Category: Soil Biology

Wildlife Friendly Gardening Begins Beneath Us

Why dig? Why turn over tonnes of topsoil year after year. We know permanent soil has properties that annual crops need and which sustains bio diversity. Why disturb and destroy the goodness that nature provides? Salad, herbs, onions, garlic, brassica, peas, beans, and ornamentals are examples of plants that can be cultivated without digging. One simple method to achieve surface drainage and root development with minimal soil disturbance is to […]

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Get Your Food from a Firehose

We have been delving into the dirty secret behind our food, which is that it comes from bacteria — primarily, with considerable assistance from a social network of fungi, nematodes, micro-arthropods and soil-dwelling microbes of various descriptions. Most people, asked what plants eat, answer something like, "sunlight, water and dirt." Water and sunlight play an important role, for sure, but what really counts is the life within the soil. This […]

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Report on Permaculture Training in Dembe Dollo, Western Ethiopia (Part 3)

This is part three of a report on a community training program we ran in Dembe Dolo, Wolega, Eastern Ethiopia back in June, 2013. If you didn’t catch the last installments you can read them here: Part 1, Part 2. If you recall we started the training program off with introductions from the group and drew out the class motivations and aspirations for taking the training. We then briefly covered […]

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A Computer Geek Starts a Garden, Part II – We Are Chlorophyll Managers

Last night I ate a couple of dozen cherry tomatoes from my just-getting-started garden. A little pepper and salt and I was in tomato heaven. I was expecting them to taste a whole lot better than the supermarket ‘tomatoes‘ I’m otherwise forced to consume, and I was not at all disappointed. Indeed, every cell of my body almost seemed to shout "thank you!" The difference was like night and day. […]

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Cover Crops Solutions Chart

Click pic to download PDF As most readers of this site will recognise, nature always works to protect the soil from from wind and water erosion — by covering it with living foliage. In doing so, the cycle of life and death continues, increasing the soil’s fertility over time. Alas, many ‘modern’ gardeners have allowed themselves to become indoctrinated into trying to maintain a ‘tidy’, foliage-free garden bed — they […]

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New Allan Savory Podcast and Free Webinar

We are getting pretty excited about welcoming Allan Savory to Australia in a couple of weeks to enliven a discussion about how Holistic Management can play a key role in our future land regeneration strategies. In anticipation of his upcoming Aussie tour, Allan just recorded a podcast over at The Wellness Couch. It’s great to see the concepts of Holistic Management getting discussed in forums beyond straight-up agriculture, because, after […]

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Re-Mineralizing Soils with Bio-Fertilizer

Remineralizing soils that have been damaged by shortsighted agriculture practices can be done using Bio-Fertilizer. This video shows you how to get started! by Theron Beaudreau //www.youtube.com/embed/jzqMwViJRQM Working with damaged soils can be a huge challenge. In the world we live in today, it’s hard to find soils that haven’t been damaged through agricultural or urban misuse. If you are one of those lucky few who stumbled on a piece […]

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Cow Horns, Weeds and Worms (Lesotho)

Miles Durand (right), in Lesotho Introduction Lesotho is a small, mountainous country in Southern Africa. There has been an alarming two third reduction in its food production since colonial times. The signs and causes are self-evident and can be seen on the landscape and within the population. There is an urgent need to move the existing agriculture, in decline, to one of ascendancy in food production, and return the soil […]

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Living Soil Saves Lives!

A non-profit teaches a soil education program to combat the farmer suicide epidemic in rural India. By Tejal Heblekar, and edited by Eileen Mello A few kilometers from the Bay of Bengal in the Indian state of Orissa, rural farmers have gathered around a microscope to see what lies hidden in the ground. The Hummingbird Project, an American based non-profit organization, has equipped a soil laboratory with a microscope and […]

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Humus – the Essential Ingredient (TEDx video)

Learn all about Humus, the layer of soil essential for healthy food production which is being gradually depleted by unsustainable farming practices.

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Different Degrees of Compost

Before and during shots of a compost pile built for demonstration during a PDC.So this is 14 days into the process, not 60 days at completion. Many words these days have become so broad in their use that they have lost real meaning. The word ‘love’ is a perfect example. In one breath people express love for a dog, pizza and their partner. The word compost has suffered a similar […]

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How Plants Repel Insects – an Observation of Monarchs, Brix and Nutrient Dense Plants

I will always remember this day, as my first day actually witnessing a practical understanding of the Reams Biological Theory of Ionization and the Trophobiosis Theory of Francis Chaboussou.

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