Soil Consulting with Future Harvest and Fox Briar Farm
Last winter I got a call from Niamh Shortt of Future Harvest. I had done some work with Future Harvest in early 2020 and attended their excellent Delmarva Soil Summit. Niamh wanted to know if I would be willing to work as a soil consultant in Future Harvest's "Pick Your Own Consultant" program.
This innovative program sponsors one-on-one consulting between farmers and an experienced professional (or two) of their choice by giving each farmer a $1000 grant. The goal is to help farmers develop their farms and businesses where they see the most need - these grants can be used in areas ranging from soil and crop health to finances and marketing, or production practices and food safety compliance.
I told Niamh that I would be happy to work with farmers in their network and I ended up signing on to review soil reports and help create a nutrient management plan for Kathleen Moss of Fox Briar Farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Kathleen and I spoke on the phone and she shared her soil reports with me, and over the winter we developed a custom nutrient management plan to help meet her goals. When we had the plan outlined we sat down for a video call and reviewed the plan, line by line, discussing goals, details and particulars until we both felt like the plan was solid.
A few months later, in May of this year, I was able to travel to the Eastern Shore and visit Kathleen's farm in person. Fortunately, Niamh was also able to join us. We spent the early afternoon walking the farm property, discussing Kathleen's intensive production techniques, looking at birds and washing vegetables for market. It was a memorable afternoon and I am grateful to Niamh and Future Harvest for bringing us all together.
To learn more about the wide range of programs offered by Future Harvest, I would encourage you to check out their website, or better yet, sign up for their newsletter. Their annual conference is coming up in January - hope to see you there!