Nitrogen: the Double-Edged Sword

Posted by & filed under Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Dutch clover cover crop between cabbage rows Nitrogen is a component of protein and DNA and as such, is essential to all living things. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, around 97% of the nitrogen supporting life on earth was fixed biologically. Over the last century, intensification of farming, coupled with a lack of understanding of… Read more »

The Secret Of El Dorado – Terra Preta

Posted by & filed under Compost, Deforestation, Fungi, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

In this documentary a legendary civilization thought to be too good to be true on the basis of the stories told by the Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana, is found to be a real part of history. We can separate fact from fiction here, in that the golden riverbanks the Spaniard told of were not… Read more »

Black Magic: The Secrets of Amazonian Fertility

Posted by & filed under Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation.

The great Amazon rainforest. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Bones. Charcoal. Ash. Blood. Feces. Food waste. Pottery shards. Before I began my journey into permaculture and regenerative ecology, if you asked me why someone would gather and bury these things together, I would have guessed at some kind of disgusting voodoo magic ritual. But for… Read more »

Mycelium Running: How Fungi Can Help Save the World

Posted by & filed under DVDs/Books, Fungi, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

by Paul Stamets. Review by Sher June. When research biologist Paul Stamets suggests fungi can help save the world, he is absolutely serious. In fact, he contends they can rescue it in several different ways. There are the medicines to be derived from fungi, probably more than we can yet imagine. Fungi for insect pest… Read more »

How to Increase the Rate of Biological Nitrogen Fixation

Posted by & filed under Compost, Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation.

This short article is a chapter from my book “Fertilizer for Free: How to make the most from Biological Nitrogen Fixation”. One important question permaculture designers should ask themselves: Is there anything you can do to increase the rate of biological nitrogen fixation? The benefits of having more nitrogen rich organic matter in the soil… Read more »

Low-Tech Natural Nursery Strategies (Washington, USA)

Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Nurseries & Propogation, Seeds, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Trees.

When most people think about nurseries and plant propagation, they conjure up rows and rows of black pots and the smell of moist palettes of artificial fertilizer. But there is no natural law which dictates this to be the only, or even a preferable way in which to propagate plants. While in-situ propagation from seed… Read more »

Soil Science Basics for Beginners

Posted by & filed under Compost, Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition.

by Aaron Jerad It’s dark. You are surrounded by giant flesh eating amoebas. You can’t move very fast…. Welcome to the world of the bacteria, the smallest but most abundant member of the soil food web. Often feared but essential, whether directly or indirectly, for the survival of almost all other living organisms on earth…. Read more »

Grow Food and Soil With A Food Forest

Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Urban Projects.

Soil before and after After ten years of learning from and collaborating with a mega-diverse, globally inspired, edible forest garden, new wonders are under foot. Paradise Lot, here in Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA, has a soil story to tell, and we are finally getting around to deciphering its wonders. Since 2004, each year we installed a… Read more »

Soil: The Hidden Frontier

Posted by & filed under Compost, Courses/Workshops, Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

Permaculturists everywhere are crazy about patterns. We are taught to “zen-out” so we can observe patterns in nature and society. But if patterns are the glue in permaculture, how do we begin to pick apart the patterns that we can’t even see with the naked eye? Enter world renowned soil biologist Dr. Elaine Ingham and… Read more »

Bioremediation of Industrial Pollution – Utilizing Fungi, Bacteria, and Plants to Reduce Oil Pollution in the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin and the World

Posted by & filed under Biological Cleaning, Fungi, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Natural resource exploitation affects almost every corner of the earth, and the extraction of crude oil is just one excessive example. However, when the most biodiverse region on Earth is forced to endure irresponsible drilling, the consequences are magnified. The Amazon Mycorenewal Project (AMP) is currently on the ground in Ecuador, witnessing this devastation first… Read more »