(Dutch) 5e dag Kwantum landbouw: de bodem, breed bekeken, in Broekland

Cursusdag Kwantum landbouw: De bodem, breed bekeken (ook voor niet cursisten toegankelijk)

 Stichting Gaia Sira organiseert op 21 april een bijzondere dag over de bodem die ook voor niet-cursisten toegankelijk is

Op 21 april zullen Gino Smeulders en Rubén Borge ons meenemen langs verschillende bodemaspecten waar u niet zo vaak over hoort. Weet u dat paramagnetisme een grote rol kan spelen in de wortelontwikkeling en dus opbrengst  van planten? Met proeven gaan we hiernaar kijken.

Ook zullen we een fermentatiemengsel maken om de bodem te voeden en nog beter te werken.

Voorlopig programma:

– Inloop met koffie- een bezoek aan het bedrijf

– de bodem voelen op een of andere wijze met bodemprofiel bekijken en energie voelen van bodemmonsters

– een inleiding door Gino Smeulders, biogeoloog , o.a. over gesteentemeel en diamagnetisme van de bodem

– een inleiding door Gino Smeulders, biogeoloog o.a. over gesteentemeel, over paramagnetische en diamagnetische gesteenten en over het bodemleven- een fermentatiemengsel maken met Ruben Borge

Locatie: Broekland

Kosten: euro 121 (incl btw) per dag inclusief lunch; euro 30 (incl btw) minima.

Meer informatie: www.gaiasira.nl

Graag opgeven bij info@gaiasira.nl of 06-42383361

Course series: Farmer’s life (boerenleven)

Last month we started the 2017 edition of the course “farmer’s life” (in Dutch Boerenleven). Farmers from different areas of the country gather together, each time in a different farm to talk about healthy production systems. They get new insights in key issues for their farms from different experts and they learn from each others experience too.

The course series aims to give farmers practical state of the are low investment/ high return tools for their Dairy farms.During different journeys, we work with farmers around the management of complex systems of the Dutch dairy farms. All from the basis of low external input.

Each journey focus on one specific issue and visit a different farm. The we give the courses in context of the participants.

  • Farm Maganement (by Frens Schuring)
  • Soil life and DIY diagnoses (by Ruben Borge)
  • Low external organic inputs for the Dutch farm (by Ruben Borge)
  • Soil Analysis Bioelectonics  (by Peter van Hof)
  • Mineral cycling  (by Anton Nichten)
  • Grass land management and mob grazing (by Peter Takkens)

This course series is co-organized by Ria Commandeur and  Peter Takkens.

Do you want to join?  contact met Ria

6 step soil life check

Any healthy farming enterprise depends on the capacity of  soils to keep the mineral cycles in motion. And this motion is propelled by life in and on the soil.  Each living organism takes nutrients to transform and pass them to other species when they got eaten, they give them away or release them when they die. This complex exchange of nutrients is called the food web.

Since soil life is so important to estimate soil fertility, we aim to see how good is the soil life of our farm and the conditions that enable it.

Here we have 6 basic methods anyone can do anywhere:

Go to  Step 1->


listen to Lecture at Oxford ORFC

Hereby some pictures, of the team, enjoying their time during lecture we gave in Oxford during the last conference of the ORFC last 4-5th January. It was great fun to answer and discuss the potential and scalability of bio-fertilisers.


Recording and presentation available here

The room was more than full. People sitting on the floor, standing everywhere, filling all gaps. There were more than 65 souls on the room and at least other 20 people could not get in the lecture room. Inside, waiting for us to start, we could see a lot of expectation in the faces of the participants. They all wanted to see what bio-fertilizers are, how are they made and what they can do for the soil, the plant and the farmer. Our goal was simple: to inspire, inform and entertain the participants with new fresh and useful information about a new way to look at organic agriculture.

Matt Dunwell chaired the lecture and introduced us and kept track on the time and questions. We divided the presentation in three parts:

  1. JuanFran brilliantly explained the working principles of the bio-fertilizers and presented the current research he is carrying at Ragman’s Farm.
  2. In a top-speed workshop, JuanFran explained the receipt of a basic bio-fertilizer while I was mixing ingredients into a small jar.
  3. I explained the practical applications of the bio-fertilizer and the many experiences we are having with farmers around the globe.

The session was planned for 1 hour but questions kept coming. After the lecture, doors went open and some people went out but many other people got in as we were still answering questions.

Thanks to Juanfran, Matt and the rest of the Ragman’s Farm team and the volunteers and participants for the interesting questions.

Listen the recording and/or download the presentation here.


With Ragmans Farm UK at ORFC 2017

In January 2017…Oxford Real Farmers Conference (UK)

I feel fortunate to sit with Matt Dunwell and Juanfran Lopez  of Ragmans Farm on 4/ 5th January 2017 in Oxford at the ORFC and share our experiences about our work  with bio-fertilizers. For the last two seasons, Juanfran and Matt have been doing very interesting work  with bio-fertilizers in UK in apple trees and vegetables. I have been working with bio-fertilizers in different crops, soils, climates and cultures of  the world.

Putting  our experiences together is an exciting experience worth to be shared with the Real Farmers community.

Besides the presentation, we will combine technique and humor to demonstrate the simplicity (and beauty) of this technology by preparing bio-fertilizers, dressed like real chefs. Want to see it?

  • When: 4 january 2017
  • Where: Oxford, UK
  • For more info/program/tickets about this event, go to: http://orfc.org.uk/



Rockin Soils was in October 2016 in Nicaragua to assist the Union of Cooperatives COSATIN with the optimization of organic fertilizers. To assess raw materials, improve the production process and optimize the quality control system to increase the quality of the organic fertilizers.

Growing organic Coffee in Nicaragua, between 700 and 1000m altitude is challenging. Sometimes it does not rain in months and suddenly a storm can leave easily 20 mm in few hours. This erratic tropical weather is often worsen by periodic events like “el niño”. With all these extreme events, the  fragile volcanic soils struggle to keep in shape.

The Farmers of Boaco rely on coffee, ginger and turmeric as main cash crops and they also grow many other fruits and vegetables for own consumption. Farmers know best how to make compost though they find difficult to access to raw materials and often do not get the time/space to produce it. They rather buy it from somebody they trust.

This reliable compost provider in Boaco is the Farmers Union Tierra Nueva. Tierra Nueva is well known in the country for their good quality organic coffee. It is an impressive good coffee that grows at less than 1000m of altitude.

Their organic coffee is sold in small scale shops over the whole country under the brand Lo Sano.  Actually a lot of their coffee is reaching European shops. Looking ahead in the future, the Union decided to cover the demand for affordable top quality organic fertilizers. Few years ago they started a composting project. Now they have a composting plant and will be able to provide with organic fertilizer to hundreds of farmers of the area.