Did you know that…..
….when you set-up and plant-up your Garden Tower you are actively demonstrating of some of the latest cutting-edge agricultural techniques! Using these principles yourself willbenefit the plants and the soil, just as it would in the wider agricultural world. Importantly though, applying them in a Garden Tower it is a great way of providing a mini-biome demonstration that this approach really works.
The Soil Health movement is an increasingly ‘difficult to ignore’ group of farmers, agricultural scientists and conservation agronomists. They are pioneering a movement that has recently ‘stolen the spotlight’ from conventional agriculture.
At the centre of The Soil Health movement is a management philosophy composed of four simple principles:
• Reduce or eliminate tillage;
• Keep plant residues on the soil;
• Keep living roots in the ground;
• Maximise diversity of plants and animals.
This is a set of ‘soil regenerative principles’ designed to reverse the trend of degraded agricultural soils. This degrading trend is blighting agriculture world-wide. Soils have deteriorated over decades, due to an ‘excess tillage’ monoculture which has been constantly optimised with chemical inputs.
Spot the soil health difference
There is no coincidence….you will notice a distinct familiarity between the natural management practices in a Garden Tower and those of the soil health movement or ‘regenerative agriculture’ as these practises have collectively become known.
Reducing or eliminating tillage is simply designed to reduce the massive disruption on biological communities in the soil. As an example, the huge contribution of mycorrhizal fungi to plant health is completely negated by tillage tearing fungal strands apart. Introducing mycorrhizal fungi into your Garden Tower will pay long-term dividends, simply through the natural lack of disturbance the system encourages.
Keeping plant residues on the soil is a way of putting the organic matter back on the soil. Here, the soil life can feed on it, break it down and among all the other benefits, transport it’s component parts back to plants as bio-available nutrients. This what we do as Garden Tower growers by feeding the worm tube with plant residues.
Keeping living roots in the ground is important to maintain continuity of existence for beneficial microbes. These beneficial microbes are dependant on the symbiotic relationship between themselves and plants. Due to the nature of the system, the Garden Tower has a constant diversity of plants. There is no necessity to have to harvest everything simultaneously, as occurs in industrial agri-monoculture, with disastrous outcomes for microbes.
In a Garden Tower, this same diversity of plants, along with its earthworm-boosted biology, provides a maximised diversity of healthy organisms. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this situation existed in our global agricultural soils!
Demonstrating the regenerative approach
Incredibly, man is the only organism on the planet that produces and discards ‘waste’. By demonstrating the circular nature of these simple principles, the Tower can be a mini-beacon of understanding. The adoption of a regenerative approach by us all, will enable us to encourage our farmers to work hard at achieving the same.
Finally, it is nice to know that with a Garden Tower you are capable of demonstrating a technology that can quite literally, utilised in it’s wider context, save the planet.