Episode 254. When We Lose Diversity

This is The ChangeUnderground for the 26th of April 2021.

I’m your host, Jon Moore

Decarbonise the Air, Recarbonise the Soil!

We have lived through a period of agriculture that could be described as over specialisation. The number of mixed farms dropped after the second world war. From being cereal farmers, say, growing maize, wheat, oats, rye, clover, peas and barley, individuals were driven by government incentives and market forces into growing one or two crops, maize and soybeans. Continue reading →

Episode 253. Fruit

This is The ChangeUnderground for the 19th of April 2021.

I’m your host, Jon Moore

Decarbonise the Air, Recarbonise the Soil!

Last week I looked at specialising in herbs, this week the focus is fruit.

There is much to recommend this approach to food production in the backyard and on a smallholding.

I divide fruit into three areas. Tree fruits, bush fruits and ground covers. Let’s start with the ground covers.

Ground Covers

Fragaria ananassa, Strawberries are the obvious choice. Because you can grow them for a few years, they fit nicely into an eight bed rotation. It would run something like this: Continue reading →

Episode 252. Herbs

This is The ChangeUnderground for the 12th of April 2021.

I’m your host, Jon Moore

Decarbonise the Air, Recarbonise the Soil!

A quick reminder that The ChangeUnderground is supporting the Bubugo Conservation Trust in Uganda through a percentage of the course sales and the Buy Me a coffee link at WorldOrganicNews.com (Link in the show notes)

Now to to-day’s episode: Herbs!

When we think of gardening, we generally think: veggies. But what if there were other options?

What if?

Turns out there are. As you can tell from the title of today’s episode, Herbs are options. 

Why would we go down that route? Continue reading →

Episode 251. Small Gardens

This is The ChangeUnderground for the 5th of April 2021.

I’m your host, Jon Moore

Decarbonise the Air, Recarbonise the Soil!

Small is beautiful!

In some ways this is a return to first principles and my own beginnings. A general rule of thumb is: we will always be able to grow more than we think.

If you’re new to the No-Dig thing, the productivity can be overwhelming. Remember we are planting more closely than a market garden powered by a four wheel tractor. The space needed for the machinery is available for growing. Equally we are not harvesting in exactly the same way as a market garden. The best mindset is that of a hunter-gatherer rather than an agribusiness.  Continue reading →

Episode 249. Layers in the Garden

This is The ChangeUnderground for the ides of March 2021.

I’m your host, Jon Moore

Decarbonise the Air, Recarbonise the Soil!

This episode follows on, in some ways from last week’s on roots and mycorrhizal fungi. Those things are, obviously, located underground. What we’re looking at this week is both underground and above.

There are a few systems out in the wilds of the interwebs that we’ll get to later in this episode.

Coming from the first principles of regenerative/no-dig theory there are three things we have free access to. These are available to anyone growing food or pastures or even cottage gardens. They are: Sunlight, CO2 and rainfall. Yes, those three can and do vary across the year and the years but they are free.   Continue reading →

Episode 247. What Is The Carbon Cycle?

This is The ChangeUnderground for the week ending 1st of March 2021.

I’m your host, Jon Moore

Decarbonise the Air, Recarbonise the Soil!

From the NASA Earth Observatory site:

Quote:

Through a series of chemical reactions and tectonic activity, carbon takes between 100-200 million years to move between rocks, soil, ocean, and atmosphere in the slow carbon cycle.

End Quote Continue reading →

Episode 246. Growing in Sub-Soil???

This is The ChangeUnderground for the week ending 22nd of February 2021.

I’m your host, Jon Moore

Decarbonise the Air, Recarbonise the Soil!

Quote:

More than a third of farmland in the U.S. Corn Belt — nearly 100 million acres — has completely lost its carbon-rich topsoil due to erosion, according to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The loss of topsoil has reduced corn and soybean yields in the Midwest by 6 percent, resulting in a loss of nearly $3 billion a year for farmers, and increased runoff of sediment and nutrients into nearby waterways, worsening water quality.

End Quote

Let that sink in for a moment. Continue reading →

Episode 245. Rain, Dirt and Soil

This is The ChangeUnderground for the week ending 15th of February 2021.

I’m your host, Jon Moore

Decarbonise the Air, Recarbonise the Soil!

The variations in climatic conditions continue. 136 mm in twenty four hours was very welcome, that’s about 5 and a third inches in the old money. The surprising thing was the lack of run off and pooling on the surface of the fields. I knew things were thirsty but this is quite astonishing. That we had rainfall soaking into the soil rather than pooling and running off as it did our first winter here tells me we are getting more life into the soil. More spaces within the soil profile for rain to find its way into. Always nice to have some positive feedback, I just have to keep a weather eye out in case I’m simply bias confirming and missing something that’s actually happening. I think we’re ok but then I would think that wouldn’t I?  Continue reading →