Last month a marvellous opportunity presented itself. I spoke with a UK grower, who had just completed a trial. They were interested in how different soil treatments might impact growth of annual flowers. These might possibly be perennial, if it was a mild winter (though effectively they are treated as annuals). The grower had takenContinue reading “A Christmas puzzle. What might a microscope tell us?”
This year we have fewer autumn colours as so many drought-stressed trees in a bid for survival economised on their water use by dropping their leaves early without dressing themselves in the yellows, oranges and reds.But now, here in the UK, those with deep roots are putting on an end-of-season display, and we have hadContinue reading “Spore printing for mushroom identification”
For several weeks I wondered: What is it that I am seeing here?There were lots of little off-shoots of the single strands of mycelium, at fairly regular intervals. Someone had suggested the fungus started branching off in search for food, but this did not fit the pattern I saw. Branching fungal strands, hyphae, maintain theirContinue reading “A glimpse at the sex lives of fungi”
Niels Corfield’s blog post this week, Wet on top, dry underneath, shares how poor soil health, in particular, poor soil structure due to lacking soil biology, leads to floods, drought and reduced yields. It resonates what I am learning right now in Regen Academy’s module on Why we have water-stressed crops with 30 inches ofContinue reading “Flood and drought. Two sides of the same coin”
Should I take Dr. Elaine’s™ Soil Food Web Foundation Courses?
Well, that’s a question only you can answer. I can speak to:
Would I take the Dr. Elaine’s™ Soil Food Web Foundation Courses again?
If you want the short answer, yes, I would.
If you want to know a bit more critical detail, read on!
Last weekend I needed a good breeze of sea air, so went for a walk from Dover to Deal on the Kent coast. I’d been on this walk a while back, and recalled taking shelter from fierce winter winds under the canopy of one of the Holm oaks (Quercus ilex – an evergreen oak), somewhereContinue reading “AbraCadabra: Shingle to soil”
Two main messages caught my attention today: Water availablility and a significant reduction in the UK wheat harvest. Water availability The first, in my inbox: An invitation from John Kempf’s RegenAg Academy to a course on water availability in the soil, and how to improve it.It asked the excellent question, why some plants suffer droughtContinue reading “Hope, fear and skill building”
Compost Container I’ve used a number of composting techniques over the years, some typical garden cone composters, I tried a hotbin, and until recently I used 2 pallet compost bays, approx. 1.5m x 1.5m x 1.5m. However, I found these a bit too difficult to keep equally moist, and they were also not very wellContinue reading “Composting Equipment”
All the equipment here is what I use or have heard other students comment favourably on. Any student of the soil food web school will receive recommendations for equipment. Trouble is – these are focussed on the US, so here is what I and a couple of others found useful in a European context, particularlyContinue reading “Microscopy Equipment”
As more and more plants struggle under the influence of erratic weather and changing climate patterns, with prolonged and repeating droughts, I need to understand better, learn more, and become a facilitator of soil and plant health. In my quest to do this, I am keeping this blog as a diary and resource collection. AndContinue reading “Welcome!”