What does it mean to steward soil well?


I don't claim to have the only good answers; there are various soil ecosystems by bio-region. Since college my main focus has been soil stewardship in the Pacific NW (WA, OR, CA, and B.C.). I've collaborated with Lewis & Clark College and Vashon Island Land Trust, helping more than 1,600 trees from ivy, and digging out the roots of many invasive plants! From 2014-2016 I lived immersed in the coastal-forest ecosystem, in my tent and car.

 

Water is critical for healthy forests, so when you detect continuously wet land it's usually good to dig a swale or pond. Compost tea and plant guilds are great! Some plants can be extremely invasive in the PNW. English ivy, holly, Himalayan blackberry, and quite a few others spread by seed and have disproportionate advantages over native plants; they outcompete and restrict access to light, water, and soil nutrients, causing desertification.

Soil Stewardship

I can only speak from my own experiences and what I learn from people; taking ownership of that is important. Different species threaten different environments. The PNW is often referred to as the Cascadic climates, mostly formed by the Salish Sea, salmon, mountains, and Gulf of Alaska storms.

From various farmers I've learned a lot through the years, especially since joining the board of directors for the Vashon Island Growers Association.

© 2019 by Christopher 'Birdz' Van Putten