Permaculture Soils DVD – It’s a Wrap!

Geoff Lawton and Frank Gapinski

Just came back from filming all the links to Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Soils DVD over the weekend. Its a wrap – finally – with all principal photography completed and now its just a matter of finishing off the edit. Squeezing it all down to 90 minutes will be difficult as there’s heaps of good Permaculture information in this DVD. From Compost Teas, Kitchen Gardens to Ripping the Soil, working with cows, ducks, chickens and worms – an in the middle of it all – Geoff’s 18 day Compost formula – Geoff was in top form. Despite not drinking any water all day, exhausted from nursing a cow the previous evening that was expecting to calf at any moment Geoff was able to stay awake, stay focused and deliver on queue.

As Geoff privately said to me, “Making something like a Soils DVD sound interesting can be very difficult.” Geoff has studied soils all his life and read many books on the subject and the topic can appear to be seriously dead boring. I know, when people ask me what I’m working on and I say “Soils” – they’re eyes glaze over. I can sympathize. Once you get into text book science – you really can get lost in the tedium of it all. But Geoff has a way to make the most dull subject appear interesting and relevant to your life and really – learning about the organization of soil life diversity can be very exciting – if you have Geoff Lawton explain it in a holistic way.

This has been a great project to be involved with.

Fungal Hyphae The Internet of the Plant Kindgom

Plunging his hands into a woody compost pile, Geoff explains that there are different compost heaps that you can make for growing either forest trees or kitchen garden vegetables. We never thought that such a thing as “designer compost” existed. But with Geoff you never know where he is taking you. At his peak Geoff confesses he had about 18 compost heaps all on the boil – all a metre in diameter composting away in on his old farm. He fanatically gathered as much “inoculum” or biological diversity – from human hair gathered at hairdressers and exotic fruits that he gathered from around the world – a benefit from globalization he says -to organise the mother of all compost heaps – a compost ferment with as much biodiversity as he could gather. Whats the point you say? Well its a bit like making a fine home brew – the more diversity of microbes in your compost – the finer the garden. The better the food. The richer the tapestry of life.
Thats Permaculture.
“Focus your camera on the top of that compost heap” says Geoff as he lifts the top six inches of mulch. The woody mulch underneath soon appears as if wrapped up in white cotton string. “Fungal Hyphae!” says Geoff who explains the intricacies of how trees communicate with one another through the long white strand of fungi – the internet of the forest kingdom. “If you don’t have Fungi on your farm – you may need to locate and source it.” he says with a knowing smile.

Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Soils DVD will be released very soon. Worth viewing.