The Soil Stewardship Program
The Docterre Soil Stewardship Program provides soil ecology education for agricultural producers alongside accompaniment in the practical application of these methods.
The program also includes soil ecology analysis, providing the scientific data needed to understand and monitor the soil regeneration process.
Agricultural producers, aka soil stewards, who embark on this program gain the soil management skills necessary to steward their soils independently of external expertise. They are part of a growing community of farmers leading the way in regenerative agriculture, proudly supported by our team of soil ecologists.
Phase 1: Diagnosis
The Soil Steward Program begins with a thorough analysis and diagnosis of the health of your soils.
This process involves:
Ecological Profile Analyses provided by the Docterre laboratory
Needs assessment meeting: A thorough discussion of the soil stewards experiences and goals.
Field visit: Onsite observations by a Docterre soil ecologist on the soil, land structure, land management history, compost analysis (if applicable) and existing farm equipment compatibility with biology.
Diagnosis meeting: Delivery of the diagnosis of soil health and contributing factors. Define the scope work and intervention required along kinds of investments that will be needed moving forward.
By the end of the diagnosis process, stewards have a deep understanding of the state of their soils that prepares them to embark with confidence on the process of a soil regeneration.
Phase 2: Education & Accompaniment (Year 1-2)
Docterre specialists accompany soil stewards in the development of a soil regeneration plan that meets their needs, budget, and capacity. The soil steward is in control at all stages in this process, supported by Docterre’s team in decision making, data collection and monitoring.
The accompaniment plan involves a combination of some or all of the following components:
In-depth education (online or in person) on soil ecology principles and their application
Implementation of a trial phase
Adjusting soil management practices (tilling, seeding, spraying)
Equipment building, modification, or sourcing
Maintenance plan and schedule
Compost correction and/or inoculum sourcing
Cover crop strategy development
Continued soil monitoring
Equipped with a greater understanding of soil ecology, soil stewards are empowered to make the decisions on what strategies they apply to ameliorate their soil, with the expertise of Docterre available to them as needed.
Phase 3: Ongoing Accompaniment (Years 3-5)
At this phase, steward implement the maintenance of their soil regeneration plan with ongoing accompaniment as needed.
Though this phase is equally crucial in the overall soil transition, it is usually less labour and cost intensive than the first 1-2 years.
By the end of this phase, stewards are confident in their regenerative soil management practices, and their soils are healthy, balanced, and full of life!