Nitrogen.

I have been busy popping broad bean seeds into the soil throughout the garden. These I will let grow to a reasonable height before digging them into the soil. Any leguminous plant ( peas, all variety of beans, clovers, alfalfa ) will have the same function, to fix nitrogen from the air for plant use. It is fact that legumes are our best builders of a balanced and healthy soil for the quality crops we expect as Organic gardeners. It is proven that a hectare of legumes dug or plowed into the soil will contribute all the plant food that will be required for a healthy and nutritious crop. It is in the nitrogen production from the air that is equivalent of well over ten tons of manure to each hectare of land. 

These plantings  coincide with an article I read in Nature magazine which says that the world’s extraordinary population growth is down to the use of synthetic nitrogen ( derived from fossil fuels ) being applied at an excessive rate throughout the agricultural growing areas of the world. These applications are now about to go into free fall as fossil fuels become more difficult to access ( cost ) and overall decline in availability..

Recently I was in a super market and having a look at the products in the frozen vegetable fridge. Not surprisingly I saw french beans from China.  Hard to believe really when in this region alone, and if the majority of land holders put their mind to it, we could be growing  fresh vegetables for a considerable percentage of the Australian population. Regardless of our recent unpredictable weather there are vegetables like Ceylon Spinach  and Snake beans that are thriving.

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