No-Till Mulch Gardening
Yesterday, I attended with my friend Leslie, a 3 hour 'no till gardening' workshop in Orangeville, ON taught by Russell Scott. I learned from this workshop (as well as from an Organic Soil Management course taught by Heide Hermary) that the first 6 inches of soil are very very important. We cannot begin to fathom the complex miniature ecosytems and biodiversity that exist in this layer and the huge role they play in the foundation of life on this planet. In gardening, as in other areas of our life, we often take for granted the things we can't see - but the role that microorganims and bacteria play in nuturing and supporting life on this planet is profound. Hence no till gardening. Disturb the first 6 inches of soil as little as possible. We learned that we should add mulch (such as trees leaves, straw, or decomposing plant material) to new and existing gardens every year, to provide rich organic matter that will give nutrients back to plants as well as increase the soil's water holding capacity. Where I live, we have a lot of clay and not much organic matter, so this is something I want to work on with my lawn and garden.
If your interested in permaculture gardening and would like to learn more - click here.