Just when I think I'm nearing a Unified Field Theory of gardening, new doors open. The links are fascinating:
I just read your recent article in the November issue of Natural Awakenings. I think your column is a great addition to the magazine.
One thing that caught my eye was your mention of the film Back to Eden. After watching it about 6 or 7 months ago I spoke with a professional agricultural consultant, and in our conversation he said that the ideal garden soil would be that originating from a hardwood forest. He suggested venturing into a hardwood forest and removing the top few inches of a section, and bringing it back to my garden. I then decided to search on the web to see if I could find out more information about the soil of hardwood forests. After a while I came across an article about ramial chipped wood. Canadian researchers at Laval University, in Quebec, Canada, began researching the effects of wood chips in agriculture back in 1978. Their research continued for many years and they made some big discoveries. Rather than go deeper into the subject in this email, I'll give you some great links about their work. It took a while to find some of these.
Prior to the Canadian research, there was an experiment done at Cornell University, in New York. It spanned 15 years, from 1951-1966. Just as the Canadians discovered, there were great improvements in soil structure and fertility.
Amazing stuff. Thanks to Richard for sending over the links... I spent half a night reading away. It just shows how little we really know about forests and their regenerative power.
I think I'm gonna go throw some sticks around the fruit trees now.