Red Mountain Soil Ecology

Red Mountain Soil Ecology is operated by Matt Ball and is based out of Wake Forest, North Carolina.  Its namesake “Rougemont” is the community in which Matt previously farmed and gained his greatest mentors during what proved to be the most formative and endlessly inspiring time in his budding career. 

 Matt’s interest in living soil began well over a decade ago, when working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on riparian restoration projects in the Southwest United States.   After moving back home to North Carolina in 2012, Matt took his working knowledge of soil biology and reapplied it to sustainable agriculture when he began working on and eventually assisting in operating an organic fruit and vegetable farm in Orange County NC.   On the farm, Matt experienced firsthand the host of benefits a grower can enjoy through intentional stewardship of the soil by applying compost, keeping roots in the ground with cover crops, and minimizing soil disturbance whenever possible.   In 2017 Matt began working at NC State University where he now operates the North Carolina State University Compost Facility and Research Cooperative.  At the facility, Matt utilizes his microscope to account for the biology present in the compost, compost teas and compost extracts that he and his team produce every week.  Matt also uses his ability in the lab to assess the biology present in the surrounding environments on campus where the compost, teas and extracts are being applied. He has been a certified soil food web lab professional (CLP) since 2022.  Since 2019, Matt has been a Certified Compost Operations Manager (CCOM) - Administered by the US Composting Council.