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How Humus Can Save The World - Report

Lissa and I joined quite a crowd to listen to Graham Sait expound at length on the need for and benefits of Humus (and although tasty, not the Chick Pea Hummus ;-)) See this event: http://brisbanelocalfood.ning.com/events/how-humus-can-save-the-world


Not certain of Graham's academic background but he has the gift of making complex ideas and practices plain and clear to we ordinary gardeners.
He can talk the hind leg of a donkey though so be prepared if you attend one of his talks, for 1 and a half hours of non-stop information, anecdotes and explanations.


Some notes on issues which sounded useful if not downright vital ...

1. Earthworms eat microbes of one sort and another including protozoa. So to make a protozoa tea do this:
Get some Alfalfa/Lucerne (synonym) either fresh or dried. Steep it in a 10L bucket of non-chlorinated water with some fish emulsion or kelp extract or both. Aerate it for 24 hours and spay on the soil. The worms adore it and munch one end and crap out the other the most nutritious substances imaginable.

2. A pH of 6.4 is the ideal both for soils and for our own bodies. There's a heap of reasons most of which is that the greatest range of minerals are available to us and the soil at this pH.

3. Humic acid stimululates fungal growth. A lot of plants like to live in association with fungi. Humic acid is extracted from brown coal - it is a compressed form of plants. Humic acid can be bought and you don't need much of it. And completed compost is humus although it takes quite a while for the humus to form, it is well worth the wait.

4. Silica is essential for cell-wall strength. Silica is widely available and cheap to buy. Plants with good strong cell walls are insulated against most diseases and pests.

5. The minerals Molybdenum and Boron are vital for plant health. Available as Trace Elements.

6. Moringa trees are just so valuable on so many fronts - beg borrow or steal a Moringa tree! I will have some billets from my Moringa available at Dianne's GV on Sunday 29th March.

7. One square metre of soil with humus can hold 16 litres of water with only 1 percent humus. What a bargain!

Secrets of soil health: Microbes, Minerals, Humates. In a nutshell.

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on June 18, 2015 at 13:04

He'd blind them with science! The current lot are not keen on science it seems. Doubt they'd believe him. If you can't see it, it doesn't exist for them yet many are religious ...

Comment by Shirley on June 18, 2015 at 12:58
I did his four day seminar at the end of March this year. Amazing, so much to take in. Would highly recommend it to everyone. Time is running out for earth we should all be doing everything in our power to make the changes needed, I wish the politicians would listen, Graeme should have a talk to them!
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on March 22, 2015 at 18:05

I would prefer a lot of things had we done them right the first time. But we are here, now. We can only work with what we have in our now. 

Comment by Dave Riley on March 22, 2015 at 16:45

Well the climate change trajectory constitutes a crisis for humanity ALREADY...but I'm not so confident in the humus solution to  accumulate all that feral CO2. 

The carbon farming lobby says it will -- especially here in Australia where its inspired by  folk like Percy Yeomans family-- but I don't think the statistics are there to prove that POV absolutely as the readings are all over the place and aren't constant year in year out.

That's the problem with the carbon sequestration  market. How do you know it's working, paddock by paddock/bed by bed?

It's a hypothetical.

No doubt carbon can be more scientifically sequestered in soils --consciously -- and every bit of dirt  has a role to play --  but it's not a a panacea. Indeed  there is a strong case  to be made that animal husbandry -- grazing -- is a more efficient  way to sequester carbon than relying on horticulture as there is much more land under cloven  hoof than being sown for grain and veg.

Indeed rice cultivation is a major driver of climate change gases through methane emissions.

The other complication with sequestering politics is that it begs the argument that we can still increase climate change gases willy nilly, as the soil will  absorb it if we do the sums. 

I'd prefer not to pollute in the first place....so that the soil and its humus isn't guilt tripped.

Comment by Lissa on March 22, 2015 at 4:47

Thank you for the report Elaine - I think I left in a state of shock.

Comment by Lissa on March 22, 2015 at 4:45

Thanks for the video link Dave - I've just started listening but it sounds very similar to the talk he gave us. Graeme gave us so much information it was over whelming.

His predictions the near future of this earth will stop you in your tracks. Everyone should sit up and take notice....NOW.

Comment by Dave Riley on March 21, 2015 at 17:50

Comment by Dianne Caswell on March 21, 2015 at 16:28

Fabulous, I am going to do everything I can to do this. I will take some billets from your Moringa. Also in case I forget I need you to identify a couple of cuttings you gave me at your GV, they have struck well and have good healthy roots and today was the day for me to plant out and as a bonus down came the rain, what  blessing.

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