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Dirt Under Your Nails

Small farms, local foods, alternative agriculture, acreages, sustainability

Welcome to Dirt Under Your Nails!

Posted by Andrew Larson - general soil

Hello folks! And welcome to Dirt Under Your Nails, a blog from the Local Food Systems & Small Farms Extension program in Unit 2, serving Boone, DeKalb, and Ogle counties. My name is Andy Larson, and I am the new Local Foods Systems & Small Farms Educator. If you want to learn a little more about me, feel free to check out my bio on our staff page. You can reach out to me at 815-732-2191 whenever you have questions pertaining to whole farm planning, direct marketing, beginning farmers, food crops, grass-based livestock, acreage living, rules & regulations, grantsmanship, or anything else related to small/local/alternative/sustainable agriculture.

So why "Dirt Under Your Nails"? I promise I don't use the term "dirt" disparagingly. As a matter of fact, I have the utmost respect for soils, and encourage everyone to learn as much about soil health as they possibly can. High-quality, high-performing soils are the foundation of all productive, sustainable agriculture. Actually, I consider the idea of dirt under one's nails more as a dream or aspiration. When I hear the phrase "get my hands dirty" or "get some dirt under my nails," it is generally coming out of the mouth of someone who wants nothing more in the world than to farm. Whether it's a hobby or a business, I consider that a noble goal, and I want to help that person do so as efficiently and sustainably as possible.

One of my all-time favorite quotations is from author Barbara Kingsolver: ""Recall that whatever lofty things you might accomplish today, you will do them only because you first ate something that grew out of dirt.

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