Friday, September 07, 2012

Living Earth

"Eating is an agricultural act"
-Wendell Berry

I love compost. It is the most essential and basic of all natural life processes. It is beautiful, easy and efficient. The small pile above, in which my fork is stuck down deep, was made in only a few months. The carbon material, mixing with water air and nutrients, has broken down into a dark friable and highly fertile mix that anything will grow like mad in. Great stuff. Most of the material has been sourced from the local wineries on the island, and is quite acidic, so I always make sure to add plenty of lime. Great for compost tea, which the plants respond to quickly

The compost I have made in between rows in the vineyard (left) is called green manure, or cover cropping, and works essentially the same way, only on a larger scale. Seeded in the fall, a mix of grasses and legumes are now in full bloom and will be turned under this week. With some added bacteria and fungi, the process will take place over the 6 acres in the ground, just as it has for ages, as nature designed. I am just facilitating the process. with enzymes and bacteria that helps ensure the biological activity is complete. This enables the soil to use the additional organic matter in holding water better, allows nutrients to become available through electromagnetic and chemical reactions going on all the time. It is a dynamic situation, always changing and always teeming with life. This life in the soil is essential for life in our food.

"Soil is alive. It more than simply supports life. Living soil is healthy and healthful. It allows for the growth and development of healthy, healthful plants - plants that fulfill the nutritional needs of animals and people. Dead soil is dirt. It does not produce healthy animals and people. It does not produce healthy vegetation. It erodes. It compacts. It clods. It no longer carries an adequate electromagnetic charge".

-Dr. Arden B. Andersen
Life and Energy in Agriculture

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