Winter (modern/mundane thoughts)
With winter in full swing, but with days growing longer, I have been busy learning and planning. While I will be experimenting on growing my small grain crop in my backyard using more or less period methods (hand preparing the ground, sowing, and reaping), I will be using modern practices of sustainable soil management. I know that I have a number of obstacles to overcome, and while I want my Bere barley crop to be successful, I don’t want to make things harder for myself – or my crop and vegetables – now or further down the road in this exploration.
As a part of this, I am currently taking an online course on Sustainable Soil Management through edX offered by Wageningen University in The Netherlands. Since this is winter, there are a few exercises I will have to wait to fulfil in spring… or when the ground isn’t quite so frozen (as now, as we are going through an “arctic blast”). As a side effect of taking this class, I have delved into the soil survey for my county (Athens) and was a bit surprised at what I found. I knew we had a clayey soil, but I did not realize that it was as high as it is in silt. But, in retrospect, it makes sense.
Edited (18 Jan 2017) to add a link to the course on Sustainable Soil Management.