The MUM students hope to inspire land managers to participate in their restoration project and to use the techniques they learned from visiting soil experts such as Elaine Ingham, in order to return the soil to its natural fertility and health by employing ecologically sound agricultural practices that mimic natural ecosystems.
by Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA, The Review
Radically improving the soil in area pastures and hay fields is the goal of Greener Pastures, a senior project of Maharishi University of Management Sustainable Living student Jacob Krieger.
The project is part of the consulting arm of a company called Abundant Biology that was founded by Mr. Krieger to bring health, diversity, and biological abundance to farmland ecosystems.
Mr. Krieger said that techniques of restorative agriculture allow the soil to retain its natural fertility so that tillage and chemicals aren't necessary.
Greener Pastures hopes to treat up to 2,000 acres of local pasture and hay fields by December of 2014 to demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach.
"I love Fairfield and MUM, and my goal is to make an impact locally as a way of thanking the community for being such a good influence on my life," Mr. Krieger said.
Greener Pastures hopes to inspire land managers to participate in the restoration project and to use techniques the students learned from visiting soil experts such as Elaine Ingham.
This approach entails applying keyline pattern subsoil plowing, which decompacts and aerates soils that have been damaged while improving the ability of soil to retain moisture. The result is a soil that is much more hospitable to soil microbiology.
Greener Pastures also teaches the use of compost extract, which promotes the growth of a particular microbiology that is friendly to the flora that the land manager wants to grow while being unfavorable to invasive species.
The overall result is that soil forms more rapidly, has a greater amount of nutrients available to the plants, and rebuilds biodiversity.
"This all directly increases yields while the environmental benefits spread and are shared by everyone," Mr. Krieger says.
He hopes that this agricultural demonstration and research project will inspire the understanding and adoption of new farming techniques that will benefit the community and environment.
Greener Pastures will accomplish all this in systematic fashion by mobilizing equipment, labor, and know-how and by performing treatments at the lowest possible price.
In addition to the hands-on work in the field, Greener Pastures is also expanding the knowledge base by developing a resource guide for these practices and networking among similar projects and groups.
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