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Soil – the heart and soul of organic growing – Webinar

This webinar explored the reasons why soil is so important to organic production systems, what the threats are to soil-based production, and how we as growers can maximise the vitality of our soils for healthy crops, people and planet.


Dave Chapman runs Long Wind Farm in Vermont, USA and is the Executive Director of the Real Organic Project. He is a founding member of the Vermont Organic Farmers. He has been active in the movement to Keep The Soil In Organic. He is proud to be a current member of the Policy Committee of the Organic Farmers Association. He served on the USDA Hydroponic Task Force. Dave has thought deeply about the importance of soil.

Organic standards in the US have evolved to be very different from those here in Europe, in several key ways, not least through soil-less growing, such as hydroponics, now eligible for official organic certification. A cautionary tale – Dave will join us to explain what’s happened and how organic farmers have come together to re-tell the story of organic in the US.

Jonathan Smith of Scilly Organics grows organic fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers on the island of St Martins, Isles of Scilly. He uses seaweed, compost and green manures for soil health. Jonathan will tell us about how he nurtures the sandy soils he works on and the soil analysis he uses. He is a Director of Farm Carbon Toolkit and wrote and co-developed the Farm Carbon Calculator supporting growers to assess carbon emissions and sequestration on the land they steward.


The webinar programme focuses on practical teaching and farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchanges between farmers and growers around the UK. The series is designed to increase knowledge exchange and learning on the politics and practice of agroecology, seed sovereignty and food sovereignty. If you would like to be involved in running a webinar, a theme or practice you would like to know more about, or have a specific topic you would like to present on, please get in touch with us at

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