during challenging times.”
The soil crawl will specifically focus on grazing cover crops, mulch utilization, and regenerative growing instruction for greenhouses and outdoor gardens.
“Cultivating healthy soils will be essential work for any agricultural operation moving forward,” Quinn continued. “Not only do healthier soils provide greater crop yields and resiliency, but more importantly, they lead to more nutritionally dense foods and better health for our bodies, for the animals we keep, and for the natural systems we all depend upon.”
The soil crawl will be an outdoor field event on Saturday, July 9 at the Quinn Farm and Ranch, 333 Kamut Lane in Big Sandy from 10 am to 4 pm with an hour break for lunch, which is provided. The cost to attend is $15 (lunch is included with this fee). Scholarships are available if cost is a barrier to attendance.
To register and learn more, visit NorthernPlains.org/event/big-