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Brave Enough To Care 1

In our first video we teach you the importance of fertile soil

Posted on 31.01.2022
Author Katarina Kostić

In our first video we teach you the importance of fertile soil

Welcome to our first Brave enough to care video.

Being healthy in these times means building fertile soil and growing nutrient-rich food In whatever space we have.

Being healthy is the best climate solution that we can all apply right now.

This and all upcoming videos will teach you how to eat, garden, cook, and share in the way nature would do it. On our walls, balconies, terraces, yards, parking lots.. In permaculture, there are two lovely sayings:

- Everything is gardens.

- And, there are no limits to gardening, except our imagination.

That’s true.

Let's start with the most important material we all depend on.


SOIL

Soil is an ecosystem, thriving in life.

Healthy soil smells of forests.

To produce healthy food, our gardens should resemble forests.

You can create small forests in pots.

In every layer of healthy soil, there are organisms specialized to live there, and just there. So when we disturb the soil, we mix them all… and then they need months to reach their homes again but most of them die. Disturbed, barren soil that we are so used to seeing now is not home to anyone. Bare soil is hungry and at risk of erosion by rain or wind.

In agriculture, humans replace the native vegetation with a domesticated plant species chosen for their value for us humans, as food, fodder, fiber, and fuel. Most common agricultural systems drastically reduce the diversity of the plants and consequently diversity and presence of all other species. This disturbance inevitably provokes responses from nature. Don't forget nature is the first and the best gardener we can learn from.

So what is the easiest thing to grow? What nature grows first?


NATURE GROWS WEEEDSSSS

Watch any disturbed area and you will see precious topsoil washing away in each heavy rain until the brushy weeds cover the ground with their impenetrable tangle.

The word “weed” has been defined as a plant out of place, an unwanted plant, or a plant that is a pest. From these examples, it becomes apparent that the term “weed” is, in part, a human judgment.

If it weren’t for weeds, the world would have lost all of its topsoils, and we might have suffered starvation by now.

Pioneer plants—what we call weeds—are those species that can rapidly cover bare soil and begin performing one or more of the following vital ecological functions:

  • Protect the soil from erosion
  • Replenish organic matter, and feed and restore soil life
  • Absorb, conserve, and recycle nutrients
  • Absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
  • Provide habitat for insects and animals
  • And bit by bit Restore biodiversity.

So let's plant a very common Meditteranean weed!! That until the early 90’s, was only known in Italy but then suddenly reached global fame!

And become one hot plant to be seen with.

Can you guess the plant?

It’s Rocket or Arugula – Eruca Sativa

Family: Brassicaceae or Cabbages!

Rocket is an annual that grows up to a meter in height when left to go to seed but in cultivation is around 40cm tall. It has a peppery taste and is great in salads, and on pizzas amongst many other things.

And in the next episode will make fermented rocket pesto together!!

Health and Nutrition

Rocket is rich in potassium and has a high vitamin C and vitamin A content. It contains beneficial amounts of folic acid, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. Like other leafy greens it has a natural detoxifying effect.

Cultivation

When to sow

Sow any time of the year although it is sensitive to frost.

North hemisphere: Mediterranean region - anytime

Continental climate - any time with a cover.

South Hemisphere - now and until june - then with a cover.

Spacing

Rocket can be planted incredibly close together and then harvested as salad greens in as little as 3 weeks. Just broadcast reasonably densely and thin at will.

Soil depth

Lightly cover seeds with compost or loose soil to a depth of 0,5 cm.

Time to harvest

Leaves should be regularly picked or you will get a strong taste. The easiest way to see if they are getting tough and bitter is the presence of a furry underside. Continuous cutting of the young leaves stimulates further leaf production

Requirements

Rocket does not tolerate dry conditions so the soil will need to remain moist but otherwise requires no special treatment other than a crop rotation and companion planting… nobody likes to grow alone.

Snails and caterpillars love rockets.

Share some with them but if you see they are going to devastate your crops, pick them and take them to another place to eat plants you don't mind being eaten. But keep in mind, it's a garden for everyone.

Snails like other invertebrates are on the path to extinction.

So are the butterflies.

Let's care for them.

Provide food and shelter.

We are all in this together.


WASTE

It’s climate change, it’s mass extinction, and now it’s pandemics!

Now more than ever, we are becoming aware that there are limits and laws in nature. And there are. Natural limits prevent the uncontrolled expansion of any species.

Runaway populations of roaches, mice, grass, microbes, and locus always collapse.

Their own waste piles up and shortages of food ensue. Which leads to stress and stress consequently depresses population expansion and overgrowth.

We can not destroy all life on Earth. Bacterias must be laughing now. But with our old lifestyles, we can only pose a threat to ourselves.

We have to learn from our planet mates. There is no waste in nature.

We grow vegetables, we eat them, then we compost our organic waste .. we ferment our organic waste, like nature does, to feed the soil and its community of life.

Just think, every time you pick plants from the garden, you take some amount of matter out of the system. Animals do that too, but they leave their excrement in the system so it continues and everyone is happy!!

We can actually do the same: not leave our pup in the garden.. Although that is a possibility :)

We can compost our organic waste, use it as mulch, make biofertilizers out of it, grow mushrooms, feed chickens, make hummus with the help of earthworms…

It's the fermentation process behind all of these possibilities!! That is a thing that microbes do the best.. In our bodies, in the soil.. Almost everywhere.

In fermented foods - they predigest foods for us, they recycle complex molecules into smaller, easily digestible ones, make nutrients easily accessible for us to assimilate them.

A very similar thing they do in the soil. Recycle fallen leaves, branches, and other organic matter into simpler compounds.. That matter is then used by other species.. Plants included… And at the top of the chain is us.. Eating our dinner!!

So.. let's repeat this natural cycle.

If you don't have large space: use your organic waste as mulch.. Shed leaves around your veggies and rocket we’ve just planted. Don't put too much on the top of the seeds.. So they can germinate with ease.

If you do have space: make a compost box, earthworms bin, chicken coop…. Make biofertilizers..

RECIPE - Introduction to fermentation: Ginger Beer- Katatonic - Ginger Beer relish

Sail with us!

Our solution is to grow our own food , make our own medicine and convert waste into gold

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