Grow Your Own Soil
April 1, 2010
One of the principles of the Grow Biointensive method of agriculture is growing carbon compost crops. You are literally growing your own soil. Some of these compost crops, such as cereal rye, grow very deep into the soil. As these compost crops’ roots reach down into the deeper, rockier layers of the soil, they help to break up and mine minerals from the rocks. Then, when the plants are composted, these minerals are returned to the earth to help build top soil. Also, these compost crops leave behind a network of roots. All sorts of decomposers (from insects to worms) use these roots as food and leave behind their nutrient-rich waste. This winter, we planted three different cover crops in our raised beds. We used bell beans and vetch for nitrogen, and rye for carbon. More on cover crops later . . .