After Thanksgiving, I sat down with Missouri bootheel farmer JR Bollinger for an interview on his experiences in 2015 growing corn, soybeans and milo by principles and practices of Carbon-Smart Farming. In his first year of full commitment to Biological Agriculture, JR cut conventional fertilizers 50% and applied blends of biocarbons, minerals and microbes. After Easter, I was fortunate to enjoy another afternoon with JR learning worm calling.
“In 2012, I first dabbled in biological farming on a reclaimed coal mine. A gentleman with microbial products first tickled my brain about dead soil. He challenged me to find an earthworm on this farm. So, I went looking, and… None. I noticed there wasn’t a lot of life. Soil looked like moondust, vacant of life.”
Observant, thoughtful, JR questioned why soils were so lifeless. “Because of the kind of person I am, I started digging in, and wow! I’m fortunate to live in a time when I can dig as far as I want. Why is this? Why is that? So many different layers of life.
“I tinkered with mixes under gro-lites in my basement to see what products do. In test pots, I saw effects and benefits. You can say I went down the wormhole.”
Terra Char - building a carbon-smart future with biochar. Columbia, Missouri www.terra-char.com