Tuesday, 17 November 2015

How To Set A Stage for Growing Your Crop Rather Than Weeds? Why Nutrient Cycling Is Important?

Hello! How do you set a stage for growing your intended crop rather than weeds?  Why nutrient cycling is important when we are growing food? 

Weeds love bacteria dominated soils.  What can we reduce weed growth in the soil? Organisms in the soil set a stage for different plants to grow.  Which stage of succession are your intended plants coming from?

It's incredible how these little critters, micro-organisms, have such an important part of our ecosystems. 

Do you know that the most rapid rates of decomposition is under a blanket of snow...I didn't.  What is nutrient cycling?  Why nutrient cycling is important in the soil and growing plants?

Find out all the answers and more in this next videos from Living Web Farms by Dr. Elaine Ingham, where she goes through the secrets of soil life.

I don't know about you, but some stage I have felt like I was only growing weeds.  Then everything started come together after educating myself and taking action (a knowledge without action is wasted).
I am sooo excited and grateful to learn more everyday - hope you feel the same....:-)

Enjoy the videos and happy gardening!


Monday, 28 September 2015

Why Do We Rotate Crops - Do We Really Need to Do That? Why Weeds Are Happily Growing Instead of Our Crop?

Hello!  Why do we rotate vegetable crops? What does it mean and do we really need to rotate crops? Why weeds are happily growing instead of our crop?

Why do we need life in the soil?  Did you know that there is millions of microorganisms in the teaspoon of a good compost!  I find it incredibly exciting.  So, what are these millions of tiny organisms doing in our soil?  Nature has a specific job for them.

Every organic vegetable grower I have spoken with, rotate their vegetable crops. What is a crop rotation?  It's about rotating different plant families annually in the vegetable garden beds.

Why do we do that? Do we really need to rotate our crops?

How to build a right soil structure?  Who actually builds structure of a soil?

Yup!  So many questions.  To follow last two videos - here are the next two videos from livingwebfarms by Dr. Elaine Ingham where she will answer all those questions and more...Enjoy!

Heli Iso-Aho

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Why Do We Buy Fertilisers to Grow Plants if There is More Than Enough of Nutrients and Minerals Already in Our Soils?

Hello!  Why do we buy fertilisers to grow plants if there is more than enough nutrients and minerals already in our soils?

I remember when I was a kid, we grew some of our food and ornamental plants in our backyard and in the community garden plot.  All food we grew, we ate in the short period of time or we made preserves.  Nothing got wasted.  Any garden or organic 'waste' we composted and the compost was the 'fertiliser' we used in the garden to grow plants.  We never bought fertilisers.

What is a fertiliser?  It's a chemical or natural substance added to a soil to increase its fertility.

Soils is the topic that gets me excited - that's probably why I used to play in the mud a lot as a kid :-) I had so many questions in my mind about soils that I decided to research the topic.

What is a Soil?  Why is it that we buy inorganic or organic fertilisers to grow our plants?  Do we actually need these fertilisers?  What is it that we actually need to do to retain fertility and water in our soils?

Are the fertilisers only 'a band aid' for a short time gain?  What happens in the soil when we use these fertilisers?

What is it that our soils actually are lacking of and why? Why are we running out of clean water and topsoil?  What is happening in our fresh water? 

After researching a bit I found these videos below from Living Web Farms titled with Life in the Soil with Dr. Elaine Ingham  and Life in the Soil with Dr. Elaine Ingham - Soil Food Web  - Dr. Elaine Ingham is a microbiologist from www.soilfoodweb.com .

Oh boy, did she blew me away with her knowledge - and even she has an academic background - with her easy to understand language.

Wow, now more than ever...I really love my compost with those millions of hard working beneficial microbes which are such a crucial part of turning nutrients available to my plants.

My plants are feeding 'cakes & cookies' (exudates) to beneficial microbes in the root zone and return microbes are releasing soluable (available form) nutrients to my plants - to me that sounds like a perfect relationship.  Thank you Dr. Ingham for sharing your knowledge :-)

Hope you enjoy these videos as much I did :-)

Heli Iso-Aho

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) - The Start Of the Rest Of My Life

Wow! It's done. I have finished my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course with Geoff Lawton and ready for the start of the rest of my life.  The whole learning experience was incredible and sometimes overwhelming.

At nights I couldn't stop thinking about the topics we went through earlier that day and in the mornings as I woke up I continued my thoughts from the night before....crazy feeling :-)

Now being back at home and driving around the neighbourhood, I am looking at landscapes around the country side and start to think about rain water harvesting, dam sites with connecting swales on contour.  Looking at suitable spots for a house with a possibility of an access road on contour and so on....before the course I never saw the possibilities that were right there...

Anyway, if you are interested in permaculture this video may interest you. It's a video from Happy Dancing Turtle where Geoff Lawton gives a talk on Urban Agriculture.  Enjoy!


Heli Iso-Aho