The team at Terreplenish is proud to continue our Farmer Spotlight series with Hal Brown, owner of Windy Lane Farms in Indiana. Hal has been farming since he was 10 years old and continues to push his expertise in the space by blending science, technology, and tradition. At Windy Lane Farms, Hal dedicates his time to corn, soybean and organic farming, currently working to put out his 63rd crop this year. We were able to speak at length with Hal on a variety of topics, but the area in which we went into the greatest depth was soil health.
What impressed us with Hal was his ability to talk about agriculture in broad strokes and then quickly take it to the microscopic level: literally. In discussing soil health, Hal stressed the importance of the tried and true methods of no-till farming and cover crops; practices that are essential for any farmer looking to bolster their soil health. A biological farmer for 32 years running — one who works with nature to produce a comprehensive system of soil health management — Hal is always in-tune with the state of his soil. Whether applying his proprietary blend of homemade soil amendments or taking the time to examine the rhizosphere and root structure of his crops, Hal is committed to managing his soil health in the best manner possible. As he filled us in on the best ways to run a regenerative farm, Hal was most excited to discuss something he recently discovered using his microscope.
Hal purchased Terreplenish in November of 2018 and—being a busy farmer with a full plate— forgot all about it (it’s ok, the folks at Terreplenish understand!). Well, a year and a half later, Hal rediscovered his Terreplenish tote and examined the solution with his microscope. What he saw took him by surprise: the microbes in the tote were still alive! In all his years of farming, Hal had never encountered a microbial soil amendment product where the microbes could survive in the tote for a year and a half or longer. Sold on Terreplenish’s value, Hal is now into his first crop season using our amendment and he’s already noticing its benefits (the rhizosphere and root structure of his organic corn are as healthy as ever). Thanks to an offhand science experiment—conducted out of curiosity — Terreplenish and Hal Brown have become close partners and look to continue finding new ways to organically regenerate his soil.
As we churn through another growing season, Hal is eager to assess the benefits of Terreplenish in his first full season using the product. Terreplenish’s nitrogen fixing properties and ability to fill the soil with microbes for years to come have turned Hal into an ambassador of the OMRI certified amendment to members of his farming community. On behalf of everyone at Terreplenish, we are thankful Hal Brown cares enough about the health of his soil to put our product under the microscope.