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George with belated name dropping.
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peaceful_life



Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 544

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:28 pm    Post subject: George with belated name dropping. Reply with quote

'Almost all other issues are superficial by comparison to soil loss. So why don’t we talk about it?'



'Imagine a wonderful world, a planet on which there was no threat of climate breakdown, no loss of freshwater, no antibiotic resistance, no obesity crisis, no terrorism, no war. Surely, then, we would be out of major danger? Sorry. Even if everything else were miraculously fixed, we’re knackered if we don’t address an issue considered so marginal and irrelevant that you can go for months without seeing it in a newspaper'




'Even better are some of the methods that fall under the heading of permaculture, that means working with complex natural systems, rather than seeking to simplify or replace them. Pioneers like Sepp Holzer and Geoff Lawton have achieved remarkable yields of fruit and vegetables in places that seemed unfarmable: 1100m above sea level in the Austrian Alps, for example, or in the salt-shrivelled Jordanian desert. But, though every year the Westminster government spends £450m on research and development for agriculture – much of it on techniques that wreck our soils – there is not one mention of permaculture either on the websites of the two major funding bodies (NERC and BBSRC) or anywhere in the government’s entire web presence'


http://www.monbiot.com/2015/03/25/3703/
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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Location: way out west

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George wrote:
soil in allotments – the small patches in towns and cities that people cultivate by hand – contains a third more organic carbon than agricultural soil and 25% more nitrogen. This is one of the reasons why allotment holders produce between four and 11 times more food per hectare than do farmers.


There you go. We (meaning most on this board) knew something like that already. The compost we (personally) create is superb. The talk posted by p_l, by Elaine Ingham, confirms all we thought.

And the Deregulation Bill he mentions; combined with the Infrastructure Bill, the Tories are banking on not winning the next election! They're creating a pro-corporate mess of legislation that few of their successors would be willing to repeal.

Cameron and his fellow fascists have to go - but their successors will be no better. Britain will be stuck with these mini-TTIP clauses and then the TTIP on top of them. Shocked
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The human appears to have no idea what its ideal diet should be; has self-inflicted diet-related diseases; causes extensive environmental destruction through basic food production & creates pathogenic infestations that widely infect its food supply.
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kenneal - lagger
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nearly all politicians and political parties are the same, all bought lock, stock and barrel by the corporations. They might not start that way on first being elected but they soon end up as bent as the rest.

Read The Prostitute State by Donnachadh McCarthy.. Possibly the best £12 you could spend at the moment but be prepared to get very cross indeed.
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biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:


Read The Prostitute State by Donnachadh McCarthy.. Possibly the best £12 you could spend at the moment but be prepared to get very cross indeed.


An excellent sequel to The Prostitute State is Caroline Lucas's 'Honourable Friends?', published a couple of weeks ago. It's a great account of her experiences in the utterly bonkers and often corrupt would of Parliament. It very much continues the theme set in Donnachadh McCarthy's book.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:16 pm    Post subject: Re: George with belated name dropping. Reply with quote

peaceful_life wrote:
'Almost all other issues are superficial by comparison to soil loss. So why don’t we talk about it?'




OK lets talk about it.
Suppose you or I had an acre that we wanted to improve the soil quality of to the optimum condition for sustainable food production. What would be the goals we should be looking for? PH of 6, carbon content of ? presence of earth worms and fungi? How do you define when you have got the job done and it is time to move on to the next acre?
I'm interested as I have some fallow acres and some equipment and a lot of time if not too much money and would like to experiment with bringing some land up to the best possible condition without going too far on any one criteria or wasting any time or money.
If you can't see the target clearly it is hard to hit it.
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Mr. Fox



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VTS, I'm not sure if you've come across a guy named Wendell Berry... what you wrote above made me think of him - I think you might like him. Smile

Regarding healthy soil: I'm still digesting a really informative lecture by Soil microbiologist Dr Elaine Ingham that p_l posted the other day. It's an hour and a half, so pick a good time - the slides are available, too.

Be warned: You will spend the next 3 hours looking at microscopes on ebay. Wink
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peaceful_life



Joined: 21 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:54 am    Post subject: Re: George with belated name dropping. Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
peaceful_life wrote:
'Almost all other issues are superficial by comparison to soil loss. So why don’t we talk about it?'




OK lets talk about it.
Suppose you or I had an acre that we wanted to improve the soil quality of to the optimum condition for sustainable food production. What would be the goals we should be looking for? PH of 6, carbon content of ? presence of earth worms and fungi? How do you define when you have got the job done and it is time to move on to the next acre?
I'm interested as I have some fallow acres and some equipment and a lot of time if not too much money and would like to experiment with bringing some land up to the best possible condition without going too far on any one criteria or wasting any time or money.
If you can't see the target clearly it is hard to hit it.



What you're looking for is the content/amount of microbial activity, or..balanced variations of life forms, if your fields have gone to fallow then it's already going into repair, that's provided that they're not suffering from external toxin leaching, run-off or airborne infection, but even still...fallow is a better state than most.

Spend some time reading the 'FAQ's' and exploring the rest of the site. You'll see that Elaine will do site visit demos for $3000 a day, sounds like a lot of money, but not when you consider the vast amounts of regular inputs/$'s that can be taken out of a farmers annual outgoings, an increasing number of farmers are being saved from bankruptcy simply by repairing their land, which then takes them into profit.
http://www.soilfoodweb.com/FAQ.html

What you could do is arrange a site demo and run it as a teaching/workshop day for other farmers, pro horticulturists, gardeners, land-workers, educators and any interested folk really, obviously the more people you get then the cheaper it becomes for the individual/group, you'll end up with some serious education and practical advice and who knows...maybe even a new network of contacts. It's just a suggestion.

Ben, is in your state, if that's where you actually are, and is now very advanced in his practices and insights, you could always sound him out and maybe pay a visit to something more 'together' in it's demonstrable form.
http://www.wholesystemsdesign.com/permaculture-design-course/


These guys might also be worth contacting, as they're also relatively close by.
http://www.compostingvermont.org/soil.htm

Approach it with an open mind and whether your motivation is an ecological one, or a financial one, you'll still reach the same point.

Hope this helps.
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peaceful_life



Joined: 21 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Fox wrote:
VTS, I'm not sure if you've come across a guy named Wendell Berry... what you wrote above made me think of him - I think you might like him. Smile

Regarding healthy soil: I'm still digesting a really informative lecture by Soil microbiologist Dr Elaine Ingham that p_l posted the other day. It's an hour and a half, so pick a good time - the slides are available, too.

Be warned: You will spend the next 3 hours looking at microscopes on ebay. Wink


Did you buy one?

This is the suggestion...
http://www.soilfoodweb.com/Microscopes.html
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 4211
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peaceful_life wrote:
Mr. Fox wrote:
VTS, I'm not sure if you've come across a guy named Wendell Berry... what you wrote above made me think of him - I think you might like him. Smile

Regarding healthy soil: I'm still digesting a really informative lecture by Soil microbiologist Dr Elaine Ingham that p_l posted the other day. It's an hour and a half, so pick a good time - the slides are available, too.

Be warned: You will spend the next 3 hours looking at microscopes on ebay. Wink


Did you buy one?

This is the suggestion...
http://www.soilfoodweb.com/Microscopes.html
I haven't had time to read to link yet so haven't been driven to E-bay. Wink . I have two medical researchers in the family so I'm sure there is a good microscope around here somewhere or in one of their closets. Been a while sense I saw it last but I know we " Had to Have" one at one time.
If I had $3000 to spend I'd use it on a better soil rest DODGY, high mag lime and green manure seed and tillage fuel. Information should be free or cheap in the internet age it's the actual materials and work that cost time and money.
Thanks everyone for the links and responses.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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Location: way out west

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ingram's contention is that you don't have to spend anything - except a little time - on your soil. All the necessary ingredients for growing food are there already. Watch the vid. She makes sense and you may do well to get in contact with her if you've any questions or arguments.
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peaceful_life



Joined: 21 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
peaceful_life wrote:
Mr. Fox wrote:
VTS, I'm not sure if you've come across a guy named Wendell Berry... what you wrote above made me think of him - I think you might like him. Smile

Regarding healthy soil: I'm still digesting a really informative lecture by Soil microbiologist Dr Elaine Ingham that p_l posted the other day. It's an hour and a half, so pick a good time - the slides are available, too.

Be warned: You will spend the next 3 hours looking at microscopes on ebay. Wink



Did you buy one?

This is the suggestion...
http://www.soilfoodweb.com/Microscopes.html
I haven't had time to read to link yet so haven't been driven to E-bay. Wink . I have two medical researchers in the family so I'm sure there is a good microscope around here somewhere or in one of their closets. Been a while sense I saw it last but I know we " Had to Have" one at one time.
If I had $3000 to spend I'd use it on a better soil rest DODGY, high mag lime and green manure seed and tillage fuel. Information should be free or cheap in the internet age it's the actual materials and work that cost time and money.
Thanks everyone for the links and responses.



The information free and a good book is infinitely cheaper than bankruptcy.

No need to spend $3000 at all, the workshop suggestion was what you could do.

All the materials you need...you already have, you do a fraction of the work and the microbes do all the real work for you, the rest of the,
hypothetical $3000, you'd allocate, is neither needed nor sustainable, and therefore...not* viable.

Best to sort your hydrology out too, those water bills will be enough to put folk under, at least........for as long as it can be pumped and charged for
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having now watched the Ingham video I have to comment that for a PHD presentation they could do a lot better on the production. No need for a constant picture of the speaker when she is discussing a slide you need to be able to see the whole slide clearly and with a pointer you can see to direct your eye to the point being discussed.
I have my doubts one can obtain full disease and weed control through inoculation with compost. After all these weeds and diseases evolved in a world full of microbes and fungi.
The whole presentation would be much more convincing with before and after slides of field sections (not just little test plots) and with actual crop yield data and cost accounting.
After all the "MORE ON" farmers in Iowa are getting 150 bushels per acre doing it their way.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no need to irrigate as I normally receive adequate rainfall and presently there is three feet of snowpack on the ground that will soon soak in and be available for the planting season.
Spend nothing? How do you get your seeds in the ground and the grass plants that are the present cover to allow those seeds to get ahead?
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peaceful_life



Joined: 21 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
Having now watched the Ingham video I have to comment that for a PHD presentation they could do a lot better on the production. No need for a constant picture of the speaker when she is discussing a slide you need to be able to see the whole slide clearly and with a pointer you can see to direct your eye to the point being discussed.
I have my doubts one can obtain full disease and weed control through inoculation with compost. After all these weeds and diseases evolved in a world full of microbes and fungi.
The whole presentation would be much more convincing with before and after slides of field sections (not just little test plots) and with actual crop yield data and cost accounting.
After all the "MORE ON" farmers in Iowa are getting 150 bushels per acre doing it their way.


It's not meant to be a contender for the Oscars, it's an information conduit and other than folk being profoundly deaf...it conveys that information just fine.

She's not advocating disease and weed control via compost inoculation, she's explaining that inoculation will restore the 'dirt', which is where weeds and disease flourish as a response, to become healthy 'soil', which in turn builds it's own immunological defences via diversity. I'm not quite sure how you can doubt this approach, having never tried it.

The 'MORE-ON' farmers aren't doing it their way, they're doing it the conventional vested interest big-ag way and Elaine isn't advocating her way as an alternative, it's the ecological, evolutionary , natural, if you will, way, as per 4.5 (ish) billion years of perfected adaptation.

The 'MORE-ON' situation is a temporary 'dirty' self reinforcing situation, until the point where it either collapses...or cannot be synthetically continued, at which point they will then use less and the 'MORE-ONS' become 'USE-LESS' with no 'soil'..........and that's disregarding having to pay for any biospherical externalities.
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peaceful_life



Joined: 21 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
I have no need to irrigate as I normally receive adequate rainfall and presently there is three feet of snowpack on the ground that will soon soak in and be available for the planting season.
Spend nothing? How do you get your seeds in the ground and the grass plants that are the present cover to allow those seeds to get ahead?


Mind that, 'normally', assumption.

Am guessing 80% of the water from that snowpack will be lost due to compaction and run-off alone.

The land should be permanently hydrologically charged for years without depending on rainfall and enduring high temperature periods.

You glean seeds for future sewing (provided they don't self destruct to the tune of mission impossible), just like we've always done, that's as you morph to a perennial system.
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