I got an interesting e-mail recently from a reader regarding ramial chipped wood, a soil amendment I formerly knew nothing about.
Just when I think I’m nearing a Unified Field Theory of gardening, new doors open. The links are fascinating:
Hello David,I just read your recent article in the November issue of Natural
Awakenings. I think your column is a great addition to
the magazine.One thing that caught my eye was your mention of the film Back
to Eden. After watching it about 6 or 7 months ago I
spoke with a professional agricultural consultant, and in our
conversation he said that the ideal garden soil would be that
originating from a hardwood forest. He suggested venturing
into a hardwood forest and removing the top few inches of a
section, and bringing it back to my garden. I then decided to
search on the web to see if I could find out more information
about the soil of hardwood forests. After a while I came
across an article about ramial chipped wood. Canadian
researchers at Laval University, in Quebec, Canada, began
researching the effects of wood chips in agriculture back in
1978. Their research continued for many years and they made
some big discoveries. Rather than go deeper into the subject
in this email, I’ll give you some great links about their
work. It took a while to find some of these.
Prior to the Canadian research, there was an experiment done
at Cornell University, in New York. It spanned 15 years, from
1951-1966. Just as the Canadians discovered, there were great
improvements in soil structure and fertility.
Amazing stuff. Thanks to Richard for sending over the links… I spent half a night reading away. It just shows how little we really know about forests and their regenerative power.
I think I’m gonna go throw some sticks around the fruit trees now. It’s never to late to start composting everything.