Category: Soil

No-Till Farming for Healthier Soil and Lifestyles

Masanobu Fukuoka, the late Japanese farmer, developed a unique farming system he called “Natural Farming.” Trying to replicate what he saw in Nature, Fukuoka´s no till system allowed the soil to continually grow in fertility. Through the use of mulch and cover crops, this system effectively allows for continuous harvests of crop rotations, eliminates weeds and builds healthy top soil allowing for organic food production that is ecologically sustainable. Problems […]

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Soil Erosion and Its Monetary Cost

The modernized food industry has pushed farming practices to the back burner in the eyes of consumers. Still, the majority of our food comes from the land. That being said, the issue of soil erosion isn’t making front pages, but amongst those that lobby around organic farming and environmental health issues have identified the degradation as increasingly problematic. In order to help the problem, activists are looking for help from […]

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Manure: An Overview of This Shi…ning Addition to the Garden

Manure: An Overview of This Shi…ning Addition to the Garden

Organic gardens really benefit from manure, and that is no mystery. However, it’s important to be aware of what kind of manure is at your disposal because they are not all equally desirable. Some manures, dare we say, are choice garden additions, while others take a lot of coaxing, a slow and patient cook, from composting gurus. Chicken manure is vastly different from cow manure, which is largely different dog […]

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The Top Composting Toilet Designs

One of the most unsustainable aspects of our current civilization is related to how we deal with our own waste. For thousands of years, agrarian civilizations have understood that the fertility that one takes from the land in the form of crops, must be returned to the land in a similar manner. Both animal and human wastes have been used by indigenous and peasant cultures to maintain the sacred balance […]

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A Primer on Creating Soil

Good agriculture depends on good soil. The problem over the past 10,000 years of our human attempt to live off the land (and especially during the last sixty years or so), is that crops take nutrients from the soil, and without proper husbandry, soil fertility will deplete. The “pseudo-solution” offered by the Green Revolution has been to import petroleum-based fertilizers to make up for our lack of stewardship of the […]

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The Truth behind Shivansh Fertilizer

In recent months, the internet has exploded with talk of Shivansh fertilizer that is supposedly revolutionizing agriculture in India and “saving” millions of farmers from the perils of chemical agriculture. Given that Indian peasant farmers have mostly garnered international attention due to the explosion of farmer suicides due to the inability to keep up with mounting debt associated with dependence on chemical agriculture, talk of natural, organic fertilizers that is […]

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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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