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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Soils for Life! Compost and compost tea workshop MAy 20 to 22 inclusive.


Through photosynthesis, plants convert CO2 into sugars to power growth. 

Our planet Earth is perhaps named after the substance that all terrestrial life depends on, but that substance is being lost into the ocean at a rate of 75 billion tons per annum.
However a good soil doesn't readily blow or wash away, but then again it should never be ploughed and/ or exposed or it will loose microbes and therefore its quality. A quality soil  is dark and crumbly, full of the entire range of minerals in plant available form and in perfect balance. It has good tilth or structure which means air and water move in  deep and are available to the plant roots, which follow the ever deepening topsoil profile.When you learn that it is the activity of millions of tiny microscopic creatures (the members of the soil food web) that create healthy soil, and that they are killed by pesticides, clearing, ploughing and synthetic fertilizers, it is easy to understand why they are extinct over vast areas of farmland. Food plants are on artifical life support without their friends the microbes. Farmers  are left with disease, pests , weeds and mounting bills for poisonous inputs.  Acidification, aluminium toxicity and non wetting sands are the challenges faced in the wheat belt and many more areas are simialrly turning to desert. The biology's disappearance meanscarbon  has largely left the soil and entered the air. Deterioration in our climate and human health is the understated result . Good soil however produces healthy plants unaided by man, plants which naturally  resist pest attack and disease , and confer radiant health to the animals and people that eat them. The  resources of soil, oxygen,  precipitation and nourishing food are things  made by a diversity of plants in conjunction with a diversity of animals (from the microscopic to the large). "The Soil can Save Us " is the title of a brilliant book by Kirsten Ohlsen, but of course it is the ancient partnership between soil microbes, plants and animals which we need to foster to be saved.
 As
climate change , 6th  X  ( the sixth mass extinction event on Earth currently taking place  due to our use of toxins) peak oil , peak fish, peak phosphorus, peak everything approaches like a  perfect storm we now need to learn about soil. Knowledge of  biological systems, not  financial systems, is now required in earnest . After the oceans, the soil is the earth’s
largest carbon sink – but a plant pumps carbon from the air  into the ground ONLY WHEN it knows bacteria and fungi are there in the soil to trade with!
The activities of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, microarthropods , and all the macro life they support,  enable excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to be combined
with soil minerals and made into stable humus, which locks the carbon  away in soil for likely  thousands of years. Desperately climbing CO2 level in the air is mirrored by diminishing carbon in soil. This situation  has led to the greenhouse effect and global warming, and it is quite terrible as most farmers recognize. 
From the pioneering work of a few we see that  lush green food forests can grow where once there were  dusty deserts.  Auroville India, Portugal's Tamera community, the restoration of the Loes Plateau in China, re-vegetation of Rwanda and Nigere, Geoff Lawton's greening of the desert near the Dead Sea and Allan Savory's work in Africa are all wonderful examples of what can happen when man applies soil health  principles to the land. 

On our farm we inherited in places the worst possible non wetting sand and on the steep slopes clay with topsoil removed but slowly our whole farm is being transformed from dust to chocolate mud cake soil. Samples of our improved soil were praised by Dr Maarten Stapper at a March 2015 soil Restoration  conference in Boyup Brook with 85 farmers in attendance.  
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Why you should come to   Merri Bee Organic Farmacy 's
"Soil for Life " workshop:
This will be the distillation of all we've learned from Bill Mollison, Dr s Elaine Ingham, Maarten Stapper, Christine Jones, Walter Jehne and many more luminaries. We will draw also on our own discoveries  from  30 years of farming here in Nannup and many hours of looking down the microscope at soil. 
When I show groups the photos to the left of my friend Haydn who has used compost tea for a few more years than us, most people are dying to ask if Haydn  is a midget. I can assure you he is over 6 foot tall. His strawberry below is as big as a small apple.
 At our workshop lunch and drinks will be included in the price,  and will be just about fully organic  from our  farm.  We want you to taste the difference, feel the difference and leave  knowing  how to  make a difference on your farm or in your garden.



We promise   lots of hands on practical  activities and on farm examples of the soil health principals at work.
  We will focus on water harvesting and quality compost making , with the operative word being QUALITY.  Soils ain't soils, and compost can be mediocre or fantastic, it all depends on how you do it. 
 Learn all about compost tea.....taking a small amount of our quality compost and spreading the millions of beneficial life forms  over broad acres, plus explain the keys to keeping them alive and breeding.
You will  leave with a sample of fungal dominated  aerated compost  to inoculate your compost heap or worm farm. 

You will go home with our Nourishing Soil Manual which is jam packed with information: recipes and photos  of  everything covered , everything you need to do to improve your soil and  reap an ongoing  rich harvest. 
 Quality compost works! See the results of our corn experiment here

 Our ultimate goal is  to be reaching  broad acre farmers with this ecological, safe and cheap system of growing , so please spread the word as far  east as you can! Thanks to the South West Catchment Council NRM, farmers can receive a subsidy to attend . The  full price as follows:
The cost of this  catered 2.5 day intensive soil fertility course  is $314  . You may book by ringing Bee on 0897561408 ( night time best) whereupon bank details will be provided for a netbank transfer of registration cost  or by visting this page:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/soils-for-life-tickets-33881408204?aff=es2


Testimonials on our courses and produce can be found
here and here on our events page  where you can read what former students have said about this course.
We hope to see you at Soils For Life, May 20th  2017





Side by side trial.....The corn in front of Stew did not receive compost tea. The corn behind him did.

Please email  today and  register  to learn the powerful secrets of soil :  beewinfield@westnet.com.au 






2 comments:

  1. Now that I am paying attention on recycling materials for compost, I've started paying more attention to recycling other things as well. I regularly recycle plastic bags, clothing, old books and magazines, as well as metal, glass and plastics - and so on. I'm a greener person now - thanks to the mindset I got from composting.

    Organic Composting

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  2. Thats great to hear Senta, it's good to share a planet with you! Keep up your splendid efforts, thank you.

    ReplyDelete