Celebrate Healthy Soils Week
December 4 – December 8, 2023
Follow us on social media: #HealthySoilsWeek2023.
Join the California Department of Food and Agriculture and our many partners in highlighting soil health! Dates will be added soon to see activities and events scheduled for each day. We will be updating and adding to the Healthy Soils Week calendar over the next few weeks, so bookmark this page and check back often.
Why Healthy Soils?
Healthy soil is quite literally the foundation of sustainable food, water, air and biodiversity. Restoring and preserving healthy soil results in:
- Improved plant health and yields
- Increased water infiltration and retention
- Sequestered carbon and reduced greenhouse gases (GHGs)
- Reduced sediment erosion and dust
- Improved water and air quality
- Improved biological diversity and wildlife habitat
Calendar of Events
INTRO TO COMPOSTING: Hot pile or worm bin
Hosted by the UC Master Gardeners of Sonoma County
Healdsburg Regional Library, 139 Piper Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Discover the basics of composting and worm composting, and find a system that's right for you.
Cover Cropping and Livestock Grazing for Regenerative Viticulture
The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) will conduct a free, in-person event on December 5 from 10 am – 1 pm, at the LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyard in Acampo. Funded by CDFA's Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Programs (BIFS) program, the event will include discussion about cover cropping and integrated livestock grazing in vineyards as part of a systems approach to land management.
California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) Climate Solution Webinar
California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) Climate Solution Webinar will provide information about technical assistance needs to support on-farm climate resilience and healthy soils practices as part of a series related to their new Climate Platform for California Agriculture report.
Virtual Event: Cultivate Healthy Soil in Your Garden
The University of California Master Gardeners of Ventura County will conduct a free virtual workshop about the importance of healthy soils and how to create healthy soils in your own backyard. Understand the ways each essential plant nutrient contributes to a healthy plant and how to make these nutrients available for plant uptake. Taught by Emma Volk, UC Cooperative Extension Production Horticulturalist, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.
Public Listening Session: Defining Regenerative Agriculture for State Policies and Programs
The California Department of Food and Agriculture, in collaboration with State Board of Food and Agriculture, will be hosting the first of five public listening sessions to receive comments that will help define "regenerative agriculture" for state policies and programs.
Sustainable Nutrient Management and Soil Health Field Day in Salinas
University of California Cooperative Extension (UCANR) is offering a Sustainable Nutrient Management and Soil Health Field Day in Salinas on Friday, December 8. They will cover water and nitrogen use efficiency, Ag Order 4.0 updates, remote irrigation monitoring, and soil carbon management with field sensors.
For more information, please contact Cole B. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legislative Briefing: Hosted by the Senate Natural Resources Committee and the Assembly Committee on Agriculture
California State Capitol Building, Room 127 (First Floor)
Sacramento, CA 95814
Legislative staff are invited to learn about the connection between soil biodiversity, soil health, and the practices CDFA and its stakeholder partners are promoting through the Healthy Soils Program.
Please RSVP to Artemio Armenta by Thursday, December 7
Additional Healthy Soils Resources
NRCS Videos: a "Soil Tunnel," an in-field soil health assessment, and a rainfall simulation all bring home the importance of what goes on below the soil surface.
- A Walk Through the Soil Tunnel (5:06 min.) The Soil Tunnel is an educational tool designed to teach and promote the importance of soils and soil health. It illustrates through the use of images, the important functions of the soil. Through this interactive soil exhibit, audience of all ages can view the world below the ground by walking through the Tunnel.
- NRCS Cropland In-Field Soil Health Assessment Overview, Part 1 (17:58 min.) The Cropland In-Field Soil Health Assessment is designed to be used as a diagnostic tool to help conservation planners determine if soil health resource concerns exist.
- NRCS Cropland In-Field Soil Health Assessment Overview, Part 2 (16:35 min.) (see above for description)
- NRCS Rainfall Simulator Demo (10:29 min.) The Rainfall Simulator provides a demonstration of how practices such as no-till farming, cover crops, and prescribed grazing benefit soil health and improve the water cycle on cropland and rangeland. Presented by Dr. Zahangir Kabir, NRCS Regional Soil Health Specialist.
- NRCS-RCPP announces funding is available for San Joaquin Valley farmers to implement 14 conservation practices that save water and build healthy soils. American Farmland Trust has information about what’s covered, and where to get more help in multiple languages.
American Farmland Trust is documenting economic and environmental benefits of soil health practices with farmer profiles, case studies, webinars, and on-farm soil analysis trials with almonds, mixed crops, wine grapes, and wheat.
American Farmland Trust’s farmer profiles document how vineyards in Napa and Sonoma Counties boosted their bottom line by thousands, increased their biodiversity significantly, and reduced their water usage by approximately 40 percent with various soil health
Healthy Soils Videos
CDFA's Healthy Soils Program, launched in 2017, stems from the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration of state agencies and departments promoting the development of healthy soils on California's farmlands and ranchlands.
CDFA's Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) funds and facilitates research to advance the environmentally safe and agronomically sound use and handling of fertilizing materials.
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private landowners and managers conserve their soil, water, air, plants, and other natural resources since 1935. For more information about NRCS in California, please visit www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov.
Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) conducts on-farm research, facilitates farmer-to-farmer learning, and provides technical assistance for a variety of climate smart farming practices. Check out the latest case study on cover crops in orchards.
The California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating youth throughout California about the importance of agriculture in their daily lives.
CalRecycle's mission is to protect the environment and preserve natural resources by promoting and supporting the highest levels of waste reduction, recycling, and reuse.
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) brings UC information and practices to all 58 California counties. Through research and Cooperative Extension in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition, economic and youth development, our mission is to improve the lives of all Californians. Learn more at ucanr.edu