Module 4: Land preparation and natural resource management

                         Subject area                                           Learning Objectives for Trainers                        Activities for trainers                            Resources & References

Module 4:  Land preparation and natural resource management.  Acquring and assessing the material base of a farm is one of the critical elements in the practice of regenerative agriculture.  As noted in the previous module, poor land qualities almost certainly guarantee failure if remediation is not possible.  The material base includes: local and regional weather and climate, soil health and fertility, water supply and quality, land preparation, pest management as well as roads, electricity and plumbing.  Poor quality land can be improved, if time and capital are available.  
Access to land & assessment of land qualities & needsTrainer will be able to describe different forms of land access, financing options, evaluation of land quality & locations, infrastructure and improvements. University of Vermont Extension, Farm Rental Assessment Checklist, 2019,; Frederick Steiner, et al., The Use of the Agricultural Land Evaluation and Site Assessment System in the United States, Landscape & Urban Planning 14 (1987): 183-99,
Climate & weatherTrainer will teach students how to identify and assess the impacts of weather & climate on land, soil and farming , especially via peer-to-peer knowledge exchange. Dramani J.M. File & Emmanuel Kanchebe Derbile, Sunshine, temperature and wind–Community risk assessment of climate change, indigenous knowledge and climate change adaptation planning in Ghana, International Journal of Climate
Change Strategies and Management 12, #1 (2020): 22-38,; Vasyl Cherlinka, Soil Temperature as a Factor of Crops Development, EOS Data Analytics, Jan. 30, 2023,
Soil analysis, quality, needs: Describing the content and structure of organically healthy soil; Biological communities & biomes in healthy soil;Trainer will be able to describe and demonstrate types of soils, what makes soil organically healthy soil, the role of biological communities Vasyl Cherlinka, Soil Fertility: How to Measure, Preserve and Improve, EOS Data Analytics, Nov. 29, 2022,; Vasyl Cherlinka, Soil Testing, EOS Data Analytics, Pril 26, 2022,; Vasyl Cherlinka, Soil Conservation Methods, EOS Data Analytics, Nov. 25, 2020,
Water management: supply & demand; irrigation; soil moistureTrainer will be able to describe the hydrological cycle, where water comes from, how it is applied and how much, the importance of proper soil moisture levels. Zachary M. Easton, “Hydrology Basics and the Hydrologic Cycle,” Virginia Cooperative Extension, 2015.; Joanna Ory, Mark Schonbeck & Diana Jenkins, Soil Health and Organic Farming–Water Management and Water Quality, Organic Farming Research Foundation, 2017,
Plant physiologyTrainer will teach students about plant biology, growth & parts, nutrients & nutrient cycling, plant conditions Vasyl Cherlinka, Stages of Plant Growth and Their Role in Agriculture, Jan. 24, 2023, EOS Data Analytics,
Preparing the landscape for farming; surveying & leveling the land; Trainer will be able to walk through steps needed to prepare land for farming, including any physical modifications that can improve quality of farming. Texas Water Development Board, Land Leveling, Section 4.5,; Kateryna Sergeieva, Terrace Farming Purpose, Benefits and Common Types, EOS Data Analytics, June 22, 2021,
Borders, flowers & trees for pollinators and water retentionTrainer will be able to describe how modifications to landscape, perimeters and plantings can reduce water flows and attract pollinators Rachael F. Long & John H. Anderson, Establishing Headgerows on Farms in California, UCANR, 2010,
Cover crops for fixing nitrogen, recycling nutrients & increasing soil organic content; Trainer will be able to discuss and demonstrate techniques for enriching soils. Robert Flynn & John Idowu, Managing Organic Matter in Farm and Garden Soils, NM Cooperative Extension Service,; Western SARE, Cover Crops for Sustainable Crop Rotations,
Composting for recycling organic wastes, fertilizing soil and increasing organic contentTrainer will describe process of composting & digestion, necessary characteristics of composting and how to build a compost pile. Thea Rittenhouse, Tipsheet: Compost, ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture, 2010,; Tammy Hinman, Composting: The Basics, ATTRA, 2011,
Organic pest management & pollination practicesTrainer will instruct and demonstrate methods for managing pests without chemicals  Miguel A. Altieri and Clara I. Nicholls with Marlene A. Fritz, MANAGE INSECTS On Your Farm–A Guide to Ecological Strategies, SARE Handbook #7,