The SJ Food and Farm Alliance recently presented the SJ Equestrian Property Regenerative Soil Health Trial Workshop and Field Day. The event was supported by Landcare SJ.
The Peel Harvey Catchment Council presented on soil and water quality and the SJ Shire on Equine Management Plans.
Ellen Walker from EarthWhile Australia explained soil microbiology. Robyn Brown from Waste Is My Resource introduced us to the fermentative composting technique for impoverished soils.
The field-day was held at Shanley Green Agistment where Robyn Brown gave a practical presentation on the fermentative composting technique.
The demonstration comprised of how to assemble a fermented compost pile using readily available horse manure and old hay. Also demonstrated was a how to on making and applying the fermented ‘brew’.
Once assembled, covered and left for 6-8 weeks the composted material is ready for use.
The compost assists in improving the soils organic matter, adding microbes and increasing the water holding capacity.
Ten equine property owners volunteered their time to build a fermented compost pile on their own properties using the technique.
All properties in the trial are situated with the SJ Shire.
The compost will be applied to the property paddocks with a photo point to record pasture changes over time. Soil will be monitored before and after application and data collected and analysed. The results from the year-long trial will made available.
Due to Covid restrictions at the time of the workshop attendees were limited to the trial participants and presenters. Further fermentative composting workshops are planned for those interested in improving the soil on their properties.
This project is supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program and the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.