David Braden 's Profile
David Braden
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Joined:
11/11/2011
Last Updated:
15/11/2011
Location:
Golden, CO, United States
Climate Zone:
Cool Temperate
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Male
Web site:
www.livingsystemsinst.org/





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Chapter 5

Posted by David Braden over 8 years ago

Healing nature and producing abundance starts with the soil.

Chapter 5

 

It is said that a double hand full of healthy soil contains more organisms than there are people on earth. It is those interactions that form the basis for terrestrial ecosystems. Healing nature and producing abundance starts with the soil.

 

At the Applewood Permaculture Institute we teach gardening techniques called sheet mulching and hugelkultur. They are based on encouraging the interaction of soil organisms to maintain a healthy habitat for themselves, to produce the nutrients our plants need, and form the basis for a healthy habitat for humans. Tilling destroys habitat for soil organisms. That is why traditional gardening and farming deplete nutrients from the system.

 

Interactions in an organic soil produce a flow of nutrients that cannot be duplicated by manufactured fertilizers. The interactions form an ecosystem if the nutrients flow in whole cycles . . . each step supporting the next step . . . continuously . . . building nutrients into the system. That takes a complete set of organisms to use the nutrients through the complete growth, decay and regrowth cycle. Each of those creatures has needs that must be supplied by the habitat . . . or that creature cannot contribute its gift to the system.

 

In our gardening system, in Colorado's front range climate, human participation comes in four stages. 1) We build gardens with sheet mulching and hugelkulturs, providing the carbon and nitrogen to fuel the soil habitat. Carbon and nitrogen will be converted by the soil organisms into a full range of nutrients to cycle through our system. 2) We start indoors those plants that need a longer season than we have and plant outside those plants that like the cool season. 3) We set out our plants and put in seeds for our warm season crops and make provision for the water they will need. 4) We watch our plants grow, identifying the tiny seedlings and making mulch of the other plants that volunteer . . . accepting their gift.

 

There will be several events at the Institute, and hosted by API team members, for each of those stages. The events will be listed on the Organic Landscape Design web site and on the events calendar for Transition Colorado. We ask for a $25.00 contribution, to attend these events, to support API and its work but, if you are also engaged in this work, by being on a team of gardeners tending to your relationships with the people and other living things around you, then these events are free . . . then, they are a collaboration in developing the technology to build better habitats . . . to heal nature and produce abundance.

Front Garden Drip Line 

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