[permaculture] Double Dug

Permaculture The Earth strawboss at permaearth.org
Sun Dec 13 11:19:24 EST 2009


Thanks a bunch.  I have been pestered by family members because I don't
want anything for Christmas! I abhor accumulating a bunch of useless stuff
and now I have a great list to email to them all!  

Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow!

Kim Swearingen

On Sun, 13 Dec 2009 11:00:46 -0500, permaculture-request at lists.ibiblio.org
wrote:
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> Today's Topics:
> 
>    1. Re: Double-dug? (Lawrence F. London, Jr.)
>    2. Re: Permaculture-related blogs. (Nicollas)
>    3. Re: Double-dug? Gardening Handtool Sourcelist UPDATE
>       (Lawrence F. London, Jr.)
>    4. Re: Lupines and their uses. (Dieter Brand)
>    5. Re: Permaculture-related blogs. (Robert Waldrop)
>    6. Re: Lupines and their uses. (Lawrence F. London, Jr.)
>    7. Re: the gardener's shadow falls both ways (Lee Flier)
>    8. Re: arid soil building (Richard Wade)
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Message: 1
> Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 02:31:10 -0500
> From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Double-dug?
> To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <4B24983E.9010707 at bellsouth.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
> 
> Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:
>> Jeff wrote:
>>> Just curious, can someone give me an explanation or a how to on double
>>> digging a plot for biointensive plantings?
>>
>> The essence of it is that you invest a lot of effort and materials up
>> front, inverting the soil, fragmenting the crumb structure, with
>> associated temporary disruption of soil life and soil structure,
>> oxidation of organic matter and release of co2 through exposure of humus
>> to air. You remove much of the soil in the bed, add organic matter and
>> mineral based soil amendments to it, homogenize these materials then
>> return the amended, enriched soil mix to the bed. This is done in
> 
>> increments of one (typical short (42" to 48") English D-handled) digging
>> spade blade width wide and one spade blade length deep for the width of
> 
> One of these:
> 
> Wooden D-handled digging spade:
> 28" length for most people, 32" for tall people or get the long straight
> handled version, see below.
>
http://www.bulldogtools.co.uk/img/products/thumbnails/5610012820_500x263.jpg
> http://www.bulldogtools.co.uk/index.php?mod=3&id=7&rid=1
> Long straight handled version:
> http://www.bulldogtools.co.uk/index.php?mod=3&id=12&rid=1
> This is the big dog on the block when it comes to traditional English
> hand gardening tools; these were available at the beginning of the
> modern organic gardening and farming movement in the 1960's:
> Bulldog - Quality Garden, Contractor and Agricultural Tools
> Rollins Bulldog Tools
> "Bulldog Tools have been made at Clarington Forge in Wigan, England, for
> over 200 years. Generations of Farmers, Contractors and Professional
> Landscapers stand testimony to a quality of product upon which their
> livelihoods depend. The skill and craftsmanship that were the key to the
> company's success in those early days are still maintained and are
> available to this day."
> \|/
>   =
> /|\
> You will also need:
> 1) a D-handled garden spade (less angle between handle and blade)
> 2) a D-handled digging fork
> 3) a D-handled spade fork
> All of these can be seen at the Bulldog site
> 4) You will need an eye hoe, preferably the Japanese farmer hoe with
> short handle and a few other tools, available from Hida Tool:
> Hida Tool
> http://www.hidatool.com/shop/shop.html
> (this is the most useful eye hoe to get, the other is lighter in weight)
> Kusakichi Brand #524 Farmer Hoe
> item# 	blade length 	overall size 	price
> 	N-7524 	7inch x 5inch 	41inch 	$49.20
> This is an amazing tool, used to clean silt and OM from between beds to
> put back on beds - ridge making hoe - or move dirt or make beds
> Kusakichi Brand #553 Ridge Hoe
> item# 	blade length 	overall size 	price
> 	N-7553 	15inch x 6inch 	48inch 	$69.60
> Kusakichi Brand #531 Farmer Rake
> item# 	blade length 	overall size 	price
> 	N-7531 	8 5/8inch x 5 3/4inch 	41 1/4inch 	$59.00
> This is a three wide-tined hoe, great for weeding and tilthing,
> disturbs soil structure less.
> \|/
>   =
> /|\
> Sneeboer tools are excellent. Great if you can find a source for them in
> the USA. The tools to get from them are the variois sizes and
> configurations of their SEEDING RAKES; they are indispensible!
> They also have a great garden spade and an exceptional Dutch-style spade
> fork, a one of a kind tool, as are the seeding rakes (you will find it
> difficult to do without several sizes of this useful tool.
> SNEEBOER & ZN
> http://www.sneeboer.com/
> Products
> http://www.sneeboer.com/index2.php?page=19
> (an amazing array of quality tools)
> These are the seeding rakes:
> -The best seeding rakes for preparing a seedbed for new plantings are
> -the ones with 6 and 8 medium length tines - the others are less
> -useful for this aplication.
> Sloothark 4t
> 4 long tines & 185 cm length
> http://www.sneeboer.com/index2.php?page=19&articleID=114
> Klauw of Hark 8t
> 8 medium tines
> http://www.sneeboer.com/popup.htm?beheer/ass/img/org_product115-1.gif
> http://www.sneeboer.com/index2.php?page=19&articleID=115
> Klauw of Hark 6t
> 6 long tines
> Tuinhark 8t
> 8 medium tines, 167 cm overall length
> http://www.sneeboer.com/index2.php?page=19&articleID=117
> Tuinhark 6t
> http://www.sneeboer.com/beheer/ass/img/org_product118-1.jpg
> 6 medium tines   167 cm
> http://www.sneeboer.com/index2.php?page=19&articleID=118
> Tuinhark 5t
> http://www.sneeboer.com/beheer/ass/img/org_product119-2.jpg
> 5 long tines  167 cm. length
> http://www.sneeboer.com/index2.php?page=19&articleID=119
> Tuinhark 4t
> 4 long tines
> http://www.sneeboer.com/beheer/ass/img/org_product120-2.jpg
> http://www.sneeboer.com/beheer/ass/img/org_product120-1.jpg
> http://www.sneeboer.com/index2.php?page=19&articleID=120
> Fijnhark 10 t
> http://www.sneeboer.com/beheer/ass/img/org_product207-2.jpg
> 10 medium tines
> http://www.sneeboer.com/index2.php?page=19&articleID=207
> Amerikaanse Hark 10 t
> American style rake
> 10 medium tines
> http://www.sneeboer.com/beheer/ass/img/org_product208-2.jpg
> http://www.sneeboer.com/index2.php?page=19&articleID=208
> 
> http://www.sneeboerusa.com/
> Sneeboer USA
> c/o Cole Gardens
> 430 Loudon Road
> Concord, NH 03301
> phone 603-229-0655
> fax 603-229-0657
> doug at sneeboerusa.com
> 
> Garden Rake, 4 prongs, fine toothed
> http://www.sneeboerusa.com/Images/Large/6007.jpg
> http://www.sneeboerusa.com/Images/6007.jpg
> Width : 5.2 in (13 cm)
> Handle Length : 59 in. (150 cm)
> Price : $83.00
> Product Code : 6007
> 
> American Rake, 10 tined
> http://www.sneeboerusa.com/Images/Large/6070.jpg
> http://www.sneeboerusa.com/Images/6070.jpg
> Width : 12 X 3.1 in (42 X 8 cm)
> Handle Length : 66.9 in. (170 cm)
> Price : $118.00
> Product Code : 6070
> \|/
>   =
> ?|\
> http://www.the-organic-gardener.com/images/garden-tool-english-spade.jpg
>
http://www.vegetablegardener.com/assets/uploads/posts/2873/kg17-double-digging-01_lg.jpg
> http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/images/double-digging.jpg
>
http://hubpages.com/hub/HubMob-Topic-Of-The-Week-Green-Thumb-Hubbers-Landscaping--gardening-and-loving-your-yard_1
> http://shop.waycooltools.com/images/1192658156236-807030603.jpeg
> This company offers an amazing selection of good tools for biointensive
> gardeners and double diggers, much to choose from:
> WayCoolTools.com
> # P.O.Box 235
> White Hall, VA 22987
> # 877-353-7783
> # contact at waycooltools.com
> # 434-823-4600
> http://shop.waycooltools.com/category.sc?categoryId=3
> 
>> the bed (38-50" wide depending on the gardener's height).
>>
>> After this process is completed you need never again turn your soil,
>> except to a depth no greater than is necessary to control newly emerging
>> weeds, break crust and create a fine, loose seedbed. You now have
>> biointensive no-till, permanent raised beds.
>>
>> This technology has been around for centuries and it works.
>> There is a very big net gain for soil, its inhabitants and the
> environment.
>>
>> See John Jeavons books, Alan Chadwick's literature and lectures (links
>> on my website) and Aquatias' "Intensive Culture of Vegetables, French
>> System".
>>
>> Double  digging is as essential and indispensible to gardening anywhere
>> in the world, where the climate does not mandate other methods, as grain
>> is to bread.
>>
>> I'll work up a complete description of the method with variations next.
> 
> Here's more; this is good material from the BBC:
> 
> Gardening Guides
> Digging your garden
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/soil_digging1.shtml
> Double digging
> 
> Double digging is useful when drainage needs to be improved, or if the
> ground has not been previously cultivated. This is a time-consuming
> process but is worth the hard work and will result in good soil.
> 
>      * The soil is worked to a depth of two spades, rather than one, and
> it?s essential to keep the two layers of soil (subsoil and topsoil)
> separate. In order to do this, the lower half of the trench can be dug
> over in situ.
>      * Remove the soil from the upper and lower spits of the first
> trench and from the upper spit of the second, placing it aside on the
> ground in three separate, clearly marked piles.
>      * The soil can then be transferred from the lower spit of the
> second trench to the base of the first trench, and from the upper spit
> of the third trench to the top of the first. This ensures that the
> topsoil and subsoil remain separate.
>      * Continue digging trenches in the same way, until you reach the
> end of the bed where soil saved from the first trench can be used to
> fill the appropriate layers in the final trench.
> \|/
>   =
> /|\
> And this great blog article with extensive links on double digging
> using the Chadwick/Jeavons French Intensive biointensive method:
> Double Digging
> http://constructal.blogspot.com/2006/04/double-digging.html
> "In 2004 we also volunteered at the Center for Sustainability to help
> double dig some of their garden plots. Double digging is the first step
> in the bio-intensive gardening technique, which we were unfamiliar with.
> So I did a little bit of research on the technique and this year I am
> going to try it on our garden plot. This technique was developed by Alan
> Chadwick and furthered and promoted by John Jeavons of Ecology Action.
> It aims at maximizing the yield from the available area AND maintain the
> soil quality at the same time through sustainable organic methods of
> gardening. The center for sustainability has a very good webpage about
> this technique. Some other links I found are at the bottom of this post."
> Center For Sustainability http://www.engr.psu.edu/cfs/
> and there, on double digging:
> http://www.engr.psu.edu/cfs/projects/biointensive.aspx
> Ecology Action http://www.growbiointensive.org/biointensive/Ecology.html
> See also Bountiful Gardens http://www.bountifulgardens.org/
> Other links:
> http://constructal.blogspot.com/2006/04/double-digging.html#Links
> Biointensive Gardening Technique
> http://www.engr.psu.edu/cfs/projects/biointensive.aspx
> Bountiful Gardens
> http://www.bountifulgardens.org/growbiointensive.html
> Ecology Action Biointensive Gardening
> http://www.growbiointensive.org/biointensive/GROW-BIOINTENSIVE.html
> Books by John Jeavons
> http://www.growbiointensive.org/biointensive/book.html
> \|/
>   =
> /|\
> Soil Quality resources, webforum archives, materials from various lists:
> souscayrous' biological farming & permaculture collection
> Hazelip, Bonfils and more
> http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/souscayrous
> Soils In Biological Agriculture
>
http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/permaculture/mailarchives/discussion-threads/soil-quality/
> Remineralize the Earth
>
http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/orgfarm/remineralization/remineralization.selected-writings
> Additional Soil Quality Links and Literature
> http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/soil-links+lit.html
> Compost Tea, Soil Foodweb, Soil Quality Discussion:
> Archive 1
>
http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/SoilWiki/message-archives/composttea+soilfoodweb+soilquality/1/maillist.html
> Archive 2
>
http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/SoilWiki/message-archives/composttea+soilfoodweb+soilquality/2/maillist.html
> Archive 3
>
http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/SoilWiki/message-archives/composttea+soilfoodweb+soilquality/3/maillist.html
> Archive 4
>
http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/SoilWiki/message-archives/composttea+soilfoodweb+soilquality/4/maillist.html
> Archive 5
>
http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/SoilWiki/message-archives/composttea+soilfoodweb+soilquality/5/maillist.html
> \|/
>   =
> /|\
> Gardening Hand Tool Sourcelist
> (needs revising)
> http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/documents/gardening-hand-tools.faq
> Soil and Health Library
> http://www.soilandhealth.org/index.html
> \|/
>   =
> /|\
> Glomalin: Hiding Place for a Third of the World's Stored Soil Carbon
> http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/sep02/soil0902.htm
> 
> Glomalin, extracted from
> undisturbed Nebraska soil and
> then freeze-dried.
> (K9969-2)
> 
> A sticky protein seems to be the unsung hero of soil carbon storage.
> 
> Until its discovery in 1996 by ARS soil scientist Sara F. Wright, this
> soil "super glue" was mistaken for an unidentifiable constituent of soil
> organic matter. Rather, it permeates organic matter, binding it to silt,
> sand, and clay particles. Not only does glomalin contain 30 to 40
> percent carbon, but it also forms clumps of soil granules called
> aggregates. These add structure to soil and keep other stored soil
> carbon from escaping.
> 
> As a glycoprotein, glomalin stores carbon in both its protein and
> carbohydrate (glucose or sugar) subunits. Wright, who is with the
> Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland,
> thinks the glomalin molecule is a clump of small glycoproteins with iron
> and other ions attached. She found that glomalin contains from 1 to 9
> percent tightly bound iron.
> A microscopic view of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus: Click here for
> full photo caption.
> A microscopic view of an
> arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus
> growing on a corn root. The
> round bodies are spores, and
> the threadlike filaments are
> hyphae. The substance coating
> them is glomalin, revealed by
> a green dye tagged to an
> antibody against glomalin.
> (K9968-1)
> 
> Glomalin is causing a complete reexamination of what makes up soil
> organic matter. It is increasingly being included in studies of carbon
> storage and soil quality. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy, as
> part of its interest in carbon storage as an offset to rising
> atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, partially funded a recent study
> by lab technician Kristine A. Nichols, a colleague of Wright's. Nichols
> reported on the study as part of her doctoral dissertation in soil
> science at the University of Maryland.
> 
> That study showed that glomalin accounts for 27 percent of the carbon in
> soil and is a major component of soil organic matter. Nichols, Wright,
> and E. Kudjo Dzantor, a soil scientist at the University of
> Maryland-College Park, found that glomalin weighs 2 to 24 times more
> than humic acid, a product of decaying plants that up to now was thought
> to be the main contributor to soil carbon. But humic acid contributes
> only about 8 percent of the carbon. Another team recently used carbon
> dating to estimate that glomalin lasts 7 to 42 years, depending on
> conditions.
> 
> 
> For the study, the scientists compared different chemical extraction
> techniques using eight different soils from Colorado, Georgia, Maryland,
> and Nebraska. They found that current assays greatly underestimate the
> amount of glomalin present in soils. By comparing weights of extracted
> organic matter fractions (glomalin, humic acid, fulvic acid, and
> particulate organic matter), Nichols found four times more glomalin than
> humic acid. She also found that the extraction method she and Wright use
> underestimates glomalin in certain soils where it is more tightly bound
> than usual.
> Soil scientist examines a soil aggregate coated with glomalin: Click
> here for full photo caption.
> In her Beltsville laboratory,
> soil scientist Sara Wright
> examines a soil aggregate
> coated with glomalin, a soil
> protein she identified in 1996.
> (K9972-1)
> 
> In a companion study, Nichols, Wright, and Dzantor teamed up with ARS
> chemist Walter F. Schmidt to examine organic matter extracted from the
> same soils under a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imager. They found
> that glomalin's structure differs from that of humic acid?or any other
> organic matter component?and has unique structural units.
> 
> In a current study in Costa Rica, partly funded by the National Science
> Foundation, Wright is using glomalin levels and root growth to measure
> the amount of carbon stored in soils beneath tropical forests. She is
> finding lower levels of glomalin than expected and a much shorter
> lifespan. "We think it's because of the higher temperatures and moisture
> in tropical soils," she explains. These factors break down glomalin.
> 
> Forests, croplands, and grasslands around the world are thought to be
> valuable for offsetting carbon dioxide emissions from industry and
> vehicles. In fact, some private markets have already started offering
> carbon credits for sale by owners of such land. Industry could buy the
> credits as offsets for their emissions. The expectation is that these
> credits would be traded just as pollution credits are currently traded
> worldwide.
> Soil scientist and technician examine extracted soil organic matter
> constituents: Click here for full photo caption.
> Soil scientist Sara Wright
> (foreground) and technician
> Kristine Nichols use nuclear
> magnetic resonance to examine
> the molecular structure of
> extracted soil organic matter
> constituents.
> (K9971-1)
> 
> How Does Glomalin Work?
> 
> It is glomalin that gives soil its tilth?a subtle texture that enables
> experienced farmers and gardeners to judge great soil by feeling the
> smooth granules as they flow through their fingers.
> 
> Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, found living on plant roots around the
> world, appear to be the only producers of glomalin. Wright named
> glomalin after Glomales, the taxonomic order that arbuscular mycorrhizal
> fungi belong to. The fungi use carbon from the plant to grow and make
> glomalin. In return, the fungi's hairlike filaments, called hyphae,
> extend the reach of plant roots. Hyphae function as pipes to funnel more
> water and nutrients?particularly phosphorus?to the plants.
> 
> "We've seen glomalin on the outside of the hyphae, and we believe this
> is how the hyphae seal themselves so they can carry water and nutrients.
> It may also be what gives them the rigidity they need to span the air
> spaces between soil particles," says Wright.
> Technician checks progress of corn plants: Click here for full photo
> caption.
> Technician Kristine Nichols
> checks the progress of corn
> plants growing in containers
> specially designed for
> glomalin production.
> (K9973-1)
> 
> As a plant grows, the fungi move down the root and form new hyphae to
> colonize the growing roots. When hyphae higher up on the roots stop
> transporting nutrients, their protective glomalin sloughs off into the
> soil. There it attaches to particles of minerals (sand, silt, and clay)
> and organic matter, forming clumps. This type of soil structure is
> stable enough to resist wind and water erosion, but porous enough to let
> air, water, and roots move through it. It also harbors more beneficial
> microbes, holds more water, and helps the soil surface resist crusting.
> 
> Scientists think hyphae have a lifespan of days to weeks. The much
> longer lifespan of glomalin suggests that the current technique of
> weighing hyphae samples to estimate fungal carbon storage grossly
> underestimates the amount of soil carbon stored. In fact, Wright and
> colleagues found that glomalin contributes much more nitrogen and carbon
> to the soil than do hyphae or other soil microbes.
> 
> Two rows of dried soil samples: Click here for full photo caption.
> Dried samples of undisturbed
> soil (top row) and material
> left after extractable organic
> matter has been removed
> (bottom row). Although minerals
> are the most abundant components
> of soil, organic matter gives
> it life and health. Soil
> samples from left to right
> are from Maryland, Nebraska,
> Georgia, and Colorado.
> (K9974-1)
> 
> 
> Rising CO2 Boosts Glomalin, Too
> 
> In an earlier study, Wright and scientists from the University of
> California at Riverside and Stanford University showed that higher CO2
> levels in the atmosphere stimulate the fungi to produce more glomalin.
> 
> They did a 3-year study on semiarid shrub land and a 6-year study on
> grasslands in San Diego County, California, using outdoor chambers with
> controlled CO2 levels. When CO2 reached 670 parts per million (ppm)?the
> level predicted by mid to late century?hyphae grew three times as long
> and produced five times as much glomalin as fungi on plants growing with
> today's ambient level of 370 ppm.
> 
> Longer hyphae help plants reach more water and nutrients, which could
> help plants face drought in a warmer climate. The increase in glomalin
> production helps soil build defenses against degradation and erosion and
> boosts its productivity.
> 
> Wright says all these benefits can also come from good tillage and soil
> management techniques, instead of from higher atmospheric CO2.
> 
> "You're in the driver's seat when you use techniques proven to do the
> same thing as the higher CO2 that might be causing global warming. You
> can still raise glomalin levels, improve soil structure, and increase
> carbon storage without the risks of the unknowns in global climate
> change," she says.
> 
> Putting Glomalin to Work
> 
> Wright found that glomalin is very manageable. She is studying glomalin
> levels under different farming and ranching practices. Levels were
> maintained or raised by no-till, cover crops, reduced phosphorus inputs,
> and the sparing use of crops that don't have arbuscular mycorrhizal
> fungi on their roots. Those include members of the Brassicaceae family,
> like cabbage and cauliflower, and the mustard family, like canola and
> crambe.
> 
> "When you grow those crops, it's like a fallow period, because glomalin
> production stops," says Wright. "You need to rotate them with crops that
> have glomalin-producing fungi."
> 
> In a 4-year study at the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville (Maryland)
> Agricultural Research Center, Wright found that glomalin levels rose
> each year after no-till was started. No-till refers to a modern
> conservation practice that uses equipment to plant seeds with no prior
> plowing. This practice was developed to protect soil from erosion by
> keeping fields covered with crop residue.
> 
> Glomalin went from 1.3 milligrams per gram of soil (mg/g) after the
> first year to 1.7 mg/g after the third. A nearby field that was plowed
> and planted each year had only 0.7 mg/g. In comparison, the soil under a
> 15-year-old buffer strip of grass had 2.7 mg/g.
> 
> Wright found glomalin levels up to 15 mg/g elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic
> region. But she found the highest levels?more than 100 mg/g?in Hawaiian
> soils, with Japanese soils a close second. "We don't know why we found
> the highest levels in Hawaii's tropical soils. We usually find lower
> levels in other tropical areas, because it breaks down faster at higher
> temperature and moisture levels," Wright says. "We can only guess that
> the Hawaiian soils lack some organism that is breaking down glomalin in
> other tropical soils?or that high soil levels of iron are protecting
> glomalin."
> 
> It's Persistent and It's Everywhere!
> 
> The toughness of the molecule was one of the things that struck Wright
> most in her discovery of glomalin. She says it's the reason glomalin
> eluded scientific detection for so long.
> 
> "It requires an unusual effort to dislodge glomalin for study: a bath in
> citrate combined with heating at 250 ?F for at least an hour," Wright
> says. "No other soil glue found to date required anything as drastic as
> this."
> 
> "We've learned that the sodium hydroxide used to separate out humic acid
> in soil misses most of the glomalin. So, most of it was thrown away with
> the insoluble humus and minerals in soil," she says. "The little bit of
> glomalin left in the humic acid was thought to be nothing more than
> unknown foreign substances that contaminated the experiments."
> 
> Once Wright found a way to capture glomalin, her next big surprise was
> how much of it there was in some soils and how widespread it was. She
> tested samples of soils from around the world and found glomalin in all.
> 
> "Anything present in these amounts has to be considered in any studies
> of plant-soil interactions," Wright says. "There may be implications
> beyond the carbon storage and soil quality issues?such as whether the
> large amounts of iron in glomalin mean that it could be protecting
> plants from pathogens."
> 
> Her recent work with Nichols has shown that glomalin levels are even
> higher in some soils than previously estimated.
> 
> "Glomalin is unique among soil components for its strength and
> stability," Wright says. Other soil components that contain carbon and
> nitrogen, as glomalin does, don't last very long. Microbes quickly break
> them down into byproducts. And proteins from plants are degraded very
> quickly in soil.
> 
> "We need to learn a lot more about this molecule, though, if we are to
> manage glomalin wisely. Our next step is to identify the chemical makeup
> of each of its parts, including the protein core, the sugar
> carbohydrates, and the attached iron and other possible ions." Nichols
> is starting to work on just that.
> 
> "Once we know what sugars and proteins are there," says Nichols, we will
> use NMR and other techniques to create a three-dimensional image of the
> molecule. We can then find the most likely sites to look for iron or
> other attached ions.
> 
> "Researchers have studied organic matter for a long time and know its
> benefits to soil. But we're just starting to learn which components of
> organic matter are responsible for these benefits. That's the exciting
> part of glomalin research. We've found a major component that we think
> definitely has a strong role in the benefits attributed to organic
> matter?things like soil stability, nutrient accessibility, and nutrient
> cycling."
> 
> As carbon gets assigned a dollar value in a carbon commodity market, it
> may give literal meaning to the expression that good soil is black gold.
> And glomalin could be viewed as its golden seal.?By Don Comis,
> Agricultural Research Service Information Staff.
> 
> This research is part of Soil Resource Management, an ARS National
> Program (#202) described on the World Wide Web at
> http://www.nps.ars.usda.gov.
> 
> Sara F. Wright and Kristine A. Nichols are with the USDA-ARS Sustainable
> Agricultural Systems Laboratory, Bldg. 001, 10300 Baltimore Ave.,
> Beltsville, MD 20705; phone (301) 504-8156 [Wright], (301) 504-6977
> [Nichols], fax (301) 504-8370.
> 
> 
> "Glomalin: Hiding Place for a Third of the World's Stored Soil Carbon"
> was published in the September 2002 issue of Agricultural Research
> magazine.
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 2
> Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 09:31:59 +0100
> From: Nicollas <permactiviste at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Permaculture-related blogs.
> To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID:
> 	<f028175b0912130031j380a0b29i538bf61ce34161b2 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> 
> Are non-english blogs accepted ?
> 
> Nicollas
> 
> 
> 2009/12/12 Robert Waldrop <bwaldrop at cox.net>
> 
>> I have started a new category at the www.permaculture.info wiki for
>> permaculture-related blogs.  I'm currently going through google searches
>> to find content, but if you have a permaculture-related blog, you can
>> post it here or email me at bwaldrop at cox.net and I will enter it for
>> you.  Or you can enter it yourself at www.permaculture.info .
>>
>> Bob Waldrop, Oklahoma City
>> www.energyconservationinfo.org
>> www.barkingfrogspermaculture.org
>> >
>> _______________________________________________
>> permaculture mailing list
>> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>> Google command to search archives:
>> site:http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
>>
>>
>>
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 3
> Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 03:52:14 -0500
> From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Double-dug? Gardening Handtool Sourcelist
> 	UPDATE
> To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <4B24AB3E.3040306 at bellsouth.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
> 
> Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:
> 
> about double dug biointensive garden preparation
> 
> I have revised that post and added it to my gardening hand tool
> sourcelist.
> 
> You will find it here:
> 
> Gardening Handtool Sourcelist UPDATE
>
http://venaurafarm.blogspot.com/2009/12/gardening-handtool-sourcelist-update.html
> 
> and here:
> 
> Gardening Handtool Sourcelist UPDATE
> http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/documents/gardening-hand-tools.faq
> 
> Contains additional information on double dug biointensive garden
> preparation and soil quality.
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 4
> Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 04:20:26 -0800 (PST)
> From: Dieter Brand <diebrand at yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Lupines and their uses.
> To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <768712.9097.qm at web63408.mail.re1.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
> 
> Larry,
> ?
> Our environment can be extremely harsh, especially during the dry
season.?
> Perhaps this leads animals (ants, birds, etc.) to adopt extreme
strategies
> just to survive.
> ?
> I think the idea of perennial-annual companion planting is something
worth
> investigating.? The beneficial effects some plants have on each other are
> well known, even though I think the N-fixing bacteria are already in the
> ground (if we grow traditional crops for our region) and multiply as
needed
> when the crop grows.
> ?
> Annual cover crops and green mulches have their limitations in dry
regions
> where all humidity needs to go to the cash crop.? I usually encourage
> growth (cover crops, weeds, grasses, etc.) during the wet season and cut
it
> all for mulching at the start of the dry season to conserve soil
humidity.
> ?
> Lupines are good for fixing N, but I think for improving tilth you may be
> better off with annual grasses or grains because they produce more
> biomass.? Rye is especially good because it forms a big root system.? You
> can also mix legumes with grasses or grains.? For example rye with vetch
is
> a good combination.
> ?
> Dieter Brand
> Portugal
> 
> --- On Fri, 12/11/09, Lawrence F. London, Jr. <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>
> wrote:
> 
> 
> From: Lawrence F. London, Jr. <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Lupines and their uses.
> To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: Friday, December 11, 2009, 2:32 AM
> 
> 
> Dieter Brand wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>> in the South of Portugal, yellow lupines (with yellow flowers) are
> grown for N-fixing and white lupines are grown for eating.? Both are
> sown in October or November as soon as there is enough soil humidity
> after the dry season.? The small (black and white) seeds of the yellow
> lupines can be broadcast into the stubble without too much losses, even
> though farmers usually plough before sowing.? The white lupines (with >
> larger white seeds) need to be covered by soil or they will be eaten by
> worms.? Both can be cut for mulching or ploughed under as green manure
> at flowering in May.? For harvesting the seeds, you need to wait until
> about July. The white lupine seeds are pickled and eaten as a light
> snack when drinking beer.? Fava beans are also grown in the same time
> period.? Fava beens need to be sown deeper than white lupines (1 to 2
> inches) or else black birds and craws will pull them from the soil when
>> germinating.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
> 
> Fascinating, Dieter. You have some voracious predators over there where
> you are, seed eating worms and avian seedling snatchers.
> 
> Somehow I wound up in South American countries with references to lupine
> varieties, their uses and local cultivation practices. They seemed to be
> an exceptional nitrogen fixer and maybe equally good as soil builders. I
> wrote up a short forum post about this years ago, will see if I can find
> it. I was thinking about alley cropping systems to build populations of
> perennial crops returning each year intercropped with annuals and
> various clovers, i.e. mellilotus alba, tall sweet clover, yellow and
> white varieties. Growing in an orchard, tree or berry this could be a
> good scheme for maintenance of fertility, weed control, soil quality
> building, depth of tilth and water reservoir the tree or berry crops
> could tap into. I will probably try this with a bunch of blueberry
> plants I need to set out. I was also thinking about the potential this
> sort of system offers to build colonies of nitrogen fixing bacteria in
> the soil that match the various host plants growing in the alley. It is
> not taken for granted that adequate populations of these microbes exist
> when and where you need them.
> 
> LL
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> Google command to search archives:
> site:http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 5
> Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 06:41:48 -0600
> From: Robert Waldrop <bwaldrop at cox.net>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Permaculture-related blogs.
> To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <4B24E10C.8000201 at cox.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> 
> Sure.  And welcomed.  The criteria for inclusion is relevant to
> permaculture.  We need more widely publicized, non-English language,
> sources for permaculture information and knowledge.
> 
> Bob Waldrop, Oklahoma City
> 
> Nicollas wrote:
>> Are non-english blogs accepted ?
>>
>> Nicollas
>>
>>
>> 2009/12/12 Robert Waldrop <bwaldrop at cox.net>
>>
>>
>>> I have started a new category at the www.permaculture.info wiki for
>>> permaculture-related blogs.  I'm currently going through google
> searches
>>> to find content, but if you have a permaculture-related blog, you can
>>> post it here or email me at bwaldrop at cox.net and I will enter it for
>>> you.  Or you can enter it yourself at www.permaculture.info .
>>>
>>> Bob Waldrop, Oklahoma City
>>> www.energyconservationinfo.org
>>> www.barkingfrogspermaculture.org
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> permaculture mailing list
>>> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>>> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
>>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>>> Google command to search archives:
>>> site:http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> permaculture mailing list
>> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Subscribe or unsubscribe here:
>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
>> Google command to search archives:
>> site:http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture searchstring
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 6
> Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 08:36:37 -0500
> From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Lupines and their uses.
> To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <4B24EDE5.10407 at bellsouth.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> 
> Dieter Brand wrote:
>  >>>>>>>>>>
>  > Our environment can be extremely harsh, especially during the dry
> season.  Perhaps this leads animals (ants, birds, etc.) to adopt extreme
> strategies just to survive.
>  >
>  > I think the idea of perennial-annual companion planting is something
> worth investigating.  The beneficial effects some plants have on each
> other are well known, even though I think the N-fixing bacteria are
> already in the ground (if we grow traditional crops for our region) and
> multiply as needed when the crop grows.
>  >
>  > Annual cover crops and green mulches have their limitations in dry
> regions where all humidity needs to go to the cash crop.  I usually
> encourage growth (cover crops, weeds, grasses, etc.) during the wet
> season and cut it all for mulching at the start of the dry season to
> conserve soil humidity.
>  >
>  > Lupines are good for fixing N, but I think for improving tilth you
> may be better off with annual grasses or grains because they produce
> more biomass.  Rye is especially good because it forms a big root
> system.  You can also mix legumes with grasses or grains.  For example
> rye with vetch is a good combination.
>  >>>>>>>>>>>>>
> 
> Great to hear back from you Dieter. What region in Portugal are you in?
> Are you a fan of Fados? Wow, Amalia Rodriguez, Maritza & other greats...
> lots of YouTube music videos of them. The language is beautiful; I
> assume you speak Portuguese. That and Italian and French, of course are
> the most beautiful, especially if you like opera, though I like German
> also. Ah, English, take it or leave it ..., its best for farmers :-)
> 
> I wonder about N fixing bacteria and whether some need replishing
> because of harsh weather conditions, conventional farming methods
> and chemical fertilizer, etc. Here, it used to be that when you bought
> been seed for summer plantings they gave you a little plastic bag with
> black powder containing populations of the correct bacteria for that
> type of bean.
> 
> As for cutting wet season cover crops, do you leave them on the soil for
> mulch or remove them or plow them under?
> 
> I agree with you about grasses and grain and their ability to increase
> soil OM, especially winter rye. I have acres of winter rye now and it
> will become a real soil builder when I shallow till it under this coming
> Spring. It is amazing how it builds soil tilth, unlike anything else
> almost.
> 
> LL
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 7
> Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 10:18:26 -0500
> From: Lee Flier <leeflier at comcast.net>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] the gardener's shadow falls both ways
> To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <4B2505C2.1060503 at comcast.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> 
> I completely agree!
> 
> It's just not something I would teach in a PDC.
> 
> fdnokes at hotmail.com wrote:
>> The intimacy of people with plants is something of particular value. And
> yes
>> there is a conversation.
>> And it's in the hear and now...
>> Mainly, it's a willingness to listen to plants.
>> To 'see' plants.
>> And, it's a great cure for those whose hearts have been broken by the
>> standardizing forces of society...
>>
>> The gardener's shadow falls both ways!
>>
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> Message: 8
> Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 16:53:40 +0100
> From: Richard Wade <wade at coac.es>
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] arid soil building
> To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Message-ID: <4B250E04.2040605 at coac.es>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> 
> Well, I've been ache'n to get in this discussion for some time so:
> I live at 700mt. altitude in the coastal mountains of eastern Spain,
> about 20 Km. from the sea. Mostly clay over limestone, but with some
> lime soils. Average rainfall 400mm a year. one year in three we get half
> that in one day! Then we can go four years in a row without summing up
> that much! We have two small springs which provide water for the house
> and enough for an intensive garden. All our crops are dryland.
> I'd kind of like to start with a bit of history.
> 
> 
> lbsaltzman at aol.com wrote:
>> We live in a more Southern Mediterranean climate and have even less
> rain, though the pattern is similar. We are working a much smaller
property
> than you have, and it has taken years to build up the soil.  It is deep
> clay subsoil. The top soil had been depleted by bad orchard management
back
> in the 1930s and 40s before the area had been sub-divided.
> That is the story of Med Climates. They are fragil and easily abused.
> But if you think you have it bad, my soils have been cultivated for at
> least 1000 years! Luckely it has been terraced for the last 6 to 8
> hundred years which did have the effect of slowing down the erosion. But
> like most of the mediteranean area, it has been clean cultivated for at
> least that long.
>>   We still have patches that are only suitable for perennials. Annuals
> just don't thrive in the heavy clay.
>>
> I think that you have the key here. Classic Med crops /are/ tree crops;
> almonds, vines, olives, pistachos. The annual crops are practically all
> winter growing, (fall seeded) crops like lentils, garbanzos, barley,
> fava beans, etc. (There you have it! a Mediteranean diet!) Most soils in
> southen europe were forests, (way back when) and that is probably true
> for Dieter's place as well. And I don't have to tell you about the value
> of trees. But most tree crops here are also clean cultivated, which
> means you can find rampant erosion even in tree crops.
> So getting back to dirt mulch, I can just about imagine that once the
> trees were removed, the good soil couldn't last too long. Hot summers
> and clean tillage would guarantee that. Failure to maintain the humic
> soil of the forests let to dust (or dirt) mulching the kind Dieter
> described and that is also practiced here as a way of conserving the
> water. With high humus content, it's the humus that keeps the water in,
> but you can't keep the humus and clean till at the same time. It's kind
> of like a cat chasing it's tail. So years ago the humus was literally
> "tilled" out of the soil.
> We have been practicing what I call regenerative farming. About twenty
> years ago when planting vines, the soil test read 0.06 organic material.
> The rest clay and a pH of 7.9. Once the vines were up we let the weeds
> grow all winter, and cut them back in March, leaving the weeds as mulch.
> As long as the spring rains lasted we let the weeds grow back and then
> cut them when the soil started getting dry. In a nutshell we managed our
> weeds according to the moisture, when the transpiration got heavy we
> cut, if it rained again we let it go. Usually by May we did the last
> cutting. It was important for us to get at least one good seed set
> before the first cutting, but sometime in drought years, (we've had up
> to 4 years continuous) that can't be done. But then weeds don't grow
> much then anyway.
> Over time we've got a great variety of weeds with chichory, mustard,
> fennel, as well as sweet clover, medicago lupulina, and of couse the
> full run of annual gramineas and a variety of annual legumes as well. In
> winter it is lush and green, in summer it is dry except for the tougher
> legumes and gramineas.
> In these twenty years the soil has gone from dark red to deep browish
> black, with no puddling. On three ocasions i have roterey tilled to 7cm
> when gramineas began to dominate too much. That is enough to get a flush
> of new legumes and annuals.
> In spite of all the warnings from my neighbors that my weeds were eating
> up my vines, both production and quality have continually improved, and
> in the worst droughts the organoleptic features of my wine was superior
> to that of the rest of the village. That is a result of superior water
> retention.
> My olives and almonds are treated in the same way and with the same
> general results.
> So I have a kind of mantra that I repeat while working with my trees;
> /manage your soil cover/. Med climates don't lack water, they lack
> fertility!! And any strategy that increases fertility will increase
water.
> Well I hope some of this is useful.
> 
> 
>> I swear that there should be an association of Mediterranean climate
> farmers and gardeners. We are a forgotten minority. I find few books that
> address our needs in general gardening or farming books.  So much more is
> geared to temperate zone climates.
>>
>> Larry
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Rain Tenaqiya <raincascadia at yahoo.com>
>> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Sent: Thu, Dec 3, 2009 1:21 pm
>> Subject: [permaculture] arid soil building
>>
>>
>> We live in a classic Mediterranean climate, with about 35 inches of rain
> that
>> omes in intense bursts that usually start from the middle of October and
> start
>> etering out in April.  I feel there must be a lot of knowledge about
> this
>> limate given its long history in Europe.
>>
>>  have started to compost in pits because it takes so long above ground. 
> I have
>> ven used tarps, as was recommended.  They help, but I really need to
> irrigate
>> he piles to see reasonable results.  We have all sorts of fungi from the
> forest
>> earby, so I don't think inoculants are necessary.
>>
>> art of my problem could be that aside from the first year, when we had
> record
>> loods, we have been in a drought.  Maybe this is the new normal,
> however.
>>
>> e collect and use all of our humunure and urine, and I bring in a ton of
> leaves
>> nd straw from around our site.  I also have several long-term wood
> compost
>> iles.  I finally broke down and got some rock dust, zinc sulfate, and
> gypsum,
>> or specific areas.  I've also brought in forest soil from nearby for the
> main
>> ood forest and kitchen garden, which also got a layer of horse manure
> from a
>> eighbor.  I'm thinking about spraying seeweed on trees that are doing
> the
>> orse.  In general, however, I really want to minimize off-site inputs.
>>
>> s far as biochar goes, the soil actually has a fair amount of charcoal
> from
>> ast fires.  I couldn't justify putting all that carbon in the air by
> burning
>> ll the wood around our site.  If I wait long enough, a wildfire might do
> it for
>> e, however.  Hmm, interesting.
>>
>> ain
>>
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> ermaculture mailing list
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>> ubscribe or unsubscribe here:
>> ttp://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
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>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>>
>>
>>
>>
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
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> 
> 
> End of permaculture Digest, Vol 83, Issue 37
> ********************************************




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