NMDA Healthy Soils Education Grant 2020

VSWCD was selected for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture Healthy Soils Education Grant. The project we are implementing is called Training Healthy Soils Leaders on Small Scale Farms and using Johnson-Su Bioreactor Compost and we were awarded $12,430.


The goals of this pilot study are:
1. To train 10 local farmers and gardeners on the use and benefits of Johnson-Su Bioreactor
compost conjunction with healthy soil practices to act as healthy soils leaders for their
communities. Identify if using the bioreactor compost has different results on improving soil
health or crop production in one season based on different growing conditions.
2. To train 15 VSWCD Youth Farming Interns on the use and benefits of healthy soils practices
and the Johnson-Su Bioreactor compost to then teach their communities.
3. To develop practical and feasible methods for applying the Johnson-Su Bioreactor Compost
that can be recommended to a diversity of growers throughout the District.
4. To demonstrate to growers throughout the District multiple examples of how to
incorporate Healthy Soils Practices and the Johnson-Su Bioreactor Compost into practices.


The Johnson-Su Bioreactor compost is specially made to increase diversity of fungi and microbia in your soil. Increasing diversity and restoring the relationships between plants and microbia and fungi improves nutrient availability, water absorption and plant production. The compost works best if practiving the 5 Healthy Soils Principles: 1) Soil armor; 2) minimizing soil disturbance; 3) plant diversity; 4) continual live plant/foot; and 5) livestock integration. For more info on the Johnson-Su Bioreactor follow this link.


VSWCD is working with the Natural Resource Conservation Service to complete soil testing and soil health education for growers.


VSWCD also provides a settup to make your own for only $85 which saves you money, because we order materials in bulk.


For more information email Lindsey Diaz, EVUGP Coordinator @ EVUrbanGardens@gmail.com

Loading a Johnson-Su Bioreactor at the "Garden of Youth", Meadow Lake Community Center Garden.



Mulching heavily around your plants with straw, leaves, grass clippings, newspaper or cardboard is a critical element in improving the habitat for fungi and microbia in soil. It also lowers soil temperature significantly, helps retain moisture in soil and adds organic matter to the soil as it breaks down.

Get in Touch      

Valencia SWCD

PO Box 170

Belen, NM 87002


Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area
2424 Hwy 47
Belen, NM  87002


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2020 Holiday Schedule
Office will be closed in observance of these days.

Monday, February 17th Washington’s Birthday


Monday, May 25th Memorial Day


Saturday, July 4th Independence Day

Monday, September 7th Labor Day

Monday, October 12th Columbus Day

Wednesday, November 11th Veterans Day

Thursday, November 26th Thanksgiving Day

Friday, December 25th Christmas Day

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