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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Glomalin and Soil Remediation

The growing conditions for tender fruits and vegetables in the Niagara Region is exceptional but like all intensively farmed areas it is being degraded. The photo below shows a common method of growing fruits, the soil is completely tilled or sprayed with herbicide.
Why can't we have more of what is in the photo below? Clover is a wonderful nitrogen fixer and is known to be involved in the production of glomalin. Glomalin is key to a fertile soil. Here is an informative pamphlet that was sent to me by Joan Gussow on glomalin. If you have want great friable and verdant soil, glomalin is key.  Also, glomalin is believed to be an effective sequesterer of carbon, not an insignificant characteristic.
For the reader who is concerned with soil depletion issues, I recommend the two classic references on the subject: The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka and Gardening Without Work: For the Aging, the Busy & the Indolent by Ruth Stout.  The future of the Niagara Region is very dependant on the quality of the soil and it is about time that we start taking better care of the soil.
I would encourage planting white clover wherever possible as a start. It is good for the soil and the fruit growers friend, the pollinating honeybee.
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