We are now entering a period when survival is questionable. My regular readers know that I have predicted that the next Big Thing in America apart from the 2020 elections will be Nationwide Food Riots which could be followed by the systematic destruction of American cities. There is an alternative to starvation and violence. We could learn to garden. I have written a series of articles on gardening at my new blog- Grand Solar Minimum Gardening.
We learned the following from Dr Elaine Ingham who taught us what should be our first lesson in gardening which is soil biology.
One day a leaf on a branch 100 feet above the ground decides it needs more calcium so it sends a message down to the roots of the tree. Adjacent to the tree’s roots is a mycorrhizal fungi. It reads the chemical message request for calcium. The roots give the fungi sugars which the leaves had made from photosynthesis in exchange for the calcium. The trade for the calcium is completed and the mineral is sent back 100 feet ( a little more than 30 meters.)
The round trip takes 90 seconds. And that leaf could have ordered 40 other items using chemical messaging that are on the menu agreed to by the tree and soil biology. That menu includes magnesium which makes most of your plants 10,000 enzymes work. And Boron which plays a key role in cell wall formation and stability, maintenance of structural and functional integrity of biological membranes, movement of sugar or energy into growing parts of plants , and pollination and seed set.
Those fungi accomplish these trades trillions of times daily without either eyes or ears.
Before we begin to garden we need to step back and to appreciate what Nature has given us. Our approach must always be to first see what we can learn and how Nature designed this system to work.
We are looking for the very best compost. There are two types depending on the soil and the crops you are growing. Traditional compost is for most vegetable crops. You will need 300 lbs of carbon to 10 lbs of Nitrogen to 1 pound of Sulfur (for sulfur amino acids). Sulfur is the limiting factor.
Then there is fungal dominant compost designed for superior forage grasses and the growing of berries.
2/3rds of a Farm’s Organic Matter comes from decayed roots. It takes 8 weeks for fungi to digest your crop residue and roots. This OM plus soil biology greatly increases your land’s ability to absorb a heavy downpour. Floods destroy developed agriculture.
Both types of compost can be done using a Johnson Su Bioreactor that eliminates all that turning. Johnson and his wife Su are academics. They do not care that fungal dominant compost takes 2 years to complete. Not good for market gardeners. Speed the process up by using a starter soil biology from an existing bioreactor or use commercial products. One man sprayed small twigs cut to 3/8ths of an inch and leaves to produce fungal dominant compost in 6 weeks. A far cry from 2 years. This is an introductory video to making a bioreactor. (Video is at the source.)
Johnson recommends something I have never actually tried. He takes a 50 pound bag of seed. He takes some mature Bioreactor compost and mixes it with organic milk and molasses to make a better to coat for the seeds. This is his equivalent of an inoculant. My rookie mistake was in thinking that worms castings would be great for seeds. Not so. Seeds need water and soil biology to germinate. Worm castings are great for existing plants but not for seeds which are more like newborns.
There is a lot more material at the source including references and videos on Korean Natural Farming.
Small farms produce 70% of world output but only use 30% of inputs.
Tom Dykstra was in Africa and reported that locusts did not devour crops raised in the best soil with the best practices. Insects communicate on the infrared frequency. Ammonium is an infrared signal amplifier. Insects can see unhealthy plants a mile away.
Best practices dictate that the Nitrogen source is eaten by soil biology and turned into amino acids before being absorbed by the plant. The creator of this video on the Plant Health Pyramid teaches us how to increase photosynthesis 300%. And how to have healthy crops without pesticides, fungicides and herbicides.
Manganese is need by photosynthesis. Monsanto’s Roundup contains the carcinogen glyphosate. Glyphosate binds with manganese which would limit photosynthesis.
John Kemp’s video is at the source below.
I will be writing an article on Climate Battery Greenhouses soon enough.