The number one objective of sustainable gardening and farming is to grow good soil.
When we grow good soil, the other elements of healthy plants, healthy animals and healthy people naturally come in line. But this is not a quick fix strategy. Since our soils have been so depleted over many years of abuse, bringing them back to a state of health and vigor requires planning, design, longer term thinking and upfront work. Yet the results are well worth the effort.
There are many effective methods to grow good soil. As you know, my favorite is Back to Eden gardening principles using woodchips. Other effective methods include harnessing the natural flow of water in your landscape using swales and small ponds to create ecosystems that will naturally build soil fertility.
Brian Kerkvliet, an experienced permaculturist, uses swales and coverings effectively to grow his soil on Inspiration Farm. As Brian says,
“If you grow good soil, everything else falls into place. You grow good plants, you grow good animals, you grow good people.”
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