George, Thessaloniki, Greece
“FarmOn provided me with essential knowledge allowing me to formulate a targeted liquid compost made with on-farm inputs to restore the depleted soil on my farm in Greece.
The function of networks such as FarmOn, sharing knowledge and providing support to farmers like myself, is in my opinion, a necessity. One shouldn’t struggle with overcoming obstacles on one’s own, but make good use of scientific guidance to take educated steps forward.”
George has always felt connected to the land and the passion to be a farmer using organic methods. Starting his farm in 2016, he aimed to work in harmony with nature and soon realised the benefit of regenerative techniques for reducing toxic inputs such as pesticides and synthetic fertilisers which degrade soil health.
George’s goal was to increase soil organic matter and nutrients, specifically iron, present in his farm’s soil.
Focusing on strawberries as his crop of choice, due to their superior adaptation to the climate, he quickly recognised the importance of improving and maintaining soil health in producing quality fruit with high yields. Some strawberry varieties are known to deplete the soil of iron, drawing it up and storing it within their leaves.
End of season, annual pruning of strawberry plants is essential to maintaining their health, however removing this biomass from the system was causing depletion of soil organic matter as well as nutrients stored in the leaves, such as iron.
FarmOn provided a detailed recipe for a shelf-stable, liquid compost made from the biomass of strawberry leaves which had been pruned as part of dormant season preparation. This recipe is effective at stimulating microbial diversity and jumpstarting nutrient cycling processes, reintroducing bioavailable iron that had been stored in the leaf biomass, and increasing soil organic matter.
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