Mark Sturges: Inoculating the Soil - Multiplying the Benefits of Compost

Mark Sturges

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Mark Sturges, Oregon-based composter, will explain the benefits of inoculation of your soil with the most creatures possible both in diversity and quantity. He will show these individual organisms (even insect-eating fungi!) and the work they do, reaching far beyond just the topics of fungi and bacteria. He holds that there is not enough compost in the world for direct spreading on fields when compared to the results which can be obtained through the use of quality compost tea. These benefits are very striking in soils whether they be in a pasture, or one of Oregon's great pinot noir vineyards, or all crops in between.

Mark Sturges, a self-styled "fertilizer king," is a longtime organic farmer. His farm, Chili Nervanos in Bandon, Oregon, ships organic compost and creatures of the underground to 30 states. Rather than concentrating on thermal composting or composting with worms, he encourages the greatest number of creatures possible to inhabit his compost. He calls his concept "sending the whole neighborhood," which is sending a functioning ecosystem to distant soils — as opposed to compost that is barely alive. This is the benchmark for making the best possible compost tea. He has been a poet for more than 30 years and is the author of six novels. He is author of the book The Return of the Fertilizer King and Other Tales.

Recorded Friday, December 12, 2013

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