Slow Food USA Townhall Call: Preparing Your Three Sisters Garden

| 3/29/2018 9:58:00 AM

Welcome to the written recap of the Slow Food USA's Garden Campaign, Plant a Seed: Food for Change, Townhall Call. It took place March 15, 2018 with presenters Stephen and Cindy Scott, co-owners of Terroir Seeds/Underwood Gardens in Tucson, AZ and Clark Harshbarger, Resource Soil Scientist, who advises on Soil Health with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and was produced by Anna Mule', Slow Food USA Communications and Campaigns Director. I moderated and have added some commentary here.

Four Soil Health Principles

Clark Harshbarger started us off with an introduction to soil health and a list of four basic principles applicable to all soils. “Mother Nature by herself creates perfectly healthy soil, thanks to the perfect working relationship between plants and the community of soil organisms. We humans cannot improve on the soil ecological environments she has already perfected.” Masanobu Fukuoka's book, The One Straw Revolution, tells us, as Harshbarger says: “the macro and micro-organisms are doing things in the soil that our mechanics, our steel, our technology cannot easily replicate-- and if we can replicate them, it takes more work or energy from fuel or intensive labor. Science is necessary, but it doesn't solve problems; human creativity, all of us working together, does.”

One of the most useful things we have started to do together is figure out how to give Mother Nature the best possible working conditions to renew the soil we have messed up. Here are four ways to do it:

Armor the Soil

Mulch it. Put your cover or target crop residue back on the soil to keep it covered. No bare soil.

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