Terra Preta – Fertile Soil // December 9th-10th 2017
with Edouard van Diem at the Practical Permaculture Institute Zanzibar (in Kiswahili and English)
Terra Preta (port. “black soil”), is the most fertile, nutritious and most alive earth we know. It has a high storage capacity for water and nutrients, especially carbon. Terra Preta is of human origin and can be made of organic waste and charcoal wherever people live and plants grow. Through Terra Preta we are offered a practical and realistic possibility to create permanently fertile soil, while at the same time binding carbon from the atmosphere and storing it into the soil. Terra Preta stably binds nutrients and protects them against leaching. The nutrients are provided via biochemical mechanisms according to plant requirements, so that the plants are always optimally supplied. On the one hand, this is due to Terra Preta’s very good soil-physical properties and, on the other hand, through a particularly balanced population of microorganisms and soil fungi, which complement each other in their interaction.
The origin of Terra Preta is in the Amazon, where Indios from the Amazon basin have produced this soil type over millennia. Through the deliberate use of all organic waste and the use of charcoal, the early forest gardeners succeeded in returning all the substances to the soil which were removed from it from cultivation. Contrary to the production of compost, Terra Preta reduces outgassing, and thus greenhouse gas emissons.
All teaching will be in Kiswahili and English!
Each participant receives:
- different methods of how to produce Terra Preta
- a culture strain of permanently self-reproducible microorganisms
- all necessary information to successful start Terra Preta yourself - Step by step introduction to the practicalities
This seminar offers the opportunity to become a pioneer for treating the earth sustainably. We will make a Terra Preta culture for PPIZ and thus give the coral rag soil an excellent start-up aid! From there, participants are encouraged to take this knowledge to their farms and communities.
Edouard van Diem has been on the Permaculture journey for 12 years, starting his own Permaculture education center, the Permakultur Campus in Hamburg, Germany, four years ago. The Permakultur Campus offers Permaculture related workshops and courses, and also the certification of the Permaculture Diploma, a 1-2 year training in Permaculture design. Edouard has also been very active in working with projects abroad and giving consultation to businesses and NGOs in Haiti, Palestine, Zanzibar, and the DR Congo.