A Soil Owner’s Manual: Restoring and Maintaining Soil Health, is about restoring the capacity of your soil to perform all the functions it was intended to perform. This book is not another fanciful guide on how to continuously manipulate and amend your soil to try and keep it productive. This book will change the way you think about and manage your soil. It may even change your life. If you are interested in solving the problem of dysfunctional soil and successfully addressing the symptoms of soil erosion, waterrunoff, nutrient deficiencies, compaction, soil crusting, weeds, insect pests, plant diseases, and water pollution, or simply wish to grow healthy vegetables in your family garden, then this book is for you. Soil health pioneer Jon Stika, describes in simple terms how you can bring your soil back to its full productive potential by understanding and applying the principles that built your soil in the first place. Understanding how the soil functions is critical to reducing the reliance on expensive inputs to maintain yields. Working with, instead of against, the processes that naturally govern the soil can increase profitability and restore the soil to health. Restoring soil health can proactively solve natural resource issues before regulations are imposed that will merely address the symptoms. This book will lead you through the basic biology and guiding principles that will allow you to assess and restore your soil. It is part of a movement currently underway in agriculture that is working to restore what has been lost. A Soil Owner’s Manual: Restoring and Maintaining Soil Health will give you the opportunity to be part of this movement. Restoring soil health is restoring hope in the future of agriculture, from large farm fields and pastures, down to your own vegetable or flower garden.
About the Author: Jon Stika draws on his lifelong experience with the soil as a farmer, dairyman, integrated pest management specialist, gardener, soil scientist, agronomist, cartographer, horticulturalist, and soil health instructor, to help you understand how the soil operates as a living system. He is the 2014 recipient of the Legacy of Conservation Award from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2014 United States Zero Till Non-Farmer of the Year Award winner from the Manitoba-North Dakota Zero Tillage Farmers Association, 2002 & 2014 Professional Award winner from the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts and 2006 Fellow Award winner from the Soil & Water Conservation Society for his work in writing and teaching about soil health.
This book was a delight to read. Short, at under 100 pages, but it is condensed with information. Of all the books on soil I've read, I think this one qualifies as the Cliff's Notes version of how to heal and nurture soil. It's technical enough but written so anyone can understand it. I highly recommend this book to anyone new to the world of soil health that wants to learn some easy to understand fundamentals on what needs to be done to improve their soil.
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht
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