Catherine : What’s considered a considerable amount of worms for a certain area?

Here’s the formula for determining an acceptable amount of earthworms in your soil. This is a quote directly from the article entitled, The Secret to Healthy Soil, by Robert Pavlis, Mother Earth Gardener, Summer 2020:

“Dig up a cubic foot of soil and place it on something flat, such as cardboard or a sheet of wood. Go through all of the soil by hand and count the earthworms. Healthy soil will have more than 10 earthworms. Poor soil will have fewer than three. A count between three and 10 indicates that your soil is suitable for plant growth but will benefit from improvement.”

Catherine : How would you describe the introduction of chickens or other animals to the garden? (For example, chickens love to eat the pests like japanese beetles or potato beetles) Is that considered organic or sustainable?

This is sustainable because it uses an organic method of pest control while also nourishing the soil with chicken droppings.

Catherine : How do you decide which non sustainable actions/products are better than others if you don’t currently have (or feel like you don’t have an another option) a choice?

You’ll need to weigh the benefits versus the potential harm of one non-sustainable action in comparison with another. For example, if you have tried companion planting to eliminate cabbage butterfly damage on your cole crops and it hasn’t prevented an infestation you then have two options: 1) use an organic pesticide; 2) grow cole crops under insect barrier cloth (aka floating row covers). Using an organic pesticide directed only at the plant itself so that it doesn’t have a widespread effect on the surrounding plants and soil will probably cause less damage than using the cloth that is a non-biodegradable petroleum product. (The pesticide will biodegrade.)

Matt : It seems like backyard chickens would work towards achieving many of the same goals as you explained in the presentation. Composted chicken manure from your own property is one of the best organic and natural fertilizers available. It helps with soil fertility, helps the soil retain water, and adds organic matter back into the earth.  It seems like backyard chickens would also help reduce climate change and provide opportunities for populations that may not have access to organic food.

Matt : Composted chicken manure is a perfect solution!

Matt : This way you know exactly what the source is, the feed, and how they were treated

Matt : backyard chickens would be very beneficial for the home organic gardener

Yes, to all four comments above.

Catherine : What about the wood chips, the ones over off annie glidden? I can’t remember the road. Is that acceptable for mulch?

Yes, as long as it is laid on top of the soil and is not expected to be tilled under. Its decomposition process will need nitrogen that it will pull from the soil below. A good practice would be laying out a layer of cut grass before topping it with the wood chips. The grass would provide the necessary nitrogen. There are a few trees that exude a chemical that will prohibit seed sprouting. For more thorough information, see and file:///C:/Users/clare/AppData/Local/Temp/Wood%20Chips%20in%20Vegetable%20Production.pdf


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350 is the measure of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. Our ability to rapidly reduce this critical number will determine our ability to survive on Earth.