Using a standard calendar to determine when we plant our crops has become less reliable due to more variable and extreme weather patterns. Choosing planting times has always been difficult but in today's climate the risks are greater. Instead of using the standard calendar to determine the best times to plant our crops, we are combining agriculture with phenology create a more useful planting guide. We have identifying the best wild indicator species that provides us with a natural assessment of the growing conditions. We are experimenting with crop plantings as they relate to wild indicator species timing to create a nature-based planting calendar that can be more reliable than the standard calendar we use today. This research project is called Agrophenology.
Final MDA Agrophenology Presentation
Agrophenology Crop Data Sheets - comming soon
Biochar Soil pH Research
With the new Wolf Ridge Organic Farm soils showing pH readings as low as 3.8, we were curious if biochar might help create the soil we were looking for. We compared 6 plots, a field of lime, ash, biochar alone and a field with lime and biochar together and another field with ash and biochar together and finally, added a control, no additives. After three years of study, we experienced on field, the biochar and ash field, was 10x more successful in transforming the soil to a near 7 pH reading. A full write up of this research can be viewed at the MDA Greenbook article Raising Soil pH Effectively in Acid Soils page 102
Research - Food Systems
Round River Farm Research
In assessing our food-sheds carrying capacity, David co-authored the IRRRB Regional Food Assessment, which built off his previous research with the Western Lake Superior Food Carrying Capacity project. Other on-farm research through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture includes Integrating Livestock Profitably into a Fruit and Vegetable Operation.
Renewable Energy & Sustainable Living
Round River Farm is an off-grid homestead. We use
photovoltaic and wind for our electricity, a traditional
windmill to pump our water, a greywater system and
compost toilet to recycle our waste, the sun and wood
for heat and hot water, and buildings and structures
constructed with timbers and stone. We are happy to
share our knowledge and experience and help others
incorporate alternative energy and sustainability into
their lives. Through Round River Renewables LLC we
offer a variety of Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
and Agriculture workshops either at our homestead or
through North House Folk School. Consultation is also available.