Feature Interviews by Future Directions International with Dr Maarten Stapper: The Link Between Healthy Food and Biological Farming

The Northern Australia and Land Care Research Programme of Future Directions International (FDI) is pleased to release a two-part Feature Interview:

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Science in the Club: The Power of Plants

A fun get together at the Wicklow Hotel on Wednesday evening 11th April hosted by Dr James O’Hanlon (UNE). From Indigenous medicine to modern agriculture, plants are at the root of our very survival. Learn about where traditional knowledge and science meet to harness the tasty, toxic and therapeutic powers of plants! Maarten joined Dr Harry White and Michelle McKemey in sharing their fascination for the power of plants. Maarten talked about using the power of nature in farming and gardening, followed by Harry and Michelle talking about their book ‘Bush Tucker, Boomerangs & Bandages’.


The Armidale Express: Agricultural field day plants big ideas for future of farming

Published 11 April 2018

During a day about future agriculture some 100 students from Armidale High School, New England Girls School, O’Connor Catholic College, Presbyterian Ladies College, Farrer Agricultural Boys College Tamworth and Guyra High School learned in four groups about four aspects of regenerative agriculture, with a concluding Q&A session and farewell.  The Armidale Express reported on this event the next day under the headline: Agricultural field day plants big ideas for future of farming

In Situ Science – podcast of interview by Dr James O’Hanlon (UNE) on 10 April 2018

Ep 48. Soil microbes and healthy farming with Maarten Stapper.

How do you know if you have healthy soil? Look for worms! Dr Maarten Stapper joins us on In Situ Science to chat about how caring for soils and healthy ecosystems can improve our farming practices. Unfortunately modern farming practices, including livestock grazing, pesticide use and synthetic fertilizer use, can actually harm our crops more than they help them.

Recommended reading: ‘Call of the Reed Warbler’

A New Agriculture – A New Earth

Book by Charles Massy

Originally published 2017 by University of Queensland Press

Author and radical farmer Charles Massy’s book Call of the Reed Warbler explores transformative and regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. According to Massy, we need a revolution — he believes that human health, our communities, and the very survival of the planet depend on it. Charles talks about how he believes a grassroots revolution can save the planet, help turn climate change around, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food. Click here to see Charles in conversation with Costa Georgiadis, nature lover and host of ABC’s Gardening Australia.

Continue reading for excerpts from the book describing some of Maarten Stapper’s activities in advocating regenerative farming. Continue reading

AUSVEG’s 2013 Great Debate: Genetic Modification

Maarten participated in the Great Debate about genetically modified (GM) crops at the 2013 Ausveg National Convention at the Gold Coast on June 1st. Four speakers had been handpicked in the GM debate on the pro and against sides. Where does the horticultural industry want to go? Watch the Great Debate with Chris Uhlmann (ABC) as the moderator.

VIDEO farm walk in Dandaragan WA

Christine Smith through Soil Restoration Farming organised a farm walk on three farms around Dandaragan with Dr Maarten Stapper on 29 September 2017. Click here to watch a video of the farm walk that Jarrad Thomas made with his drone.


Warragul & Drouin Gazette: Healthy soils leads to nutritious foods

Published 3 October 2017.

Healthy soils, nutritious food, healthy people was the key of a workshop hosted by the Baw Baw Food Movement on 21 September. The free event, held at the Drouin Country Club was attended by a group of 120 enthusiastic people keen to hear how nutritious food improves our gut health.

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The Weekly Times: Soilkee pasture renovator a saviour for tired soils

TONY FAWCETT on April 20, 2017

GIPPSLAND farmer and inventor Niels Olsen says sales of his SoilKee pasture renovator have risen markedly in recent months following findings it can aid in the ­accumulation of carbon credits. The worth of the renovator, which aerates the soil with minimal pasture disturbance while burying organic matter, top-dressing with soil and drilling seed into the rows, is being evaluated in a three-year Healthy Soils Sustainable Farms study on the 457ha grey loam property of Madeline Buckley and Ross Batten at Buffalo, in South Gippsland.

While that study is not due to finish until next year, Niels said results were shaping up as similar to those of a year-long independent study (click to Soilkee Renovator summary doc) conducted on three Gippsland properties by farming systems agronomist Maarten Stapper up to May 2014.

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Biological Farming, Soil Health and Water Use

Background to the presentation by Dr Maarten Stapper at the Water Resources Management Forum organised by the Perth Natural Resource Management in Gingin, 27 September 2017.

Soil fertility is the capacity to receive, store and transmit energy to support plant growth. These processes require healthy soils – living, self-organising systems with physical, chemical and biological components all functioning and in balance.

Continuous use of acidic or salty synthetic fertilisers, insecticides, fungicides and herbicides disrupts this delicate balance.  Organic Farming has recognised this, but needs to follow its leaders to active soil fertility management.

Carbon, in particular, is of critical importance and needs to be maximised through capture with solar energy through photosynthesis by green plants, and optimum storage and use in soil. Continue reading