Our latest Soilmentor case study is with David Corrigan, a farmer and soil enthusiast learning more about his soils with the power of observation. David farms at Garrettstown, a 230 acre dairy farm in County Carlow, Ireland, which has been passed down through six or seven generations of farming families.
David told us he’s always had an interest in biology, but in recent years he’s begun to take a closer look at soil ecosystems, in his journey to move away from a reliance on agri-chemical companies and chemical inputs at Garrettstown. His online research led him to regenerative farming, and he stumbled upon soil health specialists such as John Kempf, Christine Jones, Walter Jehne and Nicole Masters.
When looking for soil courses to join, David was drawn to Nicole Masters’ Soil Health Foundations course through Integrity Soils. Nicole’s experience working with pasture-based and intensive dairy farms in New Zealand felt relevant to his context, and her focus on exploring soil processes in more depth suited his needs.
Now, David is putting his learnings into practice and using Soilmentor to support the Soil Health Foundations course, recording his own soil health observations, checking the history of tests done at each field, and benchmarking his results on the Regen Platform dashboard:
I’m using Soilmentor more and more as I learn more, and realise the full potential of it. Some of the first things I realised was that the application of artificial fertiliser was detrimental to the health of the soil, and this is a gradual weaning process. It’s a matter of getting confidence that as you progress you can still produce. That’s where I am at the moment – learning the links between different soil processes and observing as I go…