Originally published by: Farmsweekly
Author: Bill Kerr
First, the bad news: if you are starting a small vegetable farm, you will have to wait several years before nutrient recycling takes place in the soil.
Now for the good news: if you follow the guidelines in this series, your lands will be productive while the soil builds up to the point where it provides maximum yield, higher water-holding capacity, greater disease resistance, better eelworm control, and tastier vegetables with a longer shelf life.
The humus in my soil can hold 750 000ℓ water/ha, like a reservoir. Rain is absorbed easily and I save on irrigation costs.
One hectare of soil 15cm deep weighs approximately 2 000t. If the organic content of the soil is 3%, that area would contain 60t of organic matter. This includes 50t of passive carbon.
Carbon occurs in an active and passive form. Active carbon is present in all soil organisms and decaying organic material, and gives rise to passive carbon.