Cultivating Soil Solutions emerged from Kathleen Millar's passion to preserve a precious resource – the fertility in our soil. Kathleen's awareness about this vital resource began on a trip to Ethiopia in 1985 where she observed a country that had lost its topsoil – and was enduring a devastating famine.
In recent years as a golf course grounds crew member, Kathleen was alerted to the issues with conventional, chemical turf systems. After experiencing health problems from the chemical turf environment, she decided there must be a more natural way to achieve beautiful, green expanses of grass! Her training in natural methods began at Gaia College where she graduated from the Organic Master Gardener program with a special focus on Organic Turf Maintenance. In fact, her interest in the subject was so pronounced she now teaches the turf classes for Gaia College in the mid island area!
In tandem with her focus on growing grass properly, Kathleen developed a passion for addressing food security issues on Vancouver Island. Among many pressing concerns, she chose to focus on supplying the mid-island region with two vital components: local compost and regionally acclimated seeds. Kathleen spent the last two years learning the art of saving and storing seeds from her 1/8th of an acre veggie garden at Seven Cedars Studio in Qualicum Beach. To address the lack of biologically active compost available she is currently developing a high quality product that will supply locals with an excellent, indigenous microbe inoculum.
While developing her compost product, Kathleen became fascinated with the microbiology of soil and compost. Soil microbiology is a very exciting new science and understanding it gives the organic gardener true knowledge of how to work with Mother Nature. Kathleen's desire to access up- to -the- minute information in this emerging science led her to train with the Soil Food Web headquarters in Corvallis, Oregon. There she received extensive instruction about soil microbes (the Soil Food Web) and the techniques and tools a Soil Food Web practitioner uses to support them. Most recently she was certified as a Soil Food Web advisor and works closely with the founding laboratory in Corvallis.
Kathleen has now gained the training and expertise to communicate practical, real world solutions for soil remediation and preservation. She has integrated, (and continues to) all aspects of her education and experience with the goal of assisting others as they chose sustainability in all areas of their lives.