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Dear Friends,

Winter is coming and that means conferences and courses on building soil.  Here are some upcoming events that you will find me at.  I’d love to meet you and share what has been happening over this last growing season.  It’s good stuff!


Here is the link to the Soil Summit:  October 15, 2016 – Billings, MT – Northern Plains Soil Summit

I’ll be speaking for a short bit, however, I will be attending the whole summit and will be around the following morning for a meet and greet and brainstorm session.

And then there is this one for you on the East Coast:


Here is the link to register for this outstanding conference: Nov. 4-6, 2016 in Durham, NC Carolina Farm Stewardship Conference

On Friday I will offer you an Identifying the Microherd session where we will look at soils and Composts together.   Bring your soil, composts or liquid amendments such as extracts or teas you made or purchase for application on your land.  Let’s check out the world beneath your feet (or the one that should be there) for the plants you want to grow.  Microscopes and appropriate equipment should be brought by you. More info on needed equipment to follow shortly.

Saturday I will offer a lecture on the soil food web and how to get it into your growing systems, supported by success stories (and challenges) of implementing the soil food web.

We hope to see you there!

Minnesota Organic Conference

January 12-13, 2017
St. Cloud, MN

Minnesota Organic Conference

The first meeting of the Compost Exchange will be on January 14, 2016. There is more information to come for registering for this event that is FOLLOWING the MN Organics Conference. It is a separate event, however, many of the Farmers, Ranchers and Compost Operations I have worked with for the last 5 years will be at the conference and we want to keep you all there for one more day. Why?  Check this out.

Topic or title: The Compost Exchange: Trade Secrets for a Productive Future

Description:  The art of soil building requires access to a multitude of tools.  While there is no silver bullet to solve soil fertility issues, there is an essential catalyst tool for crop productivity, and that is the soil food web.  The soil food web can be looked at as Nature’s fertilizer bags and Nature’s fertilizer bag openers and spreaders.  As with any craft, learning to build soil with the soil food web takes some patience and know how.  The truth is, building a diverse soil food web is different for every farm and every Compost operation.  The Compost Exchange aims unite Compost Operations and Farmers that 1) want to build the soil food web or 2) have been building the soil food web, together to exchange knowledge and Compost. (We don’t call it Compost Exchange for nothing!)  There are trade secrets to be shared and heard. So bring your stories of challenges and successes.  It’s time to build some soil!

*Participants are asked to bring a 1 qt bag with the best Compost they have made.  All Compost will be mixed together and redistributed to participants for a take home inoculate.  Remember, when you increase the diversity you will increase productivity.

*To enter the Compost Exchange Compost Competition,  your Compost must be assessed before the event.  Your analysis will be done by Molly Haviland from Haviland Earth Regeneration.  The cost is $60 per sample.  For more information on how gather and to ship, click here.  When you call Haviland Earth Regeneration for registering your sample analysis, the shipping address will be given to you. Phone:  303. 999. 5935, Email:

*There will be microscopes on site as well as microscope technicians to do brief and live soil or Compost assessments.

Course Schedule: (This event is under development, the schedule below is subject to change.  The course update will be reposted no later than November 1, 2016. 

9:00-9:30; Soil Food Web Basics – Why do you want them? What do they do? (Molly Haviland)

9:45-10:30: Live stream footage of the soil food web in soil and Compost – What you’re likely to see and what you want to see. (Molly Haviland)

10:30-12:00: Building The Soil Food Web – How to create Compost and Compost products that contain the soil food web. (Molly Haviland and Clifford Johnson)

12-1:00: Lunch

1-2:00: Successes, Challenges & Trade Secrets Exposed – Key knowledge from those with feet on the ground.  What have been the challenges, what were the solutions.  We will share up to date field experiences of what is happening on farms in the West and Midwest as they increase diversity in their Compost and on their fields.

2:00-3:00: Best Compost Prizes Awarded

3:00-4:00:  Meet and Greet-  Round table discussions

4:00 – 500:  Open Forum Q and A

Presenter:  Johnson Enterprises and Haviland Earth Regeneration

Presenter name(s): Clifford Johnson and Molly Haviland

Session length:       6-8 hours with lunch break

Audience level: Advance though all are welcome