Rainfall levels are rarely optimal, but there are hundreds of things you can do to efficiently conserve and use the water you do have and to reduce the impact of drought on your soil, crops, livestock, and farm or ranch ecosystem.
The Ecological Gardener will give you the tools to create an abundant, healthy garden from the soil up—a garden that welcomes birds and bees and allows native planting and wild flowers to flourish, with minimal carbon impact or need for fresh water.
Discovering how to meet the soil’s needs is the key task for every market gardener. In this comprehensive guide, Farmer Jesse Frost shares all he has learned through experience and experimentation with no-till practices on his home farm in Kentucky.
The book begins with a personality test for your soil, then uses that information to plan a course of action for revitalizing poor soil and turning good dirt into great earth. Next, you’ll learn to start and maintain a no-till garden, to balance nutrients with remineralization, and to boost organic matter with easy cover crops
Turning waste into wealth sounds too good to be true, but many worm farmers are finding that vermicomposting is a reliable way to do just that. Vermicast—a biologically active, nutrient-rich mix of earthworm castings and decomposed organic matter—sells for $400 or more per cubic yard. Compare that to regular compost, sold at about $30 a cubic yard, and you’ll see why vermicomposting has taken root in most countries and on every continent but Antarctica.
Vermicomposting is also one of the best sustainable solutions for organic waste management. Vermicomposting manure and crop wastes on farms improves crop yields while reducing demand for off-farm inputs. Vermicast has higher nutrient levels and lower soluble salt content than regular compost, and it improves soil aeration, porosity, and water retention. Plus, vermicast suppresses plant diseases and insect attacks. Municipalities, businesses, community gardens, schools, and universities can set up vermicomposting operations to process food residuals and other waste materials.
The fully revised 35th anniversary edition, Worms Eat My Garbage has taught people how to use worms to recycle food waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer for houseplants or gardens. Small-scale, self-contained worm bins can be kept indoors, in a basement, or even under the kitchen sink