October 7, 2014 at 4:33 am #43026
Wood ChipsThe Secret to Effortless, Inexpensive Biodynamic Gardening
Listen to these numbers, Paul says. On the test, you get two lines the desired level that you want, and your lab results. The nitrates: the desired level was 40; my lab result was 120. Phosphorous, the desired level is 174; mine is 2,345. Potassium, the desired level is 167; mine is 1,154. Coming down to the smaller numbers: zinc, the desired level is 1.6; mine 21.5. What I love about this is I didnt do anything!
The documentary Back to Eden was my first exposure to his work. I struggled for years seeking to unlock the puzzle of growing nutrient-dense food before I came across his recommendationsthe simplicity and low cost of which really appealed to me.
Whatever you use, put it back… Any organic material lying on the ground will decompose, return to the soil, and the plants work out. Its so commonsense simple.October 9, 2014 at 8:36 am #43027
I read that article, and I’m still going to use my compost that I produce from kitchen and yard scraps in my garden. I like Dr. Mercola to an extent, but he is way to extreme on most topics in my mind. It seems like he’s way too quick to tell you everything you know is wrong and everything he knows is right. Just my 2 cents. All that being said, I still skim through his articles regularly for tidbits.October 14, 2014 at 11:19 pm #43029
Today’s my day for making simple errors!
Gardening is a vast topic, so just for now, I think these articles are relevent and interesting:
As an enthusiastic advocate of the nutrient-dense approach, Yee is careful to explain that she also finds value in other farming philosophies, from bio-intensive to Biodynamic. “The art and beauty of growing food is that there is no one way,” she says.
Kemnah acknowledges that it’s been an interesting ride that’s not over yet. “I’ve had this crazy evolution from the way I was taught to farm to where I am now and where I want to be,” he says.
There has been much buzz this past year about mulch gardening, generated from the online documentary Back to Eden which highlights an organic garden where heavy mulching of ramial wood chips are applied to deter weeds, retain moisture thereby eliminating irrigation, and improving vegetable nutrition.
Particularly excited about the prospect of not having apply mulch as frequently (hay mulch usually needs reapplied 3-4 times a growing season), as soon as we could, we found a source of inexpensive wood chips and had 2 dump truck loads dumped in our yard for $20. Knowing that we would be taking a rest during the 2013 growing season, in the fall, I layered manure and bedding from the barnyard, fallen leaves, and all of that wood mulching- basically turning our garden into one huge lasagna garden- in the hopes of improving soil fertility during the rest.
But now Im rethinking the whole thing.
There has been much posted on the forums about a soil building method known as Interbay Mulch. It is a method developed by a site coordinator at the Interbay P-Patch in Seattle and has recently been featured in an article in Organic Gardening. The P-Patches are a large network of very well run Community Gardens. It is catching on quickly in other P-Patches but the folks at Interbay used the system for a full season before it started being adopted elsewhere.
The Interbay Mulch is the use of a layer of burlap placed over the top of various organic material that you pile up on top of soil. Organic matter decomposes much faster on top of the soil than it does if tilled in as long as it is covered and kept moist and dark. The byproducts of this process enrich and feed the soil under it in some very interesting ways.
A few years ago a four day course on soil ecology was held at Oregon State University. This course was attended by one of the Interbay site coordinators and the idea of Interbay Mulch occured to him while driving back to Seattle.
The OSU microarthropod expert, Dr. Andy Moldenke, said in his presentation that 90% of all soil organisms live in the top inch of the soil. Dr. Elaine Ingham of SoilFoodweb then said in her presentation that plant health and productivity depends on that biological activity in the soil. These two bits of information inspired the concept of using a burlap “cover” to create a deep,dark,and damp “litter layer”.
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