Cover Crop Giveaway 2018

The Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District is offering free cover crop seed packets to vegetable farmers and gardeners! Come to any of our events to pick up your seed and talk gardening!  We'll have promotional packets of oats, cereal rye, crimson clover, and hairy vetch on hand. Thursday, July 19, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Keystone-Monon Community Garden at Arsenal Park 1400 East 46th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46205 Wednesday, July 25, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 10 Johnson Avenue - Coffee Shop 10 Johnson Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46210 Thursday, August 16, 4:00 p.m to 5:30 p.m. Indy Urban [...]

Cover Crop Giveaway 2018 2018-07-16T15:46:25+00:00

Hugh Hammond Bennet: Pioneer of Soil and Water Conservation Districts

By Jerod Chew, Marion County District Conservationist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service “Out of the long list of nature’s gifts to man, none is perhaps so utterly essential to human life as soil.”  Hugh Hammond Bennet We just recently celebrated 2018’s Earth Day and Stewardship Week, so what better way to honor these events than to start this post with a quote from the father of the modern Soil Conservation movement, Hugh Hammond Bennet! Bennet started and led the Soil Conservation Service, now the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and pioneered the concept of local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) [...]

Hugh Hammond Bennet: Pioneer of Soil and Water Conservation Districts 2018-06-05T10:57:55+00:00

Big or Small, Healthy Soil Helps Us All

Whether you farm 10,000 acres or a 10 x 10 garden plot in your backyard, you can improve your soil’s health. Soil health is the capacity of a soil to function as a vital, living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. There are four basic principles that improve the health of the soil. These principles will work on any soil, most anywhere and when used together as a system build organic matter and biodiversity in the soil. Keep your soil covered Reduce soil disturbance Keep living roots growing as long as possible Plant a diversity of plants Large farmers, [...]

Big or Small, Healthy Soil Helps Us All 2018-04-23T15:28:09+00:00

Spring Soil Testing & Plant Analysis

  Spring is here and those who love gardening and those who tend small farms are anxious to get outside and start planting!  But to be the best stewards of our water quality and soil while providing optimal growing environments for our crops you may want to first consider evaluating the condition of your soil. Soil tests provide vital information about what is currently available for plant growth in your garden plot.  General soil tests provide basic information such as the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and the pH of the soil.  Soil tests will tell you which nutrients and [...]

Spring Soil Testing & Plant Analysis 2018-04-12T09:27:15+00:00

Flowers Aren’t the Only Thing Blooming From Your Fertilizer

Though the recent snowfall may indicate otherwise, spring weather is right around the corner. For many homeowners in Marion County that means yard work will soon begin. Everyone dreams of the immaculately manicured lawn, but how does your green lawn impact water quality? Fertilizers that are used on lawns, golf courses and in agriculture can have devastating impacts on water quality. What is happening? The most common fertilizers contain nitrogen and phosphorus, which both help plants grow, but the excess fertilizer from your lawn doesn’t always stay in place. When it rains, the runoff enters our waterways and the fertilizer [...]

Flowers Aren’t the Only Thing Blooming From Your Fertilizer 2018-03-27T15:52:14+00:00

Pollinator Networking Breakfast

Join Us! Urban & Small Farm Networking Breakfast Focused on Pollinator Habitat Thursday, March 29, 2018 7:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. at McCloud Park Nature Center 8518 Hughes Rd, North Salem, IN 46165 Join us for informal discussions and field tours with Angie Miller, Rural Conservationist Establishing habitat with direct seeding versus plugs Sarah Wolf, Park Naturalist Using plugs on McCloud Park's mitigation site John Wynn, Farmer Converting a crop field to pollinator habitat using cover crops to prepare a direct seeding of natives For more information on the workshop or to reserve a seat, contact Boone County SWCD [...]

Pollinator Networking Breakfast 2018-03-14T14:57:46+00:00

Conservation Planning Workshop – Feb 16, 2018

Join us for an in-depth conversation on soil health and conservation farming techniques to use throughout the growing season. Share your experiences Learn from growers Hear from SWCD soil health staff Review conservation cropping systems Discuss cover crops, mulching, reduced tillage, native plantings, and insectary strips Join us! Friday, February 16, 2018 9:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. Purdue Extension - Marion County - Classroom Suite 201, Discovery Hall 1202 E. 38th Street Indiana State Fairgrounds Indianapolis, IN Admission: Free Coffee and light refreshments provided Please RSVP https://goo.gl/forms/93IvDZs6WM9e78Du2

Conservation Planning Workshop – Feb 16, 2018 2018-01-26T15:43:33+00:00

Permaculture Template

Williams Creek Consulting and the Marion County SWCD came together to develop permaculture design templates for Indianapolis vacant lots.  The project was funded by the National Association of Conservation District's (NACD) Urban Agriculture Conservation Grants Program.  The template designs were created as conceptual designs for implementation by Community Development Corporations and as a resource for the City's land bank, local non-profits and neighborhood organizations in future permaculture applications on urban lots. Access the report here! NACD Permaculture Template Designs Report (pdf)  

Permaculture Template 2018-01-24T14:56:37+00:00