"The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it, we can have no life."
For the past 6 years I have studied soil health in person under Dr. Elaine Ingham, Nicole Masters, & Jay Fuher. I have watched hundreds of videos & read several books on soil health. I have spent thousands of dollars on courses and hundreds of dollars on laboratory soil tests. Much of this information was too complex for a farmer to action, or in complete contradiction with other experts or my own experience. Below is my summation of the simplest and most useful information I have found thus far.
Healthy soil needs 4 things:
These four components are identical to our own human basic needs and their level of importance is hierarchical. Consider how long could you go without each of them? Months without shelter, weeks without food, days without water and only minutes without air. Soil is essentially the same. The 15 "indicator" tests above all provide insights about which of these needs isn't being met for your soil.
Once you have diagnosed which of the needs of the soil is your limiting factor you can create a design based on one of the soil health principles below to help address this weak link.
5 Soil Health Principles:
1. Optimize Disturbance
2. Cover the soil
3. Maintain a living root in the ground as long as possible
4. Synergize with a diversity of flora
5. Synergize with a diversity of fauna
this video walks though all 15 Tests
This all seems simple, but it has been profoundly helpful in our gardens, cropland, pastures and food forests. I hope it helps you on your journey as well. Let me now below if it does.
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