Category: Soil Composition

Soil Short Film

Nature Is Speaking – Edward Norton is The Soil | Conservation International (CI) A very clear and concise short video about Soil, made by Nature is Speaking. Please check out there website for more great short films

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This Zero-Cost, Waste-Eliminating Practice Can Produce Abundant Crops from Healthy, Restored Soils for Generations to Come

Photography by Jasmine A Koster What is zero-cost, waste-eliminating and can restore soils to fertility to produce abundant crops for generations to come? Biochar. Gloria Flora gave a presentation on biochar at the Fourth Annual Inland Northwest Permaculture Convergence. She discussed biochar as a method for producing energy and amending soil from waste products that end up in the landfill. “This is the Permaculture idea of capturing everything…with the pig, […]

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Fred Kirschenmann: Soil – from Dirt to Lifeline (TED video)

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Fred Kirschenmann has been involved in sustainable agriculture and food issues for most of his life. He currently serves as both a Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, and as President of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. He also still provides management oversight of his family’s 2,600 acre organic farm in south central North Dakota. […]

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Nitrogen: the Double-Edged Sword

Dutch clover cover crop between cabbage rows Nitrogen is a component of protein and DNA and as such, is essential to all living things. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, around 97% of the nitrogen supporting life on earth was fixed biologically. Over the last century, intensification of farming, coupled with a lack of understanding of soil microbial communities, has resulted in reduced biological activity and an increased application of industrially […]

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Phayao Permaculture Center – Soil Building Strategies (Thailand)

The Phayao Permaculture Center (PPC) is a two acre permaculture design implemented to be the retirement farm for myself and my Thai family. It is located in the wet/dry tropics at 19 degrees north latitude in Northern Thailand. Having taken the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course with Bill Mollison on Maui, Hawaii in 1982, it has been my vision to retire on my own permaculture designed land. This came about […]

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The Secret Of El Dorado – Terra Preta

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Os-ujelkgw In this documentary a legendary civilization thought to be too good to be true on the basis of the stories told by the Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana, is found to be a real part of history. We can separate fact from fiction here, in that the golden riverbanks the Spaniard told of were not golden with precious metal strewn along them, but with something far more precious — […]

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Black Magic: The Secrets of Amazonian Fertility

The great Amazon rainforest. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Bones. Charcoal. Ash. Blood. Feces. Food waste. Pottery shards. Before I began my journey into permaculture and regenerative ecology, if you asked me why someone would gather and bury these things together, I would have guessed at some kind of disgusting voodoo magic ritual. But for those initiated into the alchemy of composting and soil generation, this is actually a recipe […]

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Tiger Hill Permaculture: Phase 1, Water Harvesting Earthworks

In February 2011 I took over the farm, ‘Tiger Hill’, in Tasmania, Australia. The planets aligned at that time in my life as I had a deep desire to find a property that I could develop to get all of my experience and ideas toward Permaculture on the ground and create my long term vision of an educational community and demonstration site based on Permaculture design.

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How to Increase the Rate of Biological Nitrogen Fixation

This short article is a chapter from my book “Fertilizer for Free: How to make the most from Biological Nitrogen Fixation”. One important question permaculture designers should ask themselves: Is there anything you can do to increase the rate of biological nitrogen fixation? The benefits of having more nitrogen rich organic matter in the soil are myriad. Starting with: higher general productivity richer and more diverse soil life more available […]

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How to Prepare and Take Care of a No-Dig Vegetable Garden (Slovenia)

Welcome to no-dig gardening. This is a tutorial which is written in a form of questions and answers. Questions will lead you on a path, and answers will give further directions. I want to share with you seven years of experience with no-dig gardening which gives abundant yields and improves soil life and quality year after year. First we will take a look at natural patterns, weeds and learn about […]

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Oh, The Beds I’ve Made: No-Till Gardening in Tropical Panama

One of the most exciting parts of taking the reins to a hectare of lakeside land in Panama was planning just exactly what kind of experimenting was going to be on order. We knew there would be a food forest. We knew there’d be a vegetable garden, fresh herbs, and lots of very dense clay soil with which to contend. Much of the space was steep hillsides, but at the […]

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How to Permanently Improve Your Sandy Soil

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Size of a pumpkin leaf: 42 cm, that’s 16.5″. Not bad for a sandy soil! One of the problems a lot of people have is how to improve the fertility of sandy soil. One solution is to add more organic matter (compost, manure, wood chips), but unfortunately if you live in a hot and humid climate the stuff you put in the soil is going to decompose quickly, since microbial […]

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