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Soils For Life

Soils For Life

By Soils For Life

Join the conversation that bridges the gap between #farmers, researchers and policy makers to breathe life back into our soils.
@soilsforlife We believe that by enabling and empowering farmers to rebuild and restore soils, Australia can mitigate and adapt to climate change and other challenges while producing healthy, plentiful food and fibre in ways that are good for farmers, consumers and the planet.
Head over to to check out our farmer case studies.
Produced by growloveproject
Information contained in this publication is not intended as #agriculture #farming advice
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Mick Green and Rachel Ward on the power of getting started

Soils For LifeAug 17, 2023

Mick Green and Rachel Ward on the power of getting started

Mick Green and Rachel Ward on the power of getting started

If you’re a long-time listener to this podcast, you’ll be used to our in-depth episodes co-hosted by Grow Love Project’s Susie Kable and Soils for Life’s James Diack. We’re continuing to make these episodes, but from time-to-time we’ll be bringing you shorter interviews with farmers doing interesting things to regenerate soils and landscapes. This is the first of these interviews, with actress-turned-farmer Rachel Ward and farm manager Mick Green.

Mick and Rachel jointly manage a farm in the Nambucca Valley on the NSW mid-north coast. As newbies to regenerative farming, they decided to make the most of Rachel’s lifetime of experience with film making to produce a documentary about their journey. That documentary - called Rachel’s Farm - is out now on limited release.

This is a broad ranging conversation about getting started in a new approach to farming, working as a team, learning from friends and neighbours, and dealing with pests and extreme weather. Most of all, I enjoyed hearing about Mick and Rachel’s incredibly humble and curious mindset - always questioning, never afraid to admit to a mistake and learn from it. I hope you enjoy listening to this conversation. And just a note, you’ll hear some references to ‘Normy’ in this podcast - Normy worked with Mick and Rachel during the early days of their journey, and was the ideas man and inspiration behind many of their shifts.

If you have any feedback or questions about this podcast, or suggestions of topics or people you’d like us to include in future episodes, please reach out on social media or via

Thank you to Rachel Ward and Mick Green for sharing their story and their wisdom.

Hosted by Eli Court from Soils for Life. This podcast has been produced by Soils for Life, and edited by Michelle Watts.

#regenerativeagriculture #biodiversity #soilsforlife #podcast #farmingpodcast #samvincent

Aug 17, 202334:01
From mono-culture to poly-culture cropping
Jun 05, 202342:06
Weeds are telling us something - are we listening?

Weeds are telling us something - are we listening?

The industrialisation of agriculture has created large paddocks of monoculture crops and increased the chemical burden on farmers and their environments. Global herbicide use has continued to increase as farmers have shifted to no till practices and adopted herbicide-tolerant crop cultivars over the last 30 years. One result of this is that the list of herbicide resistant #weeds is growing.

Some farmers spend huge amounts of money on herbicide and scarce time removing weeds; Meanwhile, exactly how much damage is being done to native plant species and soils is not yet fully known. Either way, the current model is not sustainable

In this episode we are exploring a paradigm shift to an ecological systems approach to weeds with Soils for Life agroecologist Sarah Fea. We visit four farmers to understand their changing relationship to plants. Including a grazier, seed producer, a farmer who has enlisted the help of goats and another who has developed no kill cropping.

We take a fresh look at weeds and how we can benefit from seeing them through a different lens. We hear how specific weeds germinate to heal damaged soils, showing us what the soil needs and how we can help them heal it.

James Diack from Soils for Life visits grazier Martin Royds at his farm Jillamatong in Braidwood. They sit down to have a yarn over Martin's fascinating story of change and repair. James also talks to farmer and soil microbiologist Bruce Davidson, who has a great story about how he approaches Blackberries and African Lovegrass. And Agroecologist Sarah Fea talks to seed producer Russel Young who talks about the challenges he’s facing as someone who is earlier on in his journey of transition to a more biological approach to farming. She also visits Bruce Maynard to hear more about his approach to weeds. Bruce is a farmer and educator who has developed methods such as No Kill Cropping and Self-Herding.

Thanks to all the our guests

Martin Royds - Jillamatong

Bruce Maynard - Willydah

Bruce Davidson - Soil Smith

Russell Young - Young Seeds

Hosted by Susannah Kable from Grow Love Project and James Diack and Sarah Fea from Soils for Life

This Podcast has been produced by Grow Love Project in collaboration with Soils for Life. This project is supported Australian Government’s Smart Farms Program.

Dec 20, 202249:17
Farmer led research – embracing complexity
Nov 03, 202248:21
Next Generation Farming Matters

Next Generation Farming Matters

Australian agriculture currently has a labour shortage of over 100,000 people. It’s not an easy gig for someone to start from scratch on a farm and many younger generation farmers are moving from farms to urban areas.

We rely on farmers to sustain our way of life as they produce our food and fibre. It’s critical that young and new farmers are encouraged and supported to supply for our needs in a way that regenerates soils and landscapes.

Some major barriers and challenges that young and new farmers are faced with include access to land and capital, climate change issues and access to learning, particularly learning about regenerative practices.

In this episode, learn from a researcher, writer and farmer who has walked the walk, and started her own regenerative farming practice. Be inspired by an additional six young and new farmers who embraced a regenerative mindset to overcome these challenges.

Thank you to all our guests:

Tanya Massy

Josh Gilbert

Harriet Finlayson

Adam Lilleyman

Trish Smith

Luke Winder

Thank you to for producing the much needed report: Regeneration which you can download from the website. And thank you for the audio featured in this episode from the launch of the report.

Hosted by Susannah Kable, Grow Love Project and James Diack, Soils for Life

Jul 14, 202246:04
Working Together And Navigating Environmental Markets
Jul 14, 202243:06
The Missing Middle: Farming Trees for Conservation and Profit

The Missing Middle: Farming Trees for Conservation and Profit

Farmer, forester or conservationist. It might seem like you need to choose one but more and more landholders are challenging this. With the right management, trees on farms can provide better farm productivity and forest products and increase biodiversity. But in many ways forests are still treated as either conservation reserves or plantations, making it difficult for farmers to take this path.

In less than 100 years as a nation we have gone from removing trees to wanting to plant them back. Tree planting programs are not achieving the scale of restoration required to repair Australia's landscapes. We need to rethink how we support landholders to invest in trees.

In this episode we hear from two farm foresters who have approached farming trees very differently, as well as a scientist and a forest policy professor. They discuss why more farmers have not adopted forestry, how trees can be managed for multiple outcomes and what mindset and policy shifts are required to move to a whole-of-landscape approach. 

Thank you to our guests: 

Farm forester and grazier - James Henderson

Forest scientist and grazier - Rowan Reid

Professor Peter Kanowski -

Associate Professor Cris Brack -

Your hosts Eli Court @soilsforlife and Susannah Kable @growloveproject produced by Edgars Greste

Dec 17, 202156:14
Compost ain't compost

Compost ain't compost

There are millions of hectares of degraded soils in Australia's agricultural landscapes. But there are a billion reasons why compost offers a solution to this problem, teeming with micro-organisms and organic matter that can help regenerate soils. But not all composts are the same and there is still a lot that we're learning about this precious, carbon rich resource. How can governments, farmers and industry work together to return organic matter to the soil and close the loop from paddock to paddock?

Thanks to all our guests for their time and insights.

Soils for life case study with Milgadara, Rhonda and Bill Daly -

Rhonda and Bill Daly, Milgadara and YLAD Living Soils -

Eric Love - Centre for Organic Research and Education -

Amanda Kane, organics manager, NSW EPA -

Virginia Brunton, environmental scientist - MRA consulting -

Gerry Gillespie, compost industry consultant -

Phil Lavers, Moonacres Farm -

This Podcast has been produced by Grow Love Project in collaboration with Soils for Life.

This project is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program

Nov 23, 202155:40
The Great Soil Carbon Catalyst?

The Great Soil Carbon Catalyst?

How could the emerging market for soil carbon support farmers to regenerate soils?

Soil carbon offers so many benefits both above and below the soil surface, from improving farm productivity to revenue raising in carbon trading. But while the case for building soil carbon is clear, the carbon market is still evolving. So what’s the potential, what are the risks and what can be done to unlock the potential of soil carbon as an enabler of better farm management and soil stewardship? In this episode we talk to farmers, scientists and policy makers to explore the soil carbon opportunity.

Thanks to all our guests for their time and insights.

Stuart Austin, Wilmot Cattle Co. -

Craig Carter, Tallawang -

Dr. Susan Orgill - Soil Scientist, NSW Department of Primary Industries

Skye Glenday, Co-CEO, Climate Friendly -

Dr Michael Crawford, CEO, Soil CRC -

Konrad Muller, Assistant Manager, Land, Forest and Blue Carbon Methods, Clean Energy Regulator -

Anthony Bennie, Assistant Secretary, Natural Capital and Markets - Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Have your say about the new soil carbon methodology - submissions close by Monday 27th September

For the latest updates please subscribe to the Soils for Life newsletter

This Podcast has been produced by Grow Love Project in collaboration with Soils for Life.

This project is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program

Sep 22, 202136:26
Soils For Life Trailer

Soils For Life Trailer

This is Soils For Life. A podcast about connecting farmers, researchers and policy makers, to shed light on agricultural best practice and explore current policy barriers and mindsets that are getting in the way of adoption and how to overcome them. Each episode we’ll delve into a topical issue around soil health in agriculture. We’ll hear from farmers about what inspired them to change their practices and we’ll talk to industry experts about the challenges and opportunities to help improve soils for life.

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Aug 13, 202104:59