407: Steve Szudera on Nutrient Rich Soil.
Becoming a steward of the soil.
Steve is a third-generation farmer from western North Dakota with over 35 years of no-till farming experience building and maintaining soil health. After realizing that the standard farming practices done before he took over were the cause of the wind and water erosion, and that the soil was depleted of moisture and nutrients, he converted to no-till farming. He learned very quickly that just one simple practice of not disturbing the soil would allow it to rebuild and recover.
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He now teaches others how to rebuild and protect the natural commodity of their own soil so that they too can become stewards.
In This Podcast:
As a contour farmer facing the problem of so much soil washing away in the rain, Steve Szudera found his solution when he borrowed a no-till drill in 1981. He never looked back as he learned how completing warm and cool crop cycles and protecting the soil from damage were keys to healthy, productive crops. Steve shares with us ways to rejuvenate our soil, and even shares how he reuses old potting soil, making it healthier than before.
Listen in and learn about:
- Why rotating crops is important
“The best way to build soil health is with living roots.”
- What a no-till drill is
- How Steve defines healthy soil
- Whether you should till your cover crops or not
- When you should prep your garden soil
- How you he brought old potting soil back to life
As well as:
- His failure – The damage we caused with high-disturbance hoe drills to seed with
- His success – Even though we went through a major drought in 2017 we still combined every acre. Our soil health allowed our plants to utilize everything that they had.
- His drive – When I walk out into my fields, it’s what’s beneath my feet.
- His advice – Don’t till. You till, you kill.
Steve’s Book recommendations:
Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life by David R Montgomery
How to reach Steve:
To learn more about more about Growing Your Own Food
And to see the I’m an Urban Farmer line
Note: You can also find these books mentioned above at one of our favorite local independent bookstores and have the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a small business.