With permaculture techniques we have been able to provide solutions that enable the healthy growth of our plants, improve the soil fertility and maintain a healthy ecosystem.
One of these techniques is the use of Mulching.
Mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of an area of the soil. Its purpose is any or all of the following.
- To conserve moisture by reducing the soils exposure to the sun.
- To improve the fertility and health of the soil by providing a suitable habitat for soil microorganism which in turn breakdown the mulch turning it into plant available nutrients and increasing the soils organic matter content and improving its structure.
- To reduce weed growth by creating a physical barrier.
- To enhance the visual appeal of the area
We use both live and dead organic mulching systems to provide solutions to the degraded soil on site.
Live organic mulching is a natural system where we use creeping plants including sweet potato and wild spinach as mulch, while dead organic mulching systems use dead leaves, wood chips or other organic matter.
We also use BIOCHAR(Terra Preta) to help improve the soils fertility.
Biochar also known as Terra Preta: is a technique of using biological charcoal to improve soil fertility that originated in the amazon basin some 2600 years ago.
It protects plants by the biological power of the soil and offers a considerably better range of nutrients than the traditional peat substrates. The extremely high level of organic activities in this substrate strengthens plants and makes them more resistant to disease. Through highly efficient nutrient dynamics high quality harvest can be expected and for lesser carbon emissions than when using peat substrates.
Biochar with its large surface area provides habitat for the microorganism which make up the soil food web that naturally stores and releases plant available nutrients which can be taken up by the roots of plants as they are needed. The substrate is able to retain moisture, helping plants to survive to drought more easily and encouraging smooth, continuous growth. Fruits, vegetables and cut flowers grown in the soil amended with Biochar can be stored longer and show a higher concentration of organic matter, especially trace elements, suggesting that using Biochar can makes plants healthier and increase their nutrient value.
Biochar use fosters micro-bacterial activity and biodiversity wherever it is used increasing the level of humus in the ground and improving fertility year after year. Biochar is also under investigation as an approach to carbon sequestration, potentially producing negative carbon dioxide emissions.
Like most charcoal, biochar-terra preta is created by pyrolysis of biomass.
The following materials areneeded when u want to prepare the bio char:
Char burner: it is an instrument used to burn bio char
- Rice chaff
- Cassava peel
- Corn husk
- Poultry droppings, Etc.
- Get your char burner and set up fire under it using wood.
- Spread at least hundred kg of rice chaff or cassava peel around it
- Constanly turn the materials around the burner.
- When everything turns black, remove the char burner n quench with water
- Add about 200kg of poultry manure.
- Allow it to cool.
Application of Biochar
Fetch at least a hand full to a plant. Biochar-Terra Preta can be used pure mixed with earth or coir, creating a fertile, climate –friendly soil onto which you can sow and plant out directly. For use in greenhouses, it can be mixed with your own soil at a rate of 1:1 through 1:10, depending on fertility. We also use Biochar when planting trees and bushes by putting about 1kg under the roots into the holes you have prepared.
OUR NEW PROJECT
We have recently launched a crowd funding campaign to support the creation of a new Regenerative agriculture and Permaculture demonstration site in the Kyrehi community, Kintampo South Dostrict in the Brong Ahafo region, Ghana. Our intent is to demonstrate and educate local peoples in techniques that provide solutions to problems faced by Kyrehi community farmers that include land degradation, low soil fertility, dependency on eratic weather patterns and lack of access to resources (capital, education, simple and appropriate technology). Please visit our indigogo campaign and consider supporting out Project. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mattkel-regenerative-center/x/9539359