With the economy and farm finance more and more problematic, interest is growing in running farms with fewer, more accurate and less expensive inputs and homemade fertilizers can help cut costs and keep fertility on the farm.
Formerly we’ve overdosed with a plethora of harsh fertilizers — especially nitrogen. As a result we’ve burned up the better part of our soil carbon, and this has reduced our rainfall.
By burning off carbon, we have created droughts even as ocean warming has sent more evaporation into the atmosphere. We have ignored that few things have more affinity for hydrogen than carbon, and if we want rain to adhere to and permeate our soils we need to build soil carbon.
We thought salt fertilizers were cheap, and the stunning results encouraged us to wish away any hidden costs, no matter that earthworms disappeared simultaneously with the food chain that supported them. Our soils got hard and sticky as magnesium stayed behind while nitrates leached, carrying away silicon, calcium and trace minerals. The soil fused when wet, shed water when it rained, and we continued to get less for more.
As if this wasn’t enough, the mind-set we were sold was get big or get out. As our net margins dried up and our future prospects evaporated, our water dried up and our land became exhausted. Continue Reading →