We had a jam packed weekend with renowned soil scientist Dr Christine Jones visiting the Torbay Catchment.
‘Soil Secrets’ was an evening talk on Friday, where we had over 100 attendees and this was followed on Saturday with an all day ‘Masterclass’ where 35 participants were able to go deeper into Christine’s philosophy and how to practically apply that on their properties.
Some interesting pieces of information that came out of the events included:
- In this area more than 260 edible plants were available to the Indigenous population.
- Microbial diversity is the key factor that drives soil function.
- Decreases in microbial diversity leads to soil compaction, trace element deficiencies, increased needs for inputs, and inability to store carbon.
- This microbial diversity in the microbiome of a plant is encapsulated in the seed and passed on to next generation. This is referred to as the ‘core microbiome’.
- How we manage the soil environment will determine whether the plants core microbiome is enriched or depleted over time.
- You need a minimum of 4 different plant families to create diversity. This is key to developing a healthy and diverse microbiome.
- Weeds are indicators. For example phosphorus accumulators which are plants that can access otherwise unavailable nutrients.
Thank you very much Christine for sharing your knowledge so generously with us!
More resources as mentioned at the Soil Secrets event:
Jena biodiversity experiment
Chinook applied research association
More Resources by Dr Christine Jones
There are countless recordings and resources online with Dr Christine Jones work if you missed these events and are interested to know more.
Check out her webpage Amazing Carbon or find her talks on Youtube.
This project is supported by the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program, the State Government of WA through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) Agriculture Climate Resilience Fund, and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Soil Wise program. Soil Wise is funded by the National Landcare Program Smart Farms Small Grants – an Australian Government initiative. It is supported by Healthy Estuaries WA – a State Government program.
This series of events are a collaboration between DPIRD, Torbay Catchment Group, Perth NRM|RegenWA, Earthwhile Australia, Lower Blackwood LCDC, Wilson Inlet Catchment, The Serpentine Jarrahdale Food and Farm Alliance (SJFFA), Oyster Harbour Catchment Group Inc, South Coast NRM, Lower South West Growers Group, Galloway Springs and DPIRD’s Perth Hills and Swan Valley Project.