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As farmers, food growers and land managers we are reluctant to ask the real questions: where has our topsoil gone and how do we get it back? How do we grow better food for less cost and what are we leaving our grandchildren — deserts or fertile soil?

We have the answers to turn this all around and Paul Taylor is one person committed to providing some commonsense answers for recovering topsoil and building soil carbon as humus. Humus is our ‘Natural Capital’ — this is the stuff that long-term soil fertility and profitable production is made of.

Paul is a 3rd generation organic farmer and horticulturist. He has developed Trust Nature’s Bio-Vital™ system of sustainable soil management to provide a basis for soil regeneration. This system takes the mystery out of the complex sciences of soil microbiology and plant nutrition, and includes organic principles, modern technology, and traditional knowledge to deliver a set of answers for the crisis that we all face today — losing our productive soils. As we lose our living soils we become increasingly dependent on more toxic inputs and production becomes less profitable.

If we continue to farm in an exploitative way, the long-term impacts are going to be staggering. We are reluctant to believe that ‘modern’ chemical agriculture strips out the essential long term nutrients from our soils, giving us large harvests for a short period in history, and leaving a desert behind. What this ultimately means is that we are producing non-sustainably for the short term — what we are doing, essentially, is eating our grandchildrens’ food.

Fertile soils are living soils and living soils need living plants and living soil microorganisms.

To learn more about building soil fertility as natural capital and reduce dependency on expensive inputs, Trust Nature teaches a 5-day soil intensive at various venues in Australia and internationally. See: www.trustnature.com.au. And for information about our next soils workshop contact: tass (at) jamberoovalleyfarm.com.au

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