“This is Eliot Coleman’s presentation at the Asheville Mother Earth News Fair in April of 2016. Eliot is a celebrated farming expert encouraging people and communities to choose locally grown organic food. He helped pioneer the movement with his first book “The New Organic Grower” published over 20 years ago. He continues leading the way, expanding the limits of the harvest season deep into and through winter at his world-renowned farm in Harborside, Maine.
“Geoff Lawton presents his outstanding movie, “Soils”, helping you to have a better understanding of soil creation and maintenance, making soil healthier and optimal.”
We’ve discussed the basics of terra preta soil – the most fertile soil in the world – in two previous blog posts. As I explained in the earlier blog posts, scientists are racing to unlock the secrets of terra preta soil and the role that biochar plays. New biochar research is coming out that may hold the keys to restoring land degraded from years of industrial chemical farming. If the claims made in the following videos turn out to be true then that means we now know how to develop permanent soil fertility. In addition, you can heat your home and greenhouse from waste heat given off during the biochar making process. This BBC documentary — The Secret Of Eldorado – TERRA PRETA — explains why terra preta is more valuable than gold. Test trials have shown terra preta can produce 880% increase in plant yields.
This is an update on my previous report about vetiver/compost trenches. Our first attempt at making these trenches was a big success. Surprisingly so, because the compost in the trenches kept going down, down, down to where it looked like very little was left after 6 months. This was a little discouraging at the time because I used five pickup loads of manure and rice hulls, plus I was watering it fairly often. The surprising part was how much compost I got at the end of summer.
Here’s a brief list of things we’re doing to boost the quality of our soil in our forest garden. I’m writing this because I saw a video a while back that explained why they don’t use worm castings, compost tea, leaf mulch, rock dust and so on any more. That video might confuse some people into thinking these things aren’t helpful. What actually happened is their soil has become so good (by using these materials!) in their small backyard garden raised beds that these soil amendments are no longer necessary. Since they’re only dealing with a few pickup loads of soil, it’s not overly difficult to create that much high quality soil.
This video covers the history of compost heat recovery and the state of the art science, by Gaelen Brown of Living Web Farms.