Carbon Micro Cycling

This course will explore the connections between soil carbon and soil fertility and give you a crash course in the principles of soil functioning.

Harriet Mella · March 26, 2021

Many farmers have reported organic matter increases as much as .25% – .35% per year, and sometimes faster. 

Sometimes the argument is made that the science doesn’t support the possibility of these rapid organic matter gains, even though they have been observed on many different farms, in different geographies with varying climates. 

It is not the case that science does not support these rapid organic matter increases. It is only that the science which does describe the capacity for this to occur is not widely known. 

At the frontiers of agriculture related research are pioneering scientists studying soil, microbe,  and plant interactions from a biophysics and biology perspective, rather than from a chemistry perspective. 

Some examples of the pioneering research being conducted includes  Olivier Husson’s work in understanding redox, Gerald Pollack’s work defining the characteristics and behaviour of the fourth phase of water, known as Exclusion Zone water, which is found inside and around living organisms, James Whites work with rhizophagy, Fritz Albert Popps work with biophotonics, and Phillip Callahan’s work with paramagnetism and plant communication in the electromagnetic spectrum. 

Their collective discoveries promise a complete revolution in the mainstream approach to agronomy management. The knowledge they have contributed leads to a completely different perspective on life processes in soils and plants when we are able to connect all the dots they have identified. 

And there lies the challenge that Harriet Mella has answered so well in this course.  How does our understanding of soil and plant systems change when we bring all these perspectives together into one unified whole? She connects all of these dots, including many aspects you are unlikely to have heard about before.

This course contains a lot of information that will be completely new to most of us, and is still explained in a way that is very easy to understand. 

This course is framed around carbon cycling, but it necessarily includes so much more. Harriet describes how plants actually absorb different forms of nutrients, how soil water behaves from an EZ water perspective, how soil aggregates are formed, and how cosmic and lunar rhythms influence crop development, nutrient movement and carbon cycling. 

You will learn a more integrated explanation of how the soil, microbe, and plant ecosystem actually works than you can find anywhere else.

Please sign up, and let us know what you find the most fascinating!

Check out some highlights from the course below:

How Plants Attract Nutrients by Transmitting Light to the Root

How Grasses Increase Iron Reduction and Soil Biology Provides Available Iron

The Challenges of EDTA Chelates in Soils

Organic Matter Contributions to Water Holding Capacity

CEUs:
Nutrient Management: 4
Soil & Water Management: 4
Crop Management: 4

About Instructor

Harriet Mella

My educational pathway as a biologist began when I completed my thesis on mycoparasites and did PhD work on prions. With this background I began a journey discovering the laboratory methods that were popular at that time - from light microscopy and electron microscopy to tissue culture, fluorescence assisted cell sorting and DNA based methods. But what really got me into biology is a love for all living beings, their fascinating structures and interactions. I very much enjoy zooming in to the different levels of organisation - subcellular, cellular, organisms, ecosystems - and observing the wisdom in which these integrate together. I always gravitated towards the “phytopathological corner” – botany, mycology, microbiology, plant physiology, biochemistry – working often on interdisciplinary topics. E.g. the gut microbiome, which was at that time not recognized in its importance. Or the processes when plants become infected with microbial pathogens, - the structures, the secondary metabolites and the communication processes between the host and the pathogen. My second journey into agriculture began 15 years ago with a self-sufficiency project in Austria. I was very disappointed with the quality of my produce – comparing it with my taste experiences on the biodynamic farms in Australia and the memories of my mother’s garden. It turned out the flavor I remembered was not nostalgia, but a goal that could be achieved by a combination of heirloom vegetables and improved cultural practices. From the experiences I had during my travels I always had a special interest in low-budget agro-ecological methods. One sentence in a book especially struck me: “In Africa dishwashing water is often the sole fertilizer” - and working. It did not make sense to me that compared to the situation in Africa we should be confined to a high input agriculture in a much more favorable temperate climate with all the known ecological side effects. In the low budget agricultural arena there are mainly two major practices I found to make a big difference to plant health and quality: influencing the soil microbiome and the shortcut to nutrition through foliar feeding. I found the common approaches of “amending only” and “pest control” through poison frustrating as the result on yield was unpredictable and the effect on the environment was predictable to be bad. Trained in systemic thinking, I set out to seek better ways and ended up with nutritional approaches. In small-scale agriculture, with many different species and varieties, these work only in a structured, humus-rich soil. This took me to the next task to return the scientific knowledge into the existing agricultural approaches for a better management of “carbon farming” So I began to research alternatives. The approaches of the Francé’s to promote lithobionts into agriculture are a fascinating opportunity in that respect. One project out of curiosity is to analyze the manifold approaches that have been found to improve yield (from sound, dishwashing agent to overcompensation methods) and find out the mechanisms behind them.

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Course Includes

  • 12 Lessons