Soil Regeneration

Chip Osborne + Organic turf

ChipPhotoTurfBlogIn our research on Earth Friendly Management, a name that kept coming up was one of the first people in the country to implement organic lawn care on an institutional basis – Chip Osborne from Marblehead, MA. The City of Marblehead was a pioneer in non-pesticide lawn management. This started in 1998, and Chip implemented the plan there. His website – http://www.osborneorganics.com.

Chip Osborne’s Biography

Chip Osborne is one of the country’s leading experts on growing sustainable, natural turf.

Chip is the president of Osborne Organics, LLC, a company he founded to support and educate the land care industry and public sector in alternative approaches to turf management. Chip’s natural strategies blend science with hands on experience to create safe, sustainable, and healthy athletic elds and landscapes that do not involve the use of synthetic pesticides and chemical based fertilizers.

As a national consultant, Chip works with state agencies, municipalities, universities and nonpro t organizations in the areas of organic turf management and pesticide elimination.

Industry Experience

Lecturer for the Northeast Organic Farming Association
Board Member of Beyond Pesticides
Chairman of the Marblehead, Massachusetts’ Recreation and Parks Department Co-founded The Living Lawn Project in Marblehead, MA
National Seminars Providing Education to the Landscape and Lawn Care Industry Professional horticulturalist with over 40 years experience in the green industry.

Don Smith, Kiss the Ground

Soil, It brings us food, clothing, shelter, and helps keep our water cycle healthy. It’s also an important part of reversing global warming. Kiss The Ground empowers people to restore soil and helps accelerate the adoption of regenerative agriculture.

Videos from Don’s website, Kiss the Ground

New York Times – Soil Power! The Dirty Way to a Green Planet

Excellent article about how regenerative agriculture can recycle carbon dioxide back into the earth, and help with global warming.

NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium)

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers run off our properties and into our water ways when it rains. This  creates algae blooms that are creating dead zones in our oceans. A dead Zone is where there is zero oxygen in the water, so nothing can live.

Nitrogen and Phosphorus fertilizers do not feed the soil. They feed the plants and ignore the soil. This method grows weak plants that have low bio-mass, making them vulnerable to disease and insects.

Compost, mulch, manure and natural minerals like oyster shells and kelp break down and feed the soil. The soil then feeds the plants. This approach grows strong plants high in biomass that are resistant to insects and disease.

Healthy Humans result from a healthy chain reaction

Vibrant Soil makes vibrant Food. Vibrant Food makes Vibrant Humans.

Snails and Slugs

Our constant mantra is that no poison is safe. Read the info here.

Sluggo is a poison that also kills earthworms.

A man-made chemical called EDTA, a chelating agent that causes the iron phosphate to release its elemental iron easily in the digestive systems of not only slugs and snails but of pretty much anything that eats it, children and pets and earth worms. EDTA or the similar EDDS are the only reason these baits are effective, yet interestingly the label only reads Active Ingredient: Iron Phosphate – 1%, Inert Ingredients – 99%. No mention is made of the presence of another chemical that can turn harmless iron phosphate into a deadly poison. Apparently EDTA was slipped through the cracks in our regulatory system as an “inert” ingredient, and inert ingredients do not have to be listed on the label. Since iron phosphate is harmless, and EDTA is the ingredient that makes it effective, not to mention dangerous.

A review of these products by the Swiss organic certification organization (FiBL) discovered the EDTA content and stated that these products were likely no safer than the metaldehyde baits, that EDTA itself was significantly more poisonous than metaldehyde, and even said they weren’t even sure that it wasn’t the EDTA alone that was killing slugs and snails.

I have found that plant trapping works great. Give them what they want. Would you rather have ice cream for dinner or spinach? Farmers have used plant trapping to attract insects away from the desired crop. For example what I do is place cabbage heads around my garden to which the snails are attracted, and they leave my plants alone.

Nitrogen Fixers

IMG_3423

At the root of this fava bean plant are nitrogen nodules. This plant along with the peas, Barley, and fetch that are also growing behind me take nitrogen out of the air and fix it to the roots. 2 months ago this hillside was full of weeds. We dug 2 shovels deep into the soil, turned it and then put a mixture of premium soil builder cover crop.
IMG_3419Now it’s time to chop the crop down leaving the foliage on top of the soil as a green manure to decompose. The roots and the nitrogen will feed the soil.

IMG_3408

In 4-6 weeks the soil will be ready to plant your favorite crops.