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The Soul of Soil


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Table of Contents

1. Understanding the Soil Ecosystem
Organic matter and humus
Physical factors: Soil structure and tilth
Chemical factors: nutrient cycles and balances
biological factors; The living soil community
2. Observing and Evaluating Your Soil
Monitoring tilth: reading the field
Looking beneath the surface
Evaluating biological health: looking at life forms
3. Soil Management Practices
Managing physical factors: drainage, irrigation, tillage, and cultivation
Organic matter and humus management
Animal manures
Green manures and other soil-improving crops
Using off-farm nutrient sources
4. The Marketplace and Organic Certification

About the Author

Joe Smillie is the senior vice-president of Quality Assurance International, a leading organic certification agency. He is co-author of the books The Orchard Almanac and Rodale's Chemical-Free Yard & Garden, and is a founding member of the Organic Trade Association, and the International Inspectors Group. He lives in Richmond, Vermont. Grace Gershuny, in addition to her position on the staff of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program, has worked for many years as an educator, organizer, and market gardener. She is nationally known in the alternative agriculture movement, is the author of Start With the Soil, and Compost, Vermicompost and Compost Tea: Feeding the Soil on the Organic Farm as well as co-author of The Rodale Book of Composting and The Soul of Soil. She is on the faculties of the Institute for Social Ecology and Goddard College, and lives in Barnet, Vermont.

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