Saint Ambrose

Saint Ambrose
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Monday, 2 November 2015

Review of Jackie French Soil Food part 2

Review part 2 of:

 Jackie French´s ¨Soil Food¨, Melbourne: Aird pr. 1995, ISBN 0947214445; viii; 181pp + ind. 4pp.

You can read the first part here.

I do not have much to say about the final chapters on manures and composts; they seem well written and more thorough as far as I can tell. There is an advocacy of composting using tyres (140) and potatoes in tyres (172), and tyre use mentioned in case studies (175) that we might want to rethink, given how carcinogenic tyres are; the book is showing its age (i.e. 1995). The method, which is composting in a tyre, is worth rethinking and transposing to other suitable otherwise-wasted containers though).
Chapter 7 on mulching is very good. One could complement the text - which is mostly practical - with a good, up to date work on soil structures and mycorrhizas. Its worth buying for this alone. Some of the methods are dependent on composting to render materials suitable to use as mulch. I would have liked to see the alternative - how to get by without compost.
On the whole, a short book that gives you everything you need to have most of the basics covered, plus a lot of the additional 'tips' that one slowly collected from all over the place very slowly. A very worthwhile book.

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