Concerning the Soul of Soil . . .

I just returned from broadcasting mini clover, a winter-over nitrogen-fixer, on bare and parts of the garden beds that we covered first with straw.

The first bed was the one in front of my house, a hugelkultur bed we made to surround an old eyesore of a decaying maple tree stump. Here’s a “before” pic.


And here’s the completed bed, covered with both dirt and straw, and now, seed.


We’re beginning to realize that this monster hugelkultur bed will require stone steps part way up it all around . . .

It’s a rainy day, so I thought it a good time to get out there and make sure the seed takes hold and provides winter cover, fixing the soil in place and nourishing it for next year’s growing season. That, plus the fact that tomatoes, chard, squash and brassicas are still producing like crazy, requiring us to continue to run to catch up harvesting and preserving —


— that’s the good news.

P.S. We also mulch old beds with chopped plants that compost in place over the winter. I broadcast mini clover seeds there, too. For example:



Okay, here’s the yucky news:

While (finally) cleaning out the shed late last summer, I discovered a partially full hidden container of MonSatan Round-Up with sprayer. Ye gods! Must have come in with someone trying to help me with yard work pre-permaculture. That would have been back somewhere between 2003 and 2006, when I took the Permaculture Design Course and came away with a new world-view that included a new understanding of “weeds.”

My question: is there a way to neutralize what’s in that container? If not, what’s the least toxic way to dispose of it? Any ideas?

It’s been sitting out in the open like a proverbial hot potato ever since I cleaned the shed. Makes a mockery of what we’re about here at the GANG garden.



I googled “how to neutralize Round-Up in container” and didn’t find anything.

I did see these two articles that confirmed my need to dispose of it safely:

Quick death for weeds; slow and painful death for you

Un-Earthed: Is Monsanto’s glyphosate destroying the soil?

Which brings me to the subject of this post, the soul of soil.

Here are three videos, of increasing length, concerning the relatively new film Symphony of the Soil. So far, I’ve watched the first one.

The trailer:

Interview with the filmmaker:

Full movie


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8 Responses to Concerning the Soul of Soil . . .

  1. I mini clover the same as white clover?

  2. bumpercrop says:

    Thanks for the best laugh of the day!
    and also for the reminder of growing clover in the winter, 2nd time I have read this wisdom.
    I take all of my bad chemicals to our county dispatch recycle unit, located at the landfill office.
    Apparently they send it to some company that “safely” disposes of the materials. Yes, isn’t it odd
    to look back at our previous ignorance? Makes me wonder what further revelations are in store.

  3. CindyW. says:

    Yes, what Bumpercrop said – seems that most Indiana counties now have recycle facilities for hazardous chemicals/electronics/etc. – my relatively unenlightened one does … love seeing photos of what we saw on our visit!

  4. laurabruno says:

    I have clover and rye to sow this fall … time to get on that! Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    RE: MonSatan … this may sound odd, but if it were me, I would just give it away to a farm or person that you already know for sure is using RoundUp. No, you don’t want to encourage putting that out there in the environment, but if they’re doing it anyway, might as well not line MonSatan’s pockets with them making another purchase of it. Just my take, but every dollar taken away from the monsters is also a chink in their armor, and again, if someone plans to use it anyway, might as well have it come from an existing source than encourage further production of that toxic junk! Who knows, it may turn into an educational moment when the people using the toxins inquire why and how you’re not.

  5. zoidion says:

    Here’s an inspiring story I just found on rain harvesting (and winning municipal acceptance).

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