This was a longer chapter. I would just like to thank everyone who is participating. I have been following along and really enjoy reading other peoples post. This is my second time reading the manual and the first time was almost overwhelming. I am a very quick reader but this book is so content rich that I have to slow down to take it all in.
This chapter on soils was really interesting. I believe soils are so important to an agricultural system, it is as important to build soil as much as a yield. Soil is so interesting and I believe that even without an education one can identify good soil. A handful of sand or clay compared to a handful of forest soil, it is so easy to see how incredible forest soils are.
Where I live soils have a high clay content. (mountain foothills, Zone 3-4, Alberta, Canada) It amazes me how heavy these soils can be. I am constantly looking for beautiful organic filed soils, and am trying to build them where ever I work. It amazes me how the soil will change by simply covering clay soils with organic mulches. Months after applying a mulch I pull it back and see black soils often full of earth worms. Forests here always have such great soils though, dark, crumbly, full of organic content and bugs and worms.
Like many places we see lots of compacted soils. I liked seeing Million talk about yeoman techniques. I am very interested in how it ads gases to the soils. Aeration helps lawns so observation shows how this can help on smaller scales.
What excites me most is how you can see many techniques used in permaculture that heal and build soils. With all of the loss of great old soils, these techniques need to be promoted. Techniques like, composting, mulching, land works like swales and other contours, chisel ploughing (Yeoman), cell grazing, and cover cropping. There are just so many amazing opportunities to make soils better. I find it so exciting and this chapter really shines the light on this important part of agriculture and life.
I hope this helps the discussion.