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Viewing posts from 2020

Andhra Pradesh successes

Posted by Peter Donovan 4 months, 4 weeks ago

Vijay Kumar, Didi Pershouse, Walter Jehne, and others participated in a recent inspiring 3-hour webinar on the successes of farmers in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. This presentation highlights local successes built on 1) the empowerment of women and small farmers, 2) Zero Budget Natural Farming or similar strategies, and 3) the recently adopted practice of pre-monsoon drought seeding, which enables a standing crop canopy, even a small one, to capture atmospheric water in the form of dew, particularly at night. The combination here has resulted in some farmers achieving yearlong green cover even in fairly arid regions, and in some cases a doubling of farmer's income.



Judy Schwartz: The Reindeer Chronicles

Posted by Peter Donovan 8 months, 1 week ago

YES! magazine recently published a review of Judy Schwartz's new book plus some interview excerpts:



Soil‑microbe systems are self‑organising states

Posted by Peter Donovan 9 months, 2 weeks ago in policy and framing /

by Susan Cousineau

(Instagram @susan.cousineau)
Neal, A. L., Bacq-Labreuil, A., Zhang, X., Clark, I. M., Coleman, K., Mooney, S. J., Ritz, K., & Crawford, J. W. (2020). Soil as an extended composite phenotype of the microbial metagenome. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 10649. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-67631-0
 
This paper was a really dense read, but in a nutshell establishes soil as a self-organizing system derived from the interplay of microbial genetics (not just the whole organisms) and soil characteristics, rather than a reducible, mechanical system of many parts. While that may at first glance seem kind of self-evident, here's the peer-reviewed science to back it up.
 
The authors determined that the soil isn't just influenced by microbes; and microbial populations aren't just influenced by soil type, structure, soil organic matter, and so on.


Enabling good questions

Posted by Peter Donovan 10 months, 2 weeks ago in ruminations /

In discussions of regenerative agriculture, soil health, and climate change, it's common to encounter these kinds of questions:



Abe Collins: hiring farmers to grow deep topsoil watersheds

Posted by Peter Donovan 1 year, 1 month ago in policy and framing /

Abe Collins presented at the Grassfed Exchange in February 2018 on Landstream. A great presentation.