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.
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.
The Restoration Collective is working on some exciting projects in north Tulsa, including a food forest, a net-positive building, and a permaculture tree nursery.
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.
This 18 page PDF from the Climate Reality Project is another great explanation of why soil ecology is important and how to foster it, at home, on the farm, and in government incentives.
https://www.climaterealityproject.org/sites/climaterealityproject.org/f… Health and Climate Change.pdf
This excellent 2016 article by Kristin Ohlson chronicles Gail Fuller's battle with federal crop insurance to allow him to grow cover crops for soil health.
This book from 1950, now handily available in PDF form, shows that even as post-WWII, industrial chemical agriculture was pushing the doctrine of monocultures and herbicides there were people saying the opposite, that weeds are necessary to soil and plant health.
Weeds: Guardians of the Soil by Joseph A. Cocannouer
This article from the December 2013 issue of Interdisciplinary Toxicology and archived by the National Institutes of Health makes the case that glyphosate herbicide applied to wheat could be the cause of the rise in celiac disease, non-celiac gluten intolerance, and intestinal infection. The mechanism is "leaky gut syndrome" combined with an imbalance of gut bacteria and enzyme depletion. The authors go on to suggest that glyphosate may be causing a variety of other disorders as well.
For years I've been demonstrating the UC Davis SoilWeb site as a way to get official USDA information about the soil in a particular location. At last night's class, one of the students pointed out that there's now a SoilWeb app for Android and iOS that will show the data for your current location -- but only for your current location.