I’ve found myself getting more and more focussed on Soil Science, and wanting to research and test the effects of some of the ideas and systems that I am working on. Without access to academic papers, journals, expensive text books and laboratory equipment I am unlikely to be able to test my ideas sufficiently, so decided that I needed to go to University to do so. Continue reading
I have used a number of Green Manure strategies this Winter as part of my soil fertility building program. In fact I think that I have shifted from growing food to growing soil as my primary activity. Using a Green Manure provides a number of benefits for me, which I’ll describe below. Please note that this is an explanation of some of the things that I have done this Winter, and not an attempt to teach people how a green manure should be used.
I first came across the term ‘Chop and Drop’ in Geoff Lawton’s Establishing a Food Forest DVD. I reviewed the DVD here. Chop and Drop describes the actions of cutting branch wood from fast growing trees ‘nurse’ trees, and then using that wood to feed soil fungi, in order to help the production trees, planted amongst them. Chop and Drop is linked to the use of a more dense tree planting, often fast growing and nitrogen fixing, with many of these trees not destined to remain until maturity. Continue reading
I have spent a bit of time exploring paper chromatography as a means of testing the quality of soil and compost, thanks to the help of my friend Nigel. Now I’m not planning to explain what it is all about. Those of you who have stuck with my blog are quite able to find that out for yourselves, and the following links should help you do that. Chromatography 1. Chromatography 2. Instead I wanted to record some of the thoughts and ideas that this new technique has generated, and where I may take it in the future. Continue reading