Category: Soil

The Health Benefits of Raising Reishi Mushrooms

If something is working, you might as well continue to use it, as the saying goes. Reishi mushroom powder has been used by Asian cultures as a natural medicine for at least 2,000 years. The Reishi mushroom, also known as the Lingzhi mushroom in China, is one of the only species of mushrooms that is consumed more for its medicinal and pharmaceutical properties than for its nutritional value. Due to […]

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Simple Approaches to Making and Using Foliar Fertilizers

One of our main goals in the permaculture garden is to foster soil life, and there are many methods we use for accomplishing this goal. We apply thick mulches and add plenty of organic matter. We practice no-dig methods so as not to harm existing soil life, and we enhance richness by adding things like worm compost, manure, and leaf mold. We increase fertility with nitrogen-fixing plants. We cultivate perennial […]

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Soil Mineralisation part 3: Why and How do we Remineralise the soil?

In part 1 (1) and part 2 (2) of this series I looked at some ways in which the different elements present in the soil are connected, and how building up organic matter in soil can help to create more of the things that soil needs to be healthy. The intricate web of connections between every living thing may never be fully understood and so with soil, as with much […]

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Top Soil: A Catalyst for Better Health and Nutrition

Where We Stand Without Soil Everything begins and ends with the soil. Unfortunately, close to 70% of it has been lost since the dawn of the agricultural revolution. Since the onset of the Green Revolution only half a decade ago, we´re getting rid of it faster than ever. Besides the ecocide that the loss of topsoil entails, it also is a major threat to our health. Most foods grown by […]

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Soil Mineralisation part 2: Major Soil Elements and Where WE Can Source Them

In part 1 of this article, I discussed why you might want to change the chemistry of the soil you are working with, and how, although humans have developed a number of useful ways of identifying which chemicals are present in soil and how these interact with each other to make balanced soil, we do not know everything about these interactions. The upshot of this is that even though isolated […]

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Lasagna Gardening: Build Soil and Get Rid of Weeds

Healthy topsoil, or humus, is necessary for growing healthy plants. However, topsoil takes dozens of years to naturally accumulate through the slow decomposition of leaves and other organic material. For people who don´t have the budget to buy those overpriced bags of garden soil sold at hardware stores, lasagna gardening is a quick and efficient way to quickly build the healthy soil you need for your garden. You can build […]

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Soil Mineralisation Part 1: What Do We Need To Add To Our Soils And Why?

If you want to grow plants effectively, one of the most fundamental things you can do is provide them with soil which is appropriate for the species and which provides a rich and balanced amount of nutrients. The ideal of creating a permaculture system such as a food forest is that the soil will be balanced and nourished naturally by the diverse amount of species living there, with humans having […]

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Raising Shiitake Mushrooms: An Inexpensive Delicacy

The Chinese have been using shiitake mushrooms as a nutritional and medicinal food for over 6,000 years. One of the most well-known of the edible mushroom, shiitakes have recently been discovered by the health food movement around the world and are considered to be one of the most widely available superfoods on the market. Instead of paying a premium price for shiitakes at your local health food store, however, shiitakes […]

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Terra Preta in the Amazon

Most people believe that the Amazon Rainforest is nothing but a virgin paradise of untouched wilderness. Recent studies have shown, however, that much of the Amazon might very well have been a landscape designed by the patient persistence of indigenous cultures who interacted with the land and the local ecosystems. What if the Amazon Rainforest wasn’t really an intact wilderness area, but rather the result of careful human planning over […]

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Composting Toilet Talk

Imagine the world before the invention of the toilet. While this may seem long ago, the truth is that humans have existed on Earth for a longer period of time without toilets than with them. As one may imagine, all matter that came from the Earth as food, went directly back to the Earth in a different form. Nonetheless, the environment didn’t suffer but naturally reincorporated all of the matter […]

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How to Make a Compost Water Heater

Everyone loves hot water in the home, but the ecological cost of long, hot showers powered by fossil-fueled water heaters adds some guilt to those long hours in the bathroom. What if you could have a huge supply of hot water heated by the compost pile in your garden. Instead of greenhouses gasses, the byproduct of your hot water would be more fertile soil. The Ecological Cost of Heating Water […]

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The Many Types of At-Home Composting

So you’re interested in making your own compost, but you’re overwhelmed by all of the different methods. Or maybe you’re not sure if there’s a method that will work for you. You’re in the right place. With this overview, the decision will be easy. Your first decision? Indoor or outdoor. Since there are fewer types of indoor composting systems, we will cover those first. Composting Indoors If you’ve chosen to […]

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