DVD Review “Soils” Geoff Lawton
I watched this one last out of the set of five that I purchased. I guess I was least interested in this one. I thought it might be a little dry. I was wrong of course. As with all of Geoff Lawton’s videos, he found a way to make them informative and entertaining. While this one is probably not the most exciting video of the five, it is packed with more information than most of the others. And when it comes to gardening and permaculture, if you don’t have good soil, you don’t have anything.
Major Concepts in “Soils”
Unsustainability of Modern Farming: This has been shown over and over again, when will we wake up?
Composting: I am not a fan of making compost, as I prefer to compost in place, but Geoff does a great job of showing you exactly how to do it. It’s a lot of work!
Carbon to Nitrogen Ratio: If you can get that 25-1 carbon to nitrogen ratio, you are golden.
Raised or Sunken Beds: This was interesting to me. He put in raised beds in wet environments, and sunken beds in hot and dry environments.
Mulching: The benefits are enormous.
Sheet Mulching: Geoff shows you how to setup a quick and productive garden through sheet mulching.
Soil pH: He does a great job explaining this. Basically, if you get your soil right, you won’t have to worry about it.
Soil Types: Geoff has samples of different soils, and shows you how they retain water.
Worm Farms: I like the bathtub worm farm they showed with the spout for your compost tea. These would be great to place under rabbit hutches.
Chickens and Ducks: They did actually show some cool uses for building soil with chickens and ducks. Geoff lets the chickens free range in the food forest, but he likes to spread some feed around the fruit trees, so the chickens will fertilize the fruit trees. The ducks dirty their little pond, and then Geoff pumps the water with duck manure out of a spigot next to the garden to fertilize the plants. I thought this was really cool. I would like to incorporate ducks into my garden, but I haven’t figured out exactly how yet. I think unless you have a really large pond, they will over fertilize a pond.
Paddock Shift: They showed a nice example of paddock shifting with cows and chickens.
Yeoman’s Plow: The one type of plow that is acceptable in the permaculture world. It is a great way to relieve compaction, and if done on contour, can really increase water holding capabilities. This is a great concept for the farm setting.
Compost Tea: Geoff demonstrates a pretty sophisticated method for making compost tea.