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Soil Essentials: understanding soils as living systems - June 2024

Price $180 AUD + GST Get tickets

Event description

Deepen your understanding of how soils work!
Learn how to achieve a balanced soil system!
Explore ways to regenerate and manage your soil's health!
Build your skills and confidence to read soil tests, assess soil health holistically and make good soil decisions!

Join us for this practical workshop where we explore how soils work based on a 21st century perspective of soils as living ecological systems. We look at how taking this approach can help you manage your soil more effectively for productivity and resilience.

This practical, hands on and fun 1 Day Soil Essentials Workshop will change the way you see your soil.

Join us on farm at Bibbaringa, an amazing regenerative farm near Albury NSW, for this intensive, hands on Workshop as we explore the essentials of soils and soil health in the paddock! This Course will deepen your understanding of how soils work and build your confidence to manage your own soils well. It is suitable for anyone on the land including graziers, dairying, cropping, horticulture and small landholders.

“David makes soil sexy” NSW

Using real soils in landscapes, we explore how soils self organise into an equilibrium depending on their context.  We will explore each soil element including soil minerals, soil life, plants (including their roots), organic matter, air, water and temperature. All are important and each element interacts with the others in a dynamic equilibrium.

We will cover the key soil properties that emerge in a soil system as these elements interact with each other including soil structure, soil biochemistry and soil biological function. Finally you will learn how to practically monitor your soil holistically using the HASH soil monitoring approach to gain a more complete understanding of your soil system to make better decisions.

What you will learn:
  • How to manage soils as a system
  • How soils work! Soils as living functional systems
  • Soils: getting balance in the 7 elements
  • Assessing soils holistically using soil tests and field assessment
  • The HASH approach to soil monitoring and assessment

Date & Time

Thursday 27th June 2024.

9.00am to 3.30 pm

Morning and Afternoon Tea and Lunch is provided.

“Very few people have such a comprehensive understanding of soils but can deliver a course in a platform that is easy to understand.” Vic

This course is hands on. You will need to bring a cube of soil from your place to get the most from the course. Bring more than one if you want! If you have a soil test then bring it along too!! You will get your hands dirty and you will get plenty of practice in looking at soil systems!!!  Handouts are also included.

Facilitator: David Hardwick

David is a professional agroecologist. He has been doing soil and regenerative agriculture extension, training and consulting all over Australia for over 20 years. After completing a Dairy Traineeship he completed a degree in Ecological Agriculture at the University of Sydney with focus on regenerative and organic farming systems, land management and rural change. David has worked in the conventional, organic and regenerative sectors and across grazing, horticulture, dairying and cropping systems from the Wet Tropics to Tasmania. He has worked on projects in every state of Australia as well as in Asia and the Pacific. He also taught soils, agroecology and farm planning at TAFE NSW for over 10 years. For the last 10 years he has been teaching farmers and graziers about soils using fun and practical activities as part of the highly successful Digging Deeper Soils Courses and the Reboot my Soil online courses.

Venue & Catering

The course will be hosted by Gill Sanbrook on Bibbaringa, an amazing farm and education facility 30 minutes from Albury, NSW. Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Teas are included in the course fee.


Places in this Workshop are limited to 30. A minimum of 10 people are required for the event to go ahead. In the event that the course does not go ahead due to minimum numbers not being reached, or due to COVID19 or other exceptional circumstances; 7 days before the course commences a full refund will be given.

“The importance of plant food is an important matter, but the use of a fertiliser is not a cure-all, nor will it prove an adequate substitute for proper soil handling...”

Hill, Jones & Cutler 1908

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