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Upper Shoalhaven and Upper Deua Landcare Network
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Soils, aint Soils..getting the dirt on good soil microbes

In early 2010 - The USLC was awarded a Commonwealth Government Community Action Grant worth $18,400 to run an 18 month program

supporting Landcare groups across  the Upper Shoalhaven to carry out sustainable land management practices on farms.

The project has collated quality local information about a variety of possibilities and options for biologically focused sustainable farm management.

Some areas covered in this webpage are: Dung beetles, compost, monitoring and measurement of soil, the soil food web, compost teas,

microbes and microscopes, mulching, success stories and links..

Soils aint Soils - getting the good dirt on soil microbes..

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The last event of the Soils Aint Soils project, funded through a Community Action Grant as part of the Federal Government’s Caring for our Country program, was 3 days of field days on Creating Compost, Compost Teas and Analysing Compost and Compost teas. It was an excellent course. Jack Waterman and Merline Olsen from the Soil Foodweb Institue in Lismore came to Braidwood to run the course. 25 people participated in 1, 2 or all 3 of the days.

On day 1 - the group was introduced to a range of concepts about soil biology - and then shown step by step how to make a largescale compost pile. We made a huge compost pile for large scale agricultural application. Braidwood central school (thanks Dave & Mick) let us build the pile at the school ag plots where it is still composting happily away. We expect to harvest the mature compost in December.

On day 2 we got the compost tea brewer going (which now belongs to Landcare and is available for hire!). This was a fascinating process. It was ideal to be able to run through everything with Jack and Merline there so any questions could be answered on the spot.

On day 3 we packed into the science lab again at Braidwood Central school and learned how to recognise the microorganisms we were looking for - what are the signs of a good tea and what are the signs of a bad tea. Also - how to find out what’s living in your compost. USLC has purchased 2 new microscopes as part of the Soils aint Soils project so that local people can have access to them to monitor the quality of their compost, the biological fertiliser they make and their soil.  More on the Soils aint Soils site..<<CLICK HERE>>

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