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Soil Health Resource for

Small Farms and Gardens


What is Soil Health?


Conservation Practices


Cover Crops




Cereal Rye


Hairy Vetch



Organic Nutrient Management for Small Farms Workshop

Thursday, November 30th

9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Mark Your Calendar!!

This workshop,  hosted by the Marion County SWCD, is especially created with the small farmer in mind.  Organic nutrient management is vital to  a healthy crop and a sustainable, profitable small farm.

Learn from experienced small farmers as they share knowledge they have gained.

The workshop will be held at the John H. Boner Community Center, 2236 E. 10th Street in Indianapolis.

Cost is $8 and includes light breakfast and lunch.  Seating will be limited.  More information on registration will be released in the next few weeks.

Contact Kevin Allison ( ) for more information.





The Soil Health Program & Cost Share Assistance


The Soil Health Program Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) are in place to help people help the land. The Soil Health Program is an initiative to provide technical and financial assistance to improve soil health and water quality in Marion and Hendricks Counties. The program is made possible through Clean Water Indiana competitive grant funds awarded to the districts.

Soil health is the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. Improving it can be accomplished through a systems approach to your landscape: Disturbing the soil as little as possible, keeping plants growing throughout the year to feed soil life, maximizing plant diversity where possible, and keeping the soil covered and protected. Soil building practices like nutrient management, garden cover crops, mulching, and deep rooted native plants are tools that the SWCD can help you understand and utilize.


For more information click the link below:


2016 SWCD Soil Health Program Guidance





stelprdb1048865Landowners: Get the ‘scoop’ on soil health investment basics

Landowners and farmers across the nation increasingly realize that healthy soils are the key to fostering more productive, profitable and sustainable farms—for healthy, sustainable, long-term returns. This Soil Health Information Starter Kit will provide you with the basics and benefits of soil health, and ideas on how you can work with your farmer to build soil equity by using soil health management systems that include cover crops, diverse rotations and no-till practices. Click here to order your free kit today.







What is a Cover Crop?

A cover crop is a plant that is used primarily to slow erosion, improve soil health, enhance water availability, smother weeds, help control pests and diseases, increase biodiversity and bring a host of other benefits to your farm.

Cover crops have also been shown to increase crop yields, break through a plow pan, add organic matter to the soil, improve crop diversity on farms and attract pollinators. There is an increasing body of evidence that growing cover crops increases resilience in the face of erratic and increasingly intensive rainfall, as well as under drought conditions. Cover crops help when it doesn’t rain, they help when it rains, and they help when it pours!




Visit this page often as we will be hosting field days and seminars to help you improve soil health. You will be able to see projects receiving cost share assistance in Marion and Hendricks counties.




Find upcoming soil health training events at the link below:


Soil Health Events


or contact our urban soil health specialist, Kevin Allison, by going to the “contact us” tab at the top of this page.