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Compost Tea clip

 
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I visit with Helen Atthowe, goddess of the soil and longtime Missoula County Horticultural Extension Agent.  We start off talking about compost.  She is the most advanced composter I know.  And we talk about how composting doesn't have to be as difficult as people make it out.

We also talk about compost tea.  Especially when it is of value and when it is not.

Helen talks about her horticultural philosophy which she calls veganic permaculture.

Helen and I then explore the space of veganism in general.

We also talk about how some native plants people stand against permaculture.

podcast 015
 
steward
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Location: FL
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I played the podcast, found it a good investment of time.  Now I have to find the time for all the other podcasts.  Thanks a lot!

What I picked up on was a description of evolution by Atthowe over many years of effort.  Evolution in the garden, evolution of her compost methods, evolution of the soil, evolution of her spirit.

We are all at different stages of development in our endeavors.  To some of us, composting is second nature, more of a reflex than a conscious effort.  Some have never built a compost heap.  Others have moved on to hugulkulture.  I am reminded of Jonathan Livingston Seagull:  There is always a higher level to be achieved if you have the drive to keep trying.

To some folks, compost tea is an advanced step in soil conditioning.  To others, compost tea is a fundamental early step.  There are people who no longer use it as their soil in a high condition.  I'm right around the middle.  In my opinion its use is essential in establishing the microbial diversity in abused soils.  Once established, continued treatment is effective against disease and insects.  In time, as the ecology of the soil improves, healthier plants will be resistant to disease and insects, reducing the need for treatment.

Consider the notion that organic gardening is a precursor to permaculture.  It may not be the only path to that end, but the methods are understandable and easily duplicated.  Start small and simple, take the next step, keep on going. 

 
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I would love to see Helen take a few steps backwards in her evolution.  Back to her days as a County Extension Agent.  I would love to see her give seminars to the other Extension agents, to educate them that BayerAg and Monsanto type companies are NOT the future in profitable farming.  The lessons that she has learned along her evolutionary path need to be taught to those who are charged with providing advice to inquisitive farmers throughout all of America's counties.
Just MHO.  I wish her well whatever path she chooses to follow.  Kudos!
 
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