A good little video showing different aspects that affect how well a soil manages the water that falls on it, will it run off or move down into the soil. Will it have a negative impact with run off and flooding or will it have a positive impact on plants and aquifers.
Altough only an introduction it touches on things such as soil compaction, drainage, leaching, capillary action in unsaturated soils, gravity as the dominant force that moves water downward in saturated soils. The soils texture and structure, platy, prismatic, columnar, granular, and blocky soils. Percolation rates and pore sizes etc
“Bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, earthworms, and what lies between—a healthy ecosystem underfoot is key to the vigor of life above ground. A leader in soil microbiology and author of the USDA’s Soil Biology Primer, Dr. Elaine Ingham will detail the complex interactions within the soil that make clean water, clean air, and life for higher creatures possible. Learn to foster and sustain the proper balance of soil organisms, and hear how compost tea can stimulate plant productivity and stave off disease. Dr. Ingham is also the founder of Soil Foodweb, Inc. and the former chief scientist for the Rodale Institute.”
I found this to be an excellent and completely fascinating introduction to the soil food web, I’d highly recomend it. This comes in 5 parts and is around 3 hours long in total, I know I’ll be listening to this one more than once thats for sure, check it out and be prepared to learn a lot from this fasinating woman.
PART 2: https://vimeo.com/90902847
PART 3: https://vimeo.com/90908150
PART 4: https://vimeo.com/90913699
PART 5: https://vimeo.com/90913700
Keyhole Gardens are a type of garden bed that allows food to be grown into the dry season (in African countries) and in dry climates. The plants/beds are fed/watered through a central basket which contains compost, manure, woodash, kitchen scaps etc and grey water. They survive floods as they are raised off the ground and work good in very hot weather as they retain moisture well.
If you like you can donate a “Keyhole Garden” which will basically help train more people in how to make them over in Africa: http://www.sendacowgifts.org.uk/build-a-keyhole-garden
I was again blown away hearing yet another talk from Paul, this time speaking at the Bioneers conference in 2003, in Australia. Paul starts talking at 6 minutes 30 seconds but the introduction is worth listening to though if you have the time.
Paul discusses a huge range of topics surrounding the benefits of Fungi/Mushrooms. The solutions to a huge range of problems is literally under our feet. He’s discovered many new species of fungi/mushrooms and is an advocate for saving the “old growth forest” for as he sayings “as a matter of national security”, they are still countless fungi to be discovered and we can only really dream of what benefits they could also have for humans and the biosphere as a whole. He says that we are closer to fungi than we are to plants due to things such as that fungi take in oxygen and put out carbon dioxide, same as us. He believes that fungi are intelligent and we need to team up with them to solve the problems we face using things such as bioremediation, curing diseases, natural pest control, natural hygiene and many, many more!
There’s so many things to mention but are few are:
Used to carry fire for first humans
First clinical trials with mushrooms in america
Using mushrooms as a potential cure for aids
Internets setup the same as fungi networks
Using fungi to breakdown oil spills and soil contamination
Regarding finding worlds first cure for ecoli
The advantages of burlap sacks as best to establish fungi
… and so much more!
Another talk from the same conferene by Paul, talking more in depth on some of the subjects above:
Learn more: http://www.fungi.com
Check out my favorite episode of the “Grand Designs” program. This one covers a family building an earth ship inspired home in the south of France in a place called Brittany. It runs through all the stages of building the home and then goes back and revisits it a year later to see how everythings worked out for them.
A realistic example of what is achievable if you’ve got the money to build a home, meaning an “eco friendly carbon neutral home one is definitely a viable option. It also explores the limitations you might encounter if you try and build a home like this in England, it’s almost impossible for most due to planning regulations. Wales on the other hand are very open to the idea of sustainable homes. Hopefully things will change sooner rather than later.
Who doesn’t want a home that has no utility bills and even earns you a small profit everyday?
For more information: http://www.groundhouse.com/
Check out this excellent talk by respected soil biologist Dr Elaine Ingham who was the keynote speaker at the Oxford Real Farming Conference (in England).
Discover what is going on down there in the life of the soil? Who is eating who? Who is releasing and who is locking up nutrients? How can you put these organisms to work and reduce your own workload?