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Dana Swaffer on Regenerative Soil!!

We know so much more now about the importance of not only quality organic fruits and vegetables but now there is so much information surfacing about the quality of the soil in which it was grown. I was blown away by my lessons with Zach Bush, MD (I highly recommend you click his name and check him out. He is absolutely brilliant!!) and his attention to the microbiome in our soil to create nutrient rich foods.

Today I have the privilege of learning from Dana Swaffer, a fellow IIN Integrative Nutrition Health Coach! Dana has been tending her own regenerative soil for about 5 years now!!

I asked....

What’s one piece of advice you can give someone looking to get started with their own soil and growing their own food?

She answered....

"The first thing I would say is not use pesticides and herbicides since that will ultimately be absorbed into your food. There are plenty of ways to handle weeds and pests naturally. Most agriculture centers can test the soil for you and tell you what nutrients are lacking so you can bolster, as needed. Limit tilling and try to use cover crops to boost microbes in the soil. Get diverse in your plantings and have fun!"

I asked...

When creating healthy compost, what are some of the most important tips you can share? She answered....

"Plants love the biologic materials in compost and it minimizes the waste stream. Layering brown (carbon) and green (nitrogen) materials makes for the perfect compost and it shouldn’t smell if done in the proper ratios. There is a lot of information online about what should and should not be a part of your compost pile and several different methods you can use depending on your space and needs. Bacterial compost is more nitrogen rich and takes 1-3 months to make and is great for vegetables and annuals as it encourages green growth on plants. Fungal compost is more carbon rich and takes 6 months to a year to make and is great for woody plants, fruit trees and perennials."

I asked....

How did you get started on your own soil gardening journey?

She answered....

"As I dug my way out of poor health, I started learning more about how the soil impacts the food we eat. I decided to start really paying close attention to what my land needed to optimize the nutrients in the food I wanted to grow. I have regenerated the soil over the last 5 years by intentionally caring for it and planting a diversity of both flowers and food. It is rewarding to eat delicious organic produce from my own soil and have beautiful non-toxic flowers that make me smile. It’s been worth every bit of effort!"

I am so blessed to call Dana a friend and am inspired by her dedication to a healthier life starting from the ground up! If you are like me, these kinds of topics can feel so overwhelming when you first open the door. The more I educate myself, the more I feel there is to learn and be done. I love how Dana helps us see how we can start simple and know that every step we take is one step closer to a cleaner healthier life which is an action of self-love and care. May we all support each other on our journeys!!!

All the love,


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