I'm not a rancher! What can I do to rebuild soil?

Submitted by Ben Stallings on Fri, 02/12/2021 - 17:40

I've decided to release the 2018 print edition of my 2017 book, I'm Not a Rancher! What Can I Do to Rebuild Soil? into the Creative Commons at archive.org.

At just 34 pages plus endnotes, the book is a primer intended to address the frustration of home gardeners who have just learned that the best way to build soil is to intensively graze livestock on it. While that remains true, there are still plenty of things that can be done on the home scale!

Share and enjoy.

The Phosphorus Paradox with Dr. Christine Jones

Submitted by Ben Stallings on Thu, 12/10/2020 - 17:53

Dr. Christine Jones gave another mindblowing talk on Tuesday for the Green Cover Seed conference, this year via Zoom. Her topic was how phosphorus cycles in healthy and unhealthy soils, and why most farm soils already have more than enough phosphorus to last a century.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv288F4TXbo

Mixed Vegetable Polyculture Trials

Submitted by Ben Stallings on Sun, 03/29/2020 - 19:37

This 2015 study by Naomi Van der Velden mobilized citizen scientists from around the UK to compare the productivity of highly diverse garden beds to less diverse ones. The results suffer from small sample size (n=50 to start, but only 24 completed the trial): no statistically significant difference between the two groups. Participants felt that the more diverse plots were harder to tend and had more damage from pests and disease than the less diverse plots.

Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function: A Teacher's Manual

Submitted by Ben Stallings on Fri, 03/27/2020 - 13:53

This excellent textbook by Didi Pershouse is currently available as a 2017 reviewer's edition from the author's Web site. Once the book is published, it should be available at www.soilcarboncoalition.org/learn . In addition to theoretical lessons and discussion starters, it contains detailed instructions for hands-on demonstrations of soil water capacity (illustrated by a slice of bread vs.

Bringing Back the Soil with Elaine Ingham

Submitted by Ben Stallings on Sun, 03/22/2020 - 11:40

This PDF contains the slides from a webinar by Dr. Ingham. It details the history of agricultural soil mis/management, why we need to respect the soil food web, and how we can solve soil problems with appropriate compost and compost tea. It includes a case study of Governors Island, NY and ends with a sales pitch for Ingham's classes.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RXO4ZbNcNyOi8xG_lvM1T3wNte7-eaKV/view