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September 17, 2010

Celebrating Soil!

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My garden soil looks great this time of year. I just had visitors who commented on how rich it looks which pleased me immensely. It takes a lot of work to keep the soil friable and easy to work. I've put in fifty pounds of gypsum and plan to add fifty more. Then I'll start the ground cover so it can germinate and get some good growth before it freezes. What weeds havn't been pulled will be tilled under, but this year I've done a good job of keeping weeds out. The second self sowed row of cilantro is coming up nicely and the kale has geminated and is growing. The broccoli is putting out more "broccolini" than I can eat. I had to load up my visitors with it. And then there's the faithful corn and tomatoes, beans and peppers still pumping out vast amounts of ingredients for gazpacho, ratatoui, stirfry, grilling, and steaming.

And all of this is comes from the soil which I work so hard to maintain by adding compost and manures and tilling in green manures(which also includes the weeds I till under during the growing season). I was reading Organic Bytes and it had this quote from the book Vegetarian Myth

the living world is complex, and beholding it should leave us all aching with awe. So start with topsoil, the beginning place. Remember, one million creatures per tablespoon. It's alive, and it will protect itself if we stop assaulting it. It protects itself with perennial polycultures, with lots and lots of plants intertwining their roots, adding carbonaceous leaves, and working together with mycelium, bacteria, protozoa, making a new organism between them, the mycorrhiza that talks and nourishes and directs. "Defend the soil with your life, reader: there is no other organism that can touch the intelligence of what goes on beneath your feet. "So here are the questions you should ask, a new form of grace to say over your food. Does this food build or destroy topsoil? Does it use only ambient sun and rainfall, or does it require fossil soil, fossil fuel, fossil water, and drained wetlands, damaged rivers? Could you walk to where it grows, or does it come to you on a path slick with petroleum?"

Read More in: Fertilizer | Worms, Bugs & Gross Things

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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at September 17, 2010 8:50 AM
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