Humus and soil fertility

When I look at a forest, I can see plants and trees growing naturally and profusely. So the land is very fertile, and without human intervention.

Plants need soil to grow, and the soil also needs plants and their roots to maintain themselves.
For example, if a forest is cut, the roots die and nothing retains the soil. This creates erosion, and the soil can be trapped by the rains causing landslides that are dangerous to humans.

This is why it is important to respect the vegetation and preserve forests.

Beneath the forest litter is the humus: it forms a black layer, similar to soil, moist and sticky, created and maintained by the decomposition of the organic matter, created by living beings and mainly by the combined action of animals, bacteria and soil fungi. Humus has a very recognizable smell of “undergrowth”. It is rich in nutrients and “mycorrhizae” which are a union between microscopic fungi and the roots of plants forming an excellent fertilizer for plants.

It is possible to reproduce the fertility of the humus by creating a raised bed by burying materials that will decompose, as in a forest.

We will first put first big branches that will decompose more slowly and hold the water, then we’ll have to put smaller branches, dry leaves and earth … We have to alternate materials containing nitrogen (eg cut grass) and carbon-containing materials (eg dry leaves). It is important to use as much as possible what is found around and which is considered as vegetable “waste”. This is why it is useful to have trees near the plantations.

These raised beds, sometimes called “permanent”, are very fertile and require little water and little maintenance. They create an ecological solution for all.


The Grand Potager’s raised mounds

At the Grand Potager on the Domain of Fontenille, we tried out a raised mound technique, connected by a teepee giving inclined support to climbing beans and marrows, thanks to a weaving which was handmade with ropes. This green cover … Read More

Presentation of the Campagnole at the Grand Potager

Emile shows us in video the steps to prepare the raised beds of cultivation. First step: loosening the soil with the Campagnole! The Campagnole is a particularly interesting tool when practicing permaculture in the garden.Invented by Vincent Legris, in collaboration … Read More

Cultivation bed maintenance with a campagnole

Emile shows here the stages of preparation of the cultivation mounds. First step, the campagnole, this tool invented by Vincent Legris is manufactured by La Fabriculture. It is an improved broadfork, with two wheels to facilitate its movement. It has … Read More

New raised beds in St Monica

The farm of St Monica has a limited cultivable surface. They have to optimize space in the farm to obtain a sufficient crop yield and a mid-term objectif of financial autonomy. To achieved this, a long slope covered in grass … Read More

Ready for new cultures

The cultivation boards are ready for new crops, in the shade of papaya and moringas in the garden of the Yagma school.

Preparation of new garden beds in Macambeni

The Macambeni Garden has been a real challenge for Fundzisa Live and Designing Hope. located on a sloping ground, a flat part, the most accessible, was digged several years ago, the fertile soil being then removed. Long-term work was then … Read More

Macambeni garden is changing!

After several weeks of work, the women of the Fundzisa Live association have completed the preparation of the cultivation beds in the Macambeni Garden.   EnregistrerEnregistrer

Soil preparation at Macambeni Garden

The Macambeni Garden, made available by the city of Piggs Peak to Fundzisa Live, the local partner of Designig Hope in Piggs Peak, presented a challenge in terms of soil preparation. Indeed, this sloping ground had been digged on part … Read More

Culture beds enriched with Biochar

At Roosboom Garden, the children started 2 new culture beds to compare the impact of biochar on crops. The first bed was cultivated with biochar imbibed with vermicompost, and the second one was incorporated dry in the culture plates. In … Read More

Preparing new raised beds

The children of Roosboom work together and create new raised beds.

Preparation of a raised bed

This films describes the preparation of a raised permaculture bed in a demonstration garden in a school in Lesotho