Soil - The Foundation of Our Regenerative System

Healthy soil is rich in organic matter and teeming with life and nutrients: just one teaspoon of healthy soil contains more living organisms than people on earth! Healthy soil is also vital to our well-being by providing water filtration and retention, storing atmospheric carbon, and resources needed to produce nutrient-dense foods. Yet, due to human-induced soil erosion and degradation, we are losing the valuable agricultural topsoils we all depend on at an alarming rate. About 90% of US cropland is losing topsoil faster than it can be replaced. At Frog Hollow, we take a multifaceted approach to continually building and regenerating our soil.

Soil offers us the tremendous resource of being able to capture and store atmospheric carbon to help offset carbon emissions in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.When our soil is covered with plant life, those plants draw carbon dioxide (and water) out of the atmosphere through tiny holes in their leaves, stems, and roots. The sun's energy is used to synthesize that carbon and water into food the plants need to grow. Whatever the plant doesn't need for growth is exuded through its roots and feeds the microorganisms that live in the soil. Those microorganisms break down plant matter and other organic compounds and create the rich dark material in soil known as humus which acts as stable storage of carbon. Carbon is what helps give soil its structure, water holding capacity, and what makes it fertile. By keeping our soil covered and undisturbed, our soil sequesters carbon and our trees have access to rich nutrients while increasing their resilience to drought and disease.

Learn More

Water - A Precious Resource

Not only do we conserve water, but we work to maximize every drop. Our micro-sprinkler irrigation system is an efficient way to apply just enough water to the trees right where they need it—on the root zone. But we think beyond just conserving water. That means we prepare our soil to better absorb the water we do use. By letting microorganisms flourish, planting ground cover, and not tilling the ground, we help the soil system function and retain water. Extensive use of wild grasses and intentional cover crops throughout our orchard understory prevents soil erosion and topsoil loss and reduces runoff of soil sediment—one of agriculture’s largest polluters of clean water resources. When we let these natural systems self-regulate and thrive, soil has the necessary glue and structure to act like a sponge. Healthy soil retains not only water but also nutrients. It follows that our trees are more resilient to drought; we don’t need to irrigate as much or as long; our fruit is more nutrient-dense. We also employ sensors throughout our orchards to measure moisture levels at different depths. Utilizing this data, we can irrigate efficiently and avoid over-watering.

Learn More

Biodiversity - Cultivating Life Above and Below Ground

Our robust compost program regenerates diverse microbial life underground while above-ground cover crops and flowering native plants throughout the orchard create habitat for beneficial insects and pollinators. Our olive trees, planted as windbreaks throughout the orchards, also provide great habitat for bird populations on the farm. Owl and bat nesting boxes and raptor perches are interspersed throughout the trees to encourage these helpful creatures to live on our land and keep gopher and pest populations in check. Fostering biodiversity creates balance in the ecosystem so there’s no need for synthetic chemicals to manage pests, fertility, or weeds.

Learn More

Human Health and Prosperity - Cultivating Wellness

Learn More

Search our shop