• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Dan Boone
gardeners:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
  • Mike Barkley

Research for increasing soil health in school gardens

 
Posts: 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This sounds great!  I am a CTE Teacher at a juvenile correction center and have a greenhouse and garden.  The kids are really invested in the garden.  I am teaching them how to make compost tea and am trying to learn and teach about soil health.  Other than Dr. Elaine Ingham, who do you recommend for researching about increasing soil health?
Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I split this off from Kaci Rae's "School Garden Curriculum" welcome thread. as it seemed to deserve it's own topic

 
Posts: 12
Location: Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada
1
forest garden food preservation
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Michael McKay wrote:This sounds great!  I am a CTE Teacher at a juvenile correction center and have a greenhouse and garden.  The kids are really invested in the garden.  I am teaching them how to make compost tea and am trying to learn and teach about soil health.  Other than Dr. Elaine Ingham, who do you recommend for researching about increasing soil health?



People will soon be getting the impression that this is my passion. I can't seem to shut up! Kaci Rae, thanks so much for putting your ideas together in a book. I look forward to reading and using it.

Michael, two other sources on soil health are Tom Bartels of GrowFoodWell.com and Kiss the Ground (https://kisstheground.com) -- maybe you could all take their "Soil Advocate" course together. Robert Kourik's work on roots is also fascinating and important.

Julie

 
pollinator
Posts: 187
Location: Golden Valley, AZ 86413
28
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Michael McKay wrote:This sounds great!  I am a CTE Teacher at a juvenile correction center and have a greenhouse and garden.  The kids are really invested in the garden.  I am teaching them how to make compost tea and am trying to learn and teach about soil health.  Other than Dr. Elaine Ingham, who do you recommend for researching about increasing soil health?



Your comment on developing soils health spurs me to present a link to some YouTube videos by Gabe Brown. Although his area of expertice is production agriculture, embedded in his lecture are some very important nuggets about how soil is "grown": I included a few of my notes from the videos.  All of these videos are worth viewing, although there is quite a bit of overlap. If any of your students are interested in farming, I would heartily recommend these videos. The pasture-based system ican be incorporated into the growing of vegetables, too. It is interesting to see that it is not actually necessary to plow or roto-till the soil to avoid weeds if the right selection of plants is used as your planting bed. Using this system requires that one spend some time getting to understand what each species does in a plant community, and then selecting your plant species, based on the soil resource that you intend to develop.

Gabe Brown
Sustainable Farming and Ranching in a Hotter, Drier Climate by Gabe Brown
https://youtu.be/O394wQ_vb3s

Grow things, for as long as possible, all year
Focus on Mycorrhizal fungi
Use the Haney Soil Test
The Haney test was developed by Rick Haney of United States Department of Agriculture-Ag Research Service in Temple, Texas. 

Sorry, I do not know of any labs in Africa, but perhaps the Solvita site will have that information:
https://solvita.com/soil/
https://agcrops.osu.edu/newsletter/corn-newsletter/2019-07/haney-test-soil-health
https://www.agriculture.com/crops/hey-soil-test-c-help-producers-maximize_135-ar44924


What is the Soil Resource you are trying to improve? Pasture-based agriculture adjusts the plant mix of the pasture, depending on what your goals are.

No Till
Mixed species cover crops
Integrate livestock

GFE 2016 - Gabe Brown "Cover Crops for Grazing"
https://youtu.be/tuwwfL2o9d4
Gabe Brown
Treating the Farm as an Ecosystem
Part One:
https://youtu.be/uUmIdq0D6-A
Part Two:
https://youtu.be/RARFGkX3HBI
Part Three:
https://youtu.be/QwoGCDdCzeU

The Grass-fed Exchange
www.grassfedexchange.com

What’s the biology in your soil? (How do you determine your biology?)
85-90% of plant nutrient acquisition is microbial mediated

Liquid Carbon Pathway (Dr Christine Jones)

Homework:
www.greencoverseed.com
Smartmix calculator
Midwest Cover Crop Council
SARE
REPUTABLE Seed suppliers (What are YOUR resource concerns?)

Regenerative agriculture is more than just growing cash crops or just raising grass-fed animals. Besides using the land as pasture, the land use is a part of an integrated agricultural system that actually stores carbon and water, while recycling the minerals in the soil. the reductionist process used by the usual economic analysis does not even count these valuable non-cash-producing yields.

Carbon is the primary driver for soil fertility AND soil moisture
Cover crops should be seeded as diverse polycultures
Monoculture cover crops are weak & detrimental to soil health
Fungi provide the nutritional and energy needs of all the plants
Armor the soil with crop residue an cover crops (bare soil is dead soil)
Land Grant Agricultural colleges do not yet teach these methods because those colleges have been “captured” by the producers of agricultural inputs, such as GMO seeds, and synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.

Growing Topsoil is a biological process
+ Photosynthesis
+ Translocation of atmospheric nitrogen and carbon into the plant roots and to the soil
+ Consumed by Microbes
+ Microbes feed the plants via their microbes
+ Plants feed the microbes with liquid carbon

Mycorrhizal fungi are the KING of humification (and N  & P availability)
Tillage destroys the pore spaces and the mycorrhizal fungi that form soil aggregates + no soil infiltration  = dead soil.
Aggregated soils look like black cottage cheese or chocolate cake
It’s not how much rainfall you get, it’s how much can infiltrate into your soils and be stored there by organic Matter!: This is Effective rainfall!

Sustainable Farming and Ranching in a Hotter, Drier Climate by Gabe Brown
https://youtu.be/O394wQ_vb3s

GFE 2016 - Gabe Brown "Cover Crops for Grazing"
https://youtu.be/O394wQ_vb3s

This contact infor is found at the end of one of the video. (You'll have to "Decode" the contact info)
Gabe Brown (Seven 01) 5Two7-557Three
E-mail: brownranch (at) bektel (dot) com
Paul Brown (7 zero 1) 52Seven-Five573
E-mail: paul_brown_24(at) hotmail (dot) com
Website: www.brownsranch.us
Another good website: www.grassfedexchange.com
 
author
Posts: 15
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Michael, I know we can all agree that soil is the heart of any healthy garden system! Currently. I am in a research-binge about carbon sequestration in soils, no-till methods, and increasing sustainable soil health. My current reading list includes: Weedless Gardening by Lee Reich, Climate-Wise Gardening by Reed and Stibolt, and The Food Forest Handbook by Darrell Frey. Some of the books have new info for me and some old info, but I always appreciate reminders! I also find Heide Hermary's Working with Nature to be deeply inspiring and I reference Fred Magdoff's Building Soils for Better Crops often to compare/illustrate different practices and attitudes about soil on large and small scales, with older students. I'm also looking forward to my copy of Eric Toensmeier's The Carbon Farming Solution to come into the mail.

Tamara, yes! Kindergarteners have been some of my best students! And the earlier they start learning in the garden, the more passionate, knowledgeable, and adventurous they are when they're older. Some of my favorite online resources include:
1) For seasonal and age-appropriate garden lessons, Life Lab always inspires me, as well as The Edible Schoolyard Project.
2) Mother Earth News, Deep Green Permaculture, and The Permaculture Research Institute also inspire me regularly
3) I often look at resources local to me, such as the Oregon State University Extension Office, my local Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Oregon Department of Education/Agriculture School Garden Resources
 
Blueberry pie is best when it is firm and you can hold in your hand. Smell it. And smell this tiny ad:
One million tiny ads for $25
https://permies.com/t/94684/million-tiny-ads
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!