The soil health principles work. From large farms to market gardens, when implemented doggedly they bring real results: better soil structure, healthier crops and more consistent yields. What's more, the growers that have most rigorously applied these principles have the more profitable operations today.

Join Niels Corfield at Trill Farm as he leads his highly praised 'Soil Health for Growers' course over two days:

Part 1 will cover the Concepts and Principles (Monday 2nd March), whilst Part 2 will dig deeper into Practical Applications, including cover crops and rotations (Monday 9th March). We recommend booking both days, but they are bookable individually.

The course will cover the following topics

  • The empirical case for good soil management: how different strategies affect soil structure
  • Defining Soil Health: how it's articulated and how to measure it
  • Evidence for soil health: aggregates etc, spade tests, visual soil inspection
  • Soil food web: theory and relevance
  • Aggregation and crumb structure: what creates it, and how to maximise it
  • Soil Health Principles: what they are the the processes that underpin them, empirical evidence of their application on market gardens
  • Soil organic matter and soil carbon: what is it and how it differs from straight organic matter
  • Cover crops: selecting/designing mixtures appropriate to your situation, keeping costs down
  • Cropping and Soil Management Practices: no-dig, min-till, tarping and sheeting down, mulching, intercropping, relay cropping
  • Rotations and crop planning exercise
  • Monitoring and testing: DIY soil health tests, lab tests, trials and experimentation
  • Case studies and examples
Course Schedule

Morning – theory & first principles
Lunch – packed lunch
Afternoon – site tour, soils testing demo & technique selection exercises

This course is suitable for: market gardeners, growers, nursery workers, horticulture managers, apprentices & trainee growers. 

Please bring a packed lunch, warm clothes, waterproofs, wellies/practical boots, umbrella, notebook and camera/smartphone.


Course Leader - Niels Corfield

Niels Corfield has been working to deliver a truly sustainable food system for over 10 years. 

He is an advisor, researcher, educator, designer, grower and nurseryman, working to create sustainable/regenerative landscapes, farms and spaces in the UK and Europe. He is focussed on agro-ecological systems that are low maintenance and productive.

He advises and consults on: soil health, agroforestry, planned grazing and setting-up on-farm crop trials, and provides whole-farm planning and design services for transition farm operations, through an inclusive/participatory framework.


Part 1 - Concepts & Principles - Monday 2nd March
Part 2 - Monday 9th March

Course times: 10am - 4.30pm

We are operating a sliding scale on ticket prices for this event. Please select your ticket based on your income. There are further discounted tickets available for apprentices and trainee growers, but places are limited - please email with details of your traineeship to receive a discount code.

There is no lunch provided on this course. Please bring your own packed lunch.