Rural Madison

A 501(c)(3) non-profit citizen’s organization dedicated to thoughtful planning and policies for sustainable growth, stewardship of our natural, cultural and historical resources and the protection of the rural character of our region.

Category: High-Bionutrient Crop Production (page 1 of 2)

Unbroken Ground: Revolutions Start From the Bottom

The film Unbroken Ground explores four areas of agriculture that aim to change our relationship to the land and oceans. Most of our food is produced using methods that reduce biodiversity, decimate soil and contribute to climate change. We believe our food can and should be a part of the solution to the environmental crisis – grown, harvested and produced in ways that restore our land, water and wildlife. The film tells the story of four groups that are pioneers in the fields of regenerative agriculture, regenerative grazing, diversified crop development and restorative fishing.

Enjoy this full length feature and join us in finding a solution to the environmental crisis through food!

The Land Institute is a non-profit research, education, and policy organization dedicated to sustainable agriculture based in Salina, Kansas, United States. Their goal is to develop an agricultural system based on perennial crops that “has the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that from annual crops”

Madison County farm the only beef producer in the state to be certified Animal Welfare Approved

NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

MADISON COUNTY, Va (WVIR) – A farm in Madison County is now the only beef producer in the state to be certified Animal Welfare Approved.

downloadThe independent label requires the strictest ethical and organic standards in the country. To achieve that label, the cows at Wolf Creek Farm are raised without hormones or antibiotics, eat only grass, and live their entire lives in a pasture.

The most common sound to break the silence day to day at Wolf Creek Farm comes from the hundreds of cattle feasting on the pastures cultivated by owner John Whiteside. He says his operation is the best way to use what nature has to offer.

“The best way we can harness the energy of the sun and improve the health of the planet, is through grazing animals on soil,” Whiteside said.

Farms like Wolf Creek are a rarity, making up less than 10 percent of the beef market.

Save the Date! Community Workshop 2/6/15

Local Food for Thought

 Friday, February 6th, 2015 7:00-9:00 PM

Madison Presbyterian Church


What’s the difference between soil and dirt? Should I be concerned about GMOs? What is a GMO anyway? Why is organic food so expensive? Why should I buy local food? Is an organic vegetable more nutritious than a non-organic one? What does it mean to say an animal is “humanely raised?”


  • A special 40-minute classroom-style screening of Dirt! The Movie
  • Round-table discussion with local organic farmers
  • Using a brix refractometer to compare nutritional values
  • Healthy snacks (including locally-grown heirloom popcorn!)
  • Structured childcare with fun, educational activities
  • A forum where you can share your ideas and learn from others in your community what all the fuss about local food and farming is about!
Come share your thoughts with others in the local community who care about a sustainable future for our region!

Seeds and Soil vs. the Tyranny of Corporate Power

Last year, the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization officially declared that 2015 would be celebrated as the International Year of the Soil citing the threat to one of the key ingredients to the planet’s food and farming systems posed by “expanding cities, deforestation, unsustainable land use, pollution, overgrazing and climate change.”

Though many recognize the FAO declaration as a largely symbolic gesture, many advocates of organic food and sustainable agricultural are planning to seize the designation as a way to push forth their message that the health of the planet’s soil should not be relegated as a metaphorical issue, but rather one that should be at the very heart of serious conversations and policy changes humanity must begin in order to transform its economic systems, its democracies, the way it generates power, and the way it feeds itself.

Seeds and Soil vs. the Tyranny of Corporate Power

2015 Virginia Biological Farming Conference

On January 30 and 31, 2015, more than 500 passionate supporters of sustainable, organic food, farming and gardening will participate in sessions covering such topics as bio-intensive market gardening, livestock guardian dogs, edible landscaping, organic orchards, urban agriculture, multi-species grazing, succession planting and many many more ecological agriculture interests.

REGISTER NOW for the 2015 Virginia Biological Farming Conference

High-Bionutrient Crop Production Using Green Basalt Rock Dust

“In the topsoil lies the basis of civilisation”

via Biodynamic Land Trust

A fascinating profile of the pioneer biodynamic-organic farmer, the late Alan Brockman, following a form of holistic and sustainable agriculture. Brockman approached biodynamics as agriculture which was “spiritual not wacky”. An invaluable watch.

SOS: Save Our Soil

Save Our SoilThe top six inches of soil are the most precious, yet least understood ecosystem on earth—yet we continue to treat soil like dirt. Get down and dirty with large-scale Midwestern composters, California carbon farmers reversing climate change and a West Virginia poultry farmer creating ‘biochar’ from chicken poop. Explore new frontiers beneath our feet that just might save our soil.


What is soil remineralization?

Download The Four Bases of Mineralized Soil by Jon Frank

“Specific soil amendments used to build foundational minerals include limestone, soft rock phosphate, and gypsum. Sadly, conventional agriculture almost entirely misses the need for foundational minerals. Instead they are content with a pH over 6.5 and a minimal amount of available phosphorous. Due to their strong focus on humus, organic matter, and biology most organic farmers are woefully short of calcium and many times short of phosphorous. The exception to this is on small areas with extreme application rates of compost or manure.

Foundational minerals are the backbone of establishing a mineralized soil. Available calcium plays a decisive role in determining the quantity of yield produced. It also plays a tremendous role in the health and quantity of plant roots. When soil has at least 2,000 lbs. of available calcium roots, rootlets, and fine root hairs abound. These fine root hairs are continually growing and sloughing off into the soil. This base exchange of root hairs stimulates soil bacteria and builds humus in the soil.

The Optimum Food Supply for People and Animals Should Be Grown On Mineralized Soil. This Type Of Soil Isn’t to be Found—It Is Crafted.

Soil well supplied with available phosphorous allows greater uptake of phosphorous into the plant. When this happens it causes an increase in the cycling of energy and nutrients via ATP and the Krebs cycle. This results in a greater energy capture via photosynthesis and higher brix readings. It also does something else. As plants produce more sugars they increase the amount of sugars in the plant root exudates. This increase of plant sugars better feed the soil bacteria symbiotically associated with the plant roots. As bacteria are better fed they digest more minerals out of the soil and make it available to the plant. In summary foundational minerals build the optimum environment soil biology needs to flourish. Foundational minerals are the “pre-natal” nutrition needed by soil biology.”

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