Soil, seeds and water means food. Lets protect our soils. The skin of the earth.

August 7, 2016

in Composting, Gardening For Wildlife, Nature, health and well being, Vegetables

Join the Soil Association and help protect the skin of our earth!

Some time ago I had the great pleasure of teaching school children in Liverpool about organic and wildlife gardening on an allotment site. Alas after a for a few short years the funding ran out! We grew healthy organic crops and learnt about pests and nature.  One year, by way of introducing worm composting to the pupils, in September, I had them peel, top and tail carrots, then munch on them! The peelings etc., were placed into a Waste Buster wormery, which has a large viewing window. We left the worms to do their magic. Come early April, we harvested the now worm compost, laid it on the soil surface and planted carrot seeds into it. Early summer the pupils harvested the carrots grown in soil that had itself once been a carrot! How cool a life lesson is that?

I am proud to be a Life Member of the Soil Association. I was proud to have been asked to give a presentation at our 2014 AGM. The members and staff are so active, dedicated, caring and knowledgeable about….. not birds, bees, or water voles, BUT soil. Yes that dark ‘floor’ we all walk on, take for granted and never think there is a whole world of life beneath our very feet!

Even the European Union recognises the importance of our soils. They published The European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity which is an absolutely fascinating glimpse into the remarkable yet hidden wildlife living in a hidden ecosystem, (because that is what it is!) which without doubt humans, wildlife and our food depend. Well worth downloading.

A while back I wrote an article called Organic mulches provide a roof over the factory of life- the soil. It combined two of my passions, wildlife gardening and composting. On soils it covered topics such as soil minerals, benefits of friable soils, microbes, (a whole new world under our feet!), soil hot spots, (rhizospheres) and benefits of mulching to gardeners and wildlife.

Impact of Fertilizers and Pesticides on Soil Microflora in Agriculture download here

Thanks to lucyizzzard.co.uk for making the film “From Potato to Planet’ for the Soil Association, please join, they do so much more than you think!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Hull August 10, 2016 at 10:06 pm

Hi George,
Whilst we are on the subject of soil I do organic gardening for people here in Forres part time and notice New Zealand flatworms which wipe out the earthworms are gradually spreading to new areas.

I collect and kill them when I can and always clean my boots and any tools carefully.Unfortunately few other people seem to care about them.

I’ve seen some websites say that devil’s coach horses are a good predator of them but haven’t found that stated in any what I would call very authoritative websites yet.Do you know if that has been proved or is it just a guess?

Cheers Steve.

Reply

nurturingnature August 11, 2016 at 9:13 pm

Hi Steve, I have read somewhere that some predatory ground beetles do eat them when there is little else. DCH would therefore be a good candidate! Cheers, George

Reply

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