We never feed the plant. We feed the soils. Soils are the crucible of health from which all things spring. It’s not the soil itself – it’s the soil life that is the most important element.Geoff Lawton
Soil is like a banking account, we can add or take. A living and fertile soil makes a good income for the farmer. Taking living structures away and replacing them with heavy plowing, chemical fertilizers, deforestation, overgrazing and on the top of that, water abusing irrigation systems, the farmer is depleting his “bank account”, without anything left for future generations.
Plants also take up soluble nutrients due to a difference in the water pressure between their roots and the water in the soil. If the pressure in the plant is low they automatically drink. It is by this method that chemical fertilizers are taking up by plants. When plants can get free nutrients in this way, fungal and bacterial relationships don’t form. As a consequence the life in the soil dies.
Permaculture composting techniques will increase the soil organic matter and the nutrient pumping effect. Bacteria, fungi and worms create the crumb structure of soils. They produce a sticky carbohydrate that binds the individual humic and mineral particles together.
When land use is diverse with implementation of soil improvement systems that combines different measures to control soil erosion, restore soil fertility and improve soil water holding capacity, humans and nature, will all benefit.
At Semilla Besada, we do 18 day compost, worm compost for worm tea and have normal, annual compost that is turned over when full.