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Allan Savory and Steve Solomon  RSS feed

 
Jose Reymondez
Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
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Not sure where to post this, relocate if necessary.

If you're familiar with holistic management, http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change.html?source=facebook#.UfeDsGOIbm4.facebook it mentions the importance of having livestock eat and digest pasture during a dry period so that it can incorporate in to the soil and feed the next generation of pasture when the rains begin.

However, after reading The Intelligent Gardener by Steve Solomon he talks about how he would ideally have gardens. He would have multiple plots for gardens, say 6 or 8, use one at a time as a garden for a year or two. For the plots that are lying fallow he would sow different grasses and green manures and mow them each year for a few years until they are once again ready. He says he wouldn't have animals graze them because the animals would deplete the soils of minerals because two/thirds of the minerals they ate would remain in their bodies. Solomon emphasizes having the right abundance of minerals in a soil in order to have nutrient-rich food.

I'm planting a forest garden, rather than growing a traditional garden, and while the trees and shrubs grow, I wanted to manage the ground in between them with movable paddocks and different livestock. After reading The Intelligent Gardener, I'm very interested in mineral soil amendments in order to have a nutrient-dense forest garden.

I guess what I am asking for is how can I best manage and improve the soil in between the trees (I already plan on deep ripping for compaction). Should I go the Allan Savory route and graze or take Solomon's advice and mow? I want to to have a good humus that will hold water and I also want the correct abundance of minerals in the soil.

I live in a place with a very, very rainy period from Oct/Nov until Apr/May and a pretty dry summer. Mild winters, minimal frosts.

Reading these two men, I'm not sure whether to mow or graze green manures and short-term species that I would grow in between the trees as the forest garden develops.

I'm new to all of this so I may be misinterpreting the practices I have learned from the works of these two men.

Thanks!
 
Adam Klaus
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gardener
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Great question. Solomon and Savory are definitely two of my guides, so reconciling their differences is quite interesting. Here are my humble thoughts-

I agree with Solomon that animals are going to remove a lot of minerals from the soil. The benefit to animals is that they are going to add a lot of microbiology.
Savory is talking more about increasing soil biology and plant productivity, not soil mineralization directly.

What I have done, is to use the best of both worlds. Using animals to increase soil microbiology. And using soil testing and mineral fertilizer to increase soil mineral levels.
Small additions of biodynamic compost help both of these processes, as the microbes in the BD compost help to make unavailable soil minerals become biologically available. So that is, to me, the third part of the equation.

 
Jose Reymondez
Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
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That helps a lot, after years of overgrazing and sowing corn, I need both methods and didn't want to be in an either/or situation.

Any suggestions on looking in to biodynamic compost Adam?

-Jose
 
Adam Klaus
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Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Jose Reymondez wrote:
Any suggestions on looking in to biodynamic compost Adam?


To learn more about how and why it is so effective, I would get the book 'Soil Fertility' by E. Pfeifer.

I dont know of European sources for BD Preps, as they are called. Here in the US, I get my stuff from JPI (Josephine Porter Institute). Sorry I cant be of better help, hopefully some Euro members here can chime in. What you want are the set of 'Preps', BD 502-507 specifically. These go in your compost pile and add another level of specific microbial innoculants. The shortcut route, which works excellently as well, is to use a finished product, like the Pfeifer Field Spray, both of which are available through JPI, and should be in Europe too. Pfeifer was American, so might not be as well represented in Europe, but a German woman named Maria Thun has her own spray product that is well regarded and may be easier for you to locate.

Good luck-
Adam
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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In the first half of the 20th century, there were numerous research studies on soil fertility.
Most of those studies point towards animal inputs as being fundamentally important to the growth of vegetation.

It has been suggested that some of the mycorrhizal fungi are actually carnivores; Mother Nature's 'inverters'.
They take the animal wastes, and convert them into forms of nutrients that the plants can utilize.

While synthetic fertilizers tend to kill off the soil food web, the natural animal wastes actually increase this food web.
Without the animal manures, soils gradually lose their capacity to feed the flora.

Many of the books written by these researchers are available as free downloads from The Soil & Health Library

In particular, look for the works of Sir Albert Howard, Lady Eve Balfour, and William Albrecht.
 
Leon Elt
Posts: 42
Location: Central FL
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> because the animals would deplete the soils of minerals because two/thirds of the minerals they ate would remain in their bodies.

Animals need minerals just as much as plants and if you're removing their bodies from the pasture you must import minerals. This is usually done by allowing animals to have free choice mineral supplements and in this scenario not only the animals do not deplete pasture - they're actually spread extra minerals on the pasture in their urine and manure.

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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Just so you know When you eat food out of the system and let's say flush it in your waste and You just took minerals out that are now in your body.

In the situation above you could always just eat the animals, and do composting toilets. Add the compost to the paddock that your food was just in. That way by the time it comes back to garden it's been years. It would be a pretty complete mineral cycle.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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