Archive for December, 2011

Building Soils for Better Crops

Building Soils for Better Crops, 3rd Edition

Had the downloaded digital version of this book since the 2nd edition, for at least a couple of years now, dipped into it, but still haven’t read it through. I should and I will. This winter! The 3rd edition of Building Soils for Better Crops: Sustainable Soil Management came out last year and it’s even better, full of practical science for the upward-looking tiny farmer and veggie gardener. Here’s the blurb: “A one-of-a-kind, practical guide to ecological soil management. It provides step-by-step information on soil-improving practices as well as in-depth background—from what soil is to the importance of organic matter. Case studies of farmers from across the country provide inspiring examples of how soil—and whole farms—have been renewed through these techniques. A must-read for farmers, educators and students alike.” The PDF version is a free download, the printed version is about 20 bucks. There’s a fair number of soil books and books that cover soil out there, but for the tiny farmer, this is pretty much one of a kind.

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Somewhat submerged!

Waterlogged in December

It’s a wet December! After only a couple of days of rain, the ground is pretty well waterlogged, to the point where I can’t move the Kubota compact tractor without leaving deep furrows that’ll be totally compacted and eventually dry like concrete. So, before being rained out entirely three-quarters of the way through the job, it was slogging on 100′ round trips through boot-sucking muck, one forkload of hay at a time, to mulch garlic—not a big deal, there’s only a 100′ bed and a half to cover, but the EASIER plan was to use the tractor to push the big round bale to the garlic bed. Guess not. Lesson: Um, don’t wait! :)

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