Hear Your Soil Sing Again!
We Build Ecosystems
The key to reviving a dead soil is to add the life back in.
All the beneficial bacteria, protozoa, fungi and nematodes.
Definition of Soil Harmonics
A harmonic, by definition, is an energy wave that is a part of a multiple frequency with its own unique energy wave. One way of understanding this is through the analogy of a symphony. A symphony is comprised of several instruments which, when being played, have their own individual sound wave, or tone. Each instrument wave is a single harmonic. The sound the instruments make in unison is the multiple frequency made by several harmonics. Each instrument will have its unique sound, as does the sound of the symphony with all the instrument intonations occurring at once.
Systems in nature are comprised of many components working together to create a symphony where that system has a unique purpose that is bigger and more complex than the purposes of their individual parts. In the case of soil, those components include the minerals and organic matter of the soil itself, the air and water within the pore space of the soil and the critters that live in and on the soil. The soil organic matter includes decaying plant material, live plant roots and the simple carbohydrates exuding from the plant roots. Soil life includes nematodes, protozoa, many types of bacteria, fungi, bugs that eat organic matter called microarthropods, burrowing animals, insects and scratching birds. Perhaps now you can see how intricate and alive soil truly is. This soil harmonic creates life on this planet and without all the individual harmonics the “tone” of the soil begins to lose its power and richness. Creating life becomes a struggle and all living things on the planet suffer, plant and animal. Currently much of our soil is an incomplete harmonic.
So, which frequencies are currently missing?
Well, most of them. Current land use practices have diminished the harmonics of the soil. Use of heavy equipment for tillage, harvesting and transport across farmland has compacted the soil. This compaction has drastically reduced pore space which means there is no room for water and air in the soil. With no air and water, the soil critters cannot thrive. Plants need the life in the soil to bring them nutrients and they need pore space in order to grow deep roots and find sufficient water. Tillage, specifically, destroys fungi and earthworms. When fungi is present in the soil, it releases nitrogen that becomes available to plants, while earthworms leave their nutrient dense castings for plants and the other soil critters. Without their presence, plants struggle to receive the nutrients and minerals they need. Pesticide and herbicide application kills everything, not just the pests. So beneficial bacteria, protozoa, fungi and nematodes are removed from the harmonics in the soil and unfortunately, the pests will grow back first leaving plants open to attack. Once these land use practices have been implemented, only soil minerals and some organic matter are left along with a few sad, struggling plants.
2TBS Black Diamond VermiCompost added the the plant on the left. Nothing added to the plant on the right.
Result: Strong root growth in one month
The most neglected frequency….. This would be the human connection. At one time, people lived in closer connection with the land. Ultimately, all resources for our survival come from it. It was understood that we live in a closed loop, finite system and that stewardship of the land would enhance what the Earth could give us while taking care of her at the same time. The Native Peoples of this continent cared for the oak trees in such a way to serve themselves with food resources while still tending to and allowing healthy forest ecosystems.
How do we fix this and why would we want to?
The key to reviving a dead soil is to add the life back in. All the beneficial bacteria, protozoa, fungi and nematodes. This is done through mulching, the use of compost or compost tea which is full of the appropriate soil life and succession and companion planting. Proper addition of these things will restore pore space and increase air and water holding capacity of the soil. Plant roots can grow deeper and need less additional water. Beneficial soil life will protect your plant from pests so herbicides and pesticides are not needed. Once you plant some supportive friends for your food production plants, you will have a space that is full of predatory insects to feed on your pests, and bees to pollinate your crop. A healthy soil will need less water and strengthen your ability to conserve water in these times of drought. Plus you will create an endless supply of free food.
When it comes to fixing the loss of land connection on the part of humanity, time spent listening to and observing the land is important. Take off your shoes and walk on your land. Be silent with it, observe how it takes care of itself. Ask yourself what your soil and topography are truly suited to do. Then ask where it is lacking in diversity. How can this land be enhanced to give you resources while allowing for a thriving ecosystem?
Restoring the Soil Harmonics Consulting and Design Team
An example of a healthy soil. This is evident by the healthy diversity of plants and the teeming insect population.
Abalone Coast Analytical, Inc has added this new department in order to be part of creating solutions to soil, water and food challenges. We have monitored soil and water for over nine years and now we are excited to go beyond monitoring and help heal the land and water. The main members of the team are Amanda Smith, owner at Abalone Coast Analytical, Inc, Cristy Christie, owner of Black Diamond Vermicompost, and Renn Strong who does design visioning and community/team building work directly with Soil Harmonics. Their combined education includes knowledge of soil chemistry, soil microbiology, permaculture practices, building aerobic compost and compost tea brewing. When a larger implementation team is needed, we have an extended network of landscape architects for designing your space as well as the crew to install the design. We are here to educate and help you maintain your land once the transformative process begins.
Owner, Abalone Coast Analytical, Inc.
Owner of Black Diamond Vermicompost
Building Better Communities From the Soil Up!
Soil Harmonics is about building community! Everything we need comes from the ground and we like to help organizations that are doing their part to take care of the Earth. Ecologistics is a non-profit located here in San Luis Obispo, CA that we love. If you feel so inclined, please visit their page and make a donation.