The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Homegrown Humus

Homegrown humusIt's been raining and raining and raining, so I've huddled inside writing up (and through) a storm.  My root cellar ebook still needs a bit more data and photos, but a quick overview of using cover crops in no-till gardens really wanted to see the light of day immediately. 

Homegrown Humus: Cover Crops in a No-till Garden probably won't give you much new information if you've been reading my experiments here on the blog, but it might be worth 99 cents to have all of the data summed up in one place.  I'm hoping the ebook will inspire folks to see how easy it is to boost their organic matter levels in a no-till garden.  Here's the blurb:

Homegrown humus is easy with cover crops!

Cover crops are a simple, cheap way to boost your soil's organic matter, to fight weeds, to prevent erosion, to attract pollinators, and to keep the ecosystem in balance.  Unfortunately, most information on growing cover crops is written for people who plow their soil every year and are willing to spray herbicides.  You can get all of the same benefits in a no-till garden, though, if you're clever.

Homegrown Humus details three no-till winners in depth --- buckwheat, oilseed radishes, and oats.  Profiles of other species suggest gardening conditions when you might want to try out sunflowers, annual ryegrass, barley, rye, Austrian winter peas, crimson clover, or cowpeas as well.

Meanwhile, the book delves into finding cover crop seeds, planting cover crops in a no-till garden, and easily killing cover crops without tilling or herbicide use.  Understanding the C:N ratio of cover crops helps determine how long to wait between killing cover crops and planting vegetables, as well as how to maximize the amount of humus you're adding to your soil.

Cover crops are an advanced gardening technique bound to increase your vegetable yields, but are simple enough for beginners.  Give your garden a treat --- grow some buckwheat!

Next week, I'll post excerpts as a lunchtime series.  To read the rest, you'll need to splurge 99 cents on the ebook (which can be read on nearly any device), or wait until next Friday when I'm setting the price to free so that my loyal readers can pick up a copy without paying.  Those of you who prefer a pdf copy can email me next Friday as well and I'll send your free copy that way instead.  Thanks for reading (and double thanks if you find the time to leave a review on Amazon)!  It's your glowing reviews of Trailersteading that inspired me to whip out this ebook so quickly.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Is your root cellar working? I've wondered if it would keed an even enough temp and humidity.
Comment by Gerry Wed Jan 16 11:33:08 2013
Gerry --- The humidity levels in there are awesome and the carrots are in great shape. The light has come on a few times, and it did dip down to 30 once, but presumably only for a very short time since the food doesn't seem to have been negatively affected. We're still loving it!
Comment by anna Wed Jan 16 11:49:39 2013

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