Weeks and weeks of data is collected onÂ the biosphere IV. Â It will be published once I get it formatted. Â The RH remains around 55% to 81%. Â The CO2 is around 500 ppm. Â Last, the temperate swings between 18 C to 25 C. Â The water temperature remains a 10 C.
A lot of the traditional methods forÂ farming in a biosphere are not used. Â They are not sustainable in a small area. Â The soil has to be cycled like a new fish tank. Â It's accelerated by adding kelp, fish and compost. Read below for more details. Â Â
Current Status of System
A number of plants have been planted to start the micro biology in the soil. Â It turns out that disturbed soil is more damaged then realized. Â The micro biology has to start over in making openings for air to get down into the soil.Â
Push/Pull Soil Building Method
This method consists of a producer and a consumer plant planted intermingled between each other. Â Here is a small list of producer plants:
- Fava Beans
- Grass (added withÂ Azospirillum Brasilense)
- Any nitrogen fixer
Here is a list of plants that are consumers:
- Red Winter Wheat
- AnyÂ brassicaÂ orÂ rhizomeÂ plantÂ (grasses) - any early succession plant will do. Â It needs to be seasonal.
The plan is to grow both together in the same soil and force the plants to grow together. Â In the soil the legumes will die off and release NH3 which is turned into NO3 through bacteria in the soil. Â The purpose is to grow the number of nitrogen fixing bacteriumÂ from NH3. Â Do not put any fertilizer of any kind.Â Â It shorts circuits the process and lengths the soil development time. Â The grass consumes the fixed nitrogen; hence, building up the predator/prey life cycle. Â
Adding compost helps, but not compost grown from your kitchen scraps. Â There are too many chemicals in the supermarket food that hinders a wide diversity of animals. Â If you are going to use horse or cow poop for your compost, check with the grower for the hay for the animals. Â Often they are using herbicides that are not filtered out through the cow or horse. Â This gets into your compost and into your plants. Â There are times you need to check your compost with bean plants to see if there is RoundUp or something still in the soil. Â Sprouting bean seeds in compost will show if there is stunted growth. Â below is a picture of a tomato plant stunted by RoundUp compost from a horse farm.
Conclusion: Â After a few years of using this cover crop, your soil is just beginning to recover. Â This method can be used on dead soil (soil excavated from a basement or some underground project). Â When the weeds are moving in, that is a good sign your soil is getting life.
The marine tank is clearing up. The runaway algae has slowed down and seaweed beginning o take over. Â There are a number of sand crabs hatching from eggs lain by their previous generation. Â The water is clearing up. Â The center of the picture below is one of the chimneys where air is pumped directly from the land tanks and is mixed with the salt water. Â Again, there are no pumps in this system to blend up the microbiology. Â
Here is another view of the marine tank.
Adding more Starting Organic Material
After taking soil samples of the farming tank, I noticed that my soil microbiology is very slim. Â It needs to be built up. Â
The soil had 300 ugm/gm of bacteria and half of that of fungus. Â This is not enough to keep anything alive. Â I decided to plant vetch, sorrel Â and arrowhead. Â These plants are all edible by rodents or anything I want to put into the tanks.
This is the easiest way to add diversity to soil and build the soil predator/prey cycle is adding compost. Â It only needs to be added to the duff layer; nothing deeper. Â If there are plant roots and other water movement systems available, the microorganism will follow. Â
Food for protests. Â A completely blended fish is food for fungus. Â You can get some at a hydroponic store, or a Vietnamese Supermarket. Â It's called fish sauce. Â There is another fish sauce that is fermented fish stomachs. Â That one is clear yellow.Â That is not what Iâm talking about.Â
Below are some pictures of the current system.
Water (Balance Sheet)
The farming tanks are taking almost 100% by weight of water to soil. Â This means the microbiology is building up and storing water in the microorganisms. Â Most of the time the soil is dry when upper plant growth occurs. Â Some of the added water goes into building plants, leaves and stems. Â The rest goes into the soil and builds. Â
As times goes on, both tanks are taking less and less added water. Â It's almost taking nothing.