“Those that grow crops really grow soil”
Fishes need the ocean like plants need soil. Building good soil will increase microbial activity which will then increase fertility. Ultimately this will increase the level of nutrients in your food. The more nutrients the more flavour you have. Green manure such as plants or organic animal manure is a great place to start, you need to feed the soil for what you are about to grow. Egg shells add calcium to the soil which will then provide a source of food for the plants. Normally considered a waste product this is a great way to reallocate resources. Using organic coffee grounds are another option, often thrown away by coffee shops they can also provide a good source of organic matter. Just make sure to wash them occasionally too much will turn your soil alkaline.
Do I really need to grow cover crops?
Not if you have a herb box on your window or a small garden. Whether you need a cover crop, will be dependent on the time of year you are starting to grow as well as the size of the growing area. You see a cover crop is a crop grown to protect soil from erosion as well as for enrichment purposes. They suppress weeds and fix nitrogen to the soil. Peas, Legumes, Soy Beans and Clover are some great cover crops and they are edible so help towards food abundance.
Why Is Comfrey So Popular?
Those that only have room for growing one or two plants to be used as green manure then Comfrey should also get a special mention as it provides a very effective plant feed. It’s not edible like the others, although you can eat the young leaves, it just don’t taste great. Comfrey has been used as far back as ancient Greece and has many health benefits. Suffers of sciatica, rheumatism, ulcers, insect bites, tumours or shingles might want to look closely at this plant. In Permaculture it is used as a dynamic accumulator primarily for its ability to pull certain minerals up from the ground. It has a deep tap root that is able to access minerals further down than most plants. These mineral rich leaves can be added directly to your soil or use for making Comfrey Tea. You can then spread these trace minerals around your growing area increasing soil fertility.
Remembering to add the organic matter is important and over time the levels will build up. You can get into composting later if you like but by simply adding organic matter to your soil you will continue to develop it. Remember everything in life is about balance, so make sure it rots down well and don’t add too much. Those that want to know more about composting, try reading our post on How To Compost? which will have more information.
Until next time. Learn as you grow.
Your friendly Suburban Farmer.
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