[permaculture] N in arid soil

Rain Tenaqiya raincascadia at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 16 18:17:08 EST 2009

In permaculture, part of our goal is to keep nutrients, energy, and water cycling within the biological realm as much as possible.  Composting, slashing carbon and dynamic accumulator crops, and the use of animals in systems are ways of speeding up nutrient cycling and concentrating carbon and nutrients into our production systems.  During a dry period, the cycling slows down as organic matter and manures are not able to break down and return to the system.  Unless we apply water to these materials, they will pretty much remain unused, losing nitrogen to the air, until it starts the rains return.  This is the challenge that I am concerned about in the Mediterranean climate that I live in.  Short of collecting all the material, composting it in irrigated piles or pits, and redistributing it, I am resigned to lowered productivity in my systems, and slower soil building.


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