Digging Deeper into Soil Conference

Digging Deeper into Soil Conference
Event on 2015-10-18 08:00:00
Overview The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils.  This is to raise global awareness of the importance of soil for human life – its role in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development as well as supporting practices and promoting investment in the sustainable management and protection of soil. So what does this mean for us here in South-east Queensland?   Well, we can start with our own plots – from patio gardening through to broad scale farming.  We can challenge traditional methods of working with and improving our soil and critically review whether they actually match our situation and what we are trying to grow. We can develop an understanding of how to read our own soil and truly understand its needs – developing a host of approaches that best suit our environment and what our land it telling us.  Through this, we can bolster our own food production – no matter how big or small. This conference will set the scene of soil in Australia.  You will journey through the most recent research from local scientists and see how this research can be used to improve the soil for food production in everything from home gardens through to farms. You will then be able to dig down deep into soil topics, debunking some long held myths about soil management.  Our expert speakers will focus you on learning how to understand your own patch and develop solutions specific for your soil and growing aspirations.   Is this Conference for you? Suited to a broad range of food growing hobbyists, enthusiasts, educators and farmers This conference will appeal to aspiring urban farmers, those already working in agriculture, teachers of agriculture as well as home gardeners.  The conference will also follow on well for participants who have attended the previous Millen Farm Workshops around an introduction to soil in June and July.    What you will learn… Introductory Presentations Two experts will introduce the conference by presenting: A fascinating journey of the geological history of Australia’s soils.  Hugh Lovel will set the context of soil in this country and assist you to understand how the soil in your own patch came to be – and importantly, what you can do to care for it.    For the specifics of soil in South-east Queensland, our QUT research partners will present an example most recent soil research to you.  Dr. Paul Cunningham and Lona van Delden will highlight how current research can support soil improvement, knowledge and communication between researchers and gardeners/farmers.  They will link their most recent research to the specific issues of soil management in the home garden and on the farm in our corner of Queensland.  Following the conference introduction, three one-hour targeted activities will take place. Topics are designed to capture a wide range of soil interests.   The knowledge you will take away . . . Following this workshop, you will understand how to look at your own soil, how to read it both from tests and from understanding your own climatic and environmental conditions.  You will also understand the invisible work undertaken by a host of micro-organisms, minerals and nutrients.  You will be armed with the knowledge of how to tailor soil caring and improvement approaches to support your own food production aspirations – no matter how big or small. In addition, you will meet a lot of other people interested in food growing – you may choose to stay in touch with other participants as a part of your food production journey.  You may also choose to join the Millen Farm Learn Grow Feast Festival in the afternoon and evening showcasing locally grown food and food businesses as well as guest speakers and well-known personalities from the gardening and food production industry.  Presenters Hugh Lovel   Hugh Lovel is a farmer, multi-disciplinary scientist and international teacher of Biodynamics. He is dedicated to the abundant production of food of the highest quality while regenerating soil fertility and environmental health – both for gardeners and farmers. Author of’ A Biodynamic Farm’ and ‘Quantum Agriculture: Biodynamics and Beyond’, his articles appear in ACRES Australia and other periodicals such as ACRES USA and Farmers Weekly in South Africa. He is a frequent contributor to News Leaf and Biodynamics and a host of journals. Hugh farmed with a particular interest in market gardening for 30 years in Georgia, USA.  He migrated to Australia as an agronomist, lecturer and consultant to growers from horticulture to grazing. Mixing detailed explanations with practical examples, Hugh helps growers sort out problems of all types by learning to identify their causes rather than merely treating symptoms. Using what he calls the Biochemical Sequence and Comprehensive Testing, he points out how to interpret soils, crops, weeds and lab results. Hugh serves on the Biodynamic Agriculture Australia board as well as the Standards Australia F-032 Organic and Biodynamic Committee, and aims to raise the level of scientific understanding of how biodynamics works. Dr. Paul Cunningham    Paul Cunningham is a Senior Research Fellow with the Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences School at QUT.  Paul earned his PhD at Imperial College London and is an expert researcher also delivering capability into QUT's multidisciplinary Institute for Future Environments (IFE).  IFE focusses on sustainability through researching some of the world’s major challenges including how to feed our increasing population, how to manage our dwindling natural resources as well as how to reduce our carbon footprint. Paul and his team work from the Samford Ecological Research Facility located in Camp Mountain.  This facility is a base for research and education that is focussed on the impact of urban development on ecosystems. Paul’s team has strong ecological research experience in soil management and improvement. Paul is passionate about bringing this research to food production communities so that they may benefit from the latest information and methods to suit their own food production needs.  Lona van Delden (representing the QUT Research Team) Lona van Delden at QUT’s Institute for Future Environments investigates the effects of urbanisation processes on ecosystem health by evaluating therefore the changes in nutrient cycling as well as the pressure on the climate by greenhouse gas emissions from soils. Lona graduated from the University of Bonn, Germany, in agricultural science focusing on soil science of the tropics and subtropics and gained international research experience in Mexico, Syria, and South Africa before extending her research focus into Australian soils. Lona works closely with German foundations like the DAAD to enable international research and knowledge exchange for German undergraduates. She is passionate about bringing the importance of soil and its sustainable management closer to the everyday person and embedding it into future generation’s minds to ensure the long-lasting preservation of our landscapes while balancing the capability of feeding the world.   Peter Kearney Peter's commitment to organic food growing in cities commenced in his childhood and has carried through his work life whilst living in urban environments. His business Cityfood Growers, formed in 2007, has one of the largest urban food growing web sites in Australia. Peter teaches organic growing, plans food growing spaces, authors widely on food gardening and his business consults to organisations on integrating food growing into their schools, businesses, large scale property developments and communities. Peter's interest, study and practice of organic food growing with biodynamic methods commenced in 1995 and he is now a leading proponent in Australia of using biodynamics in urban environments.  He runs workshops around Australia, writes articles and presents at conferences with Biodynamic Agriculture Australia. Peter is a founding director of Millen Farm, a community agriculture initiative focused on creating pathways for commercially sustainable urban farming.   Michael Smith Michael is the Founding Principal of the Organic Matters Foundation – a not for profit organisation empowering farmers at the grass roots level.  Michael provides education and training on all aspects of sustainable farming.  Michael also runs Solum Farm in the Clarence Valley, NSW.  Solum Farm is a 25 acre farm devoted to education and prosperity in all aspects of Horticulture, Livestock production and integrating farm practices to promote diversity. Michael’s focus is to continue his challenging and rewarding working life by using his 30 years in the sustainable farming sector, positively affecting the development of environmentally sustainable farming for future generations throughout Australia and the South Pacific. Michael is not afraid to step out and challenge paradigms, raise awareness and start conversations regarding all aspects of sustainable Agriculture.  Michael encourages debate over food security, climate change, carbon farming and closed loop environmental solutions to issues faced by us all. Michael will put forward a plan for a sustainable future. Venue Millen Farm located at the Samford Commons, 2204 Mt Samson Road, Samford, QLD 4520 Ticket Inclusions Each ticket includes: Admission to conference – attendance to all plenary sessions Morning tea Lunch Participant Notes Participants may choose to attend the Millen Farm Learn Grow Feast Festival following the conference.  For information on Millen Farm’s Learn Grow Feast Festival, please go to our website. What you need to bring Participants will need to bring: Hat Sunscreen Water Bottle (water stations will be available for refilling) Pen/Paper for taking notes if desired Conference Cost Ticket price for the Conference is as follows: Early bird ticket – 0.00 per person from 14th August for 2 weeks only Millen Farm members – 0 per member for the duration of ticket selling Non Millen Farm Members (General) – 5.00 per person from 29th August   Refund Policy Cancellation three weeks or more prior to event – refund minus a .00 administration fee. Cancellation two weeks prior to the event – refund only in the event that individuals on a waiting list are willing to buy a ticket.  In this case, a refund will be issued minus a .00 administration fee. No refund will be given for cancellation within one week of the event.   Getting to Samford Ferny Grove Train Station is a 5 minute drive from Samford.  Links to Ferny Grove Train station run from Brisbane Airport via Brisbane City.  For timetables, please visit TransLink: http://translink.com.au/.   Staying in Samford The Samford Valley and Surrounds offers a variety of accommodation.  For information on some possible accommodation options, visit: http://www.stayz.com.au/accommodation/qld/brisbane/samford  

at Millen Farm
Samford Commons
Samford, Australia

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