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- Browse our list of available talks below
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Our talks are currently undergoing a transformation to enable us to present them ‘live’ via Zoom due to a certain pesky little virus
An Alien World at our Feet - Soil Matters
We spend billions of pounds on the exploration of space but still cannot identify everything that is in our soils. Chemists have spent centuries prying into the chemical components of soil, but there are numerous molecules within it that they have no idea of what they are.
Considered a non-renewable resource, as historically it can have taken 1,000 years to create an inch-wide layer of soil and thousands more for it to acquire the necessary minerals and organic matter to create fertility and support life on Earth. We are best not killing it in the first place.
The things that live in soil are essential to its health and therefore essential to human life. They are also responsible for the soils ability to store carbon and water and are a front-line defence against climate change. They can also be extremely weird and wonderful and are often mistaken for pests. In many instances they look like Aliens.
Understanding soil; the Earth’s dynamic skin, is central to getting the most from our land. Explore this wonderful world and learn about its characters, how to cultivate them and regenerate our soils.
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The Wood Wide Web
The fascinating close and long-term relationship between a plant and a fungus (symbiotic).
Virtually all trees and plants rely on the exchange of nutrients with the complex network of soil microorganisms known as the soil food web. One particular type of fungus (mycorrhizal) plays an amazing part in this – they are the food transportation system of the soil.
In the case of one particular fungi it is the largest living being on the Earth. It isn’t only nutrients that they carry; they are the reason why, when you put one foot into woodland the trees on the opposite side of the woodland instantly know that you are there. This has led to them being nicknamed the ‘Wood Wide Web’.
Find out the dark secrets of life amongst the roots.
When people ask me what I do, I tell them that I am a Permaculture designer and teacher. The most common response that I get is ‘Perma-what’? The simple answer is that Permaculture is a ‘sustainable design system that embraces and follows the laws of nature’.
However this doesn’t go anywhere near explaining the depth and breadth of what Permaculture is. It isn’t only a system for sustainable land use, it is a system for sustainable living. It is perhaps the only design system that has ‘ethics’ implicit at its core.
‘Permanence’ + ‘Culture’ = ‘Permaculture’ – could this system change the world? Find out and decide for yourself.
Dirt Makes You Happy
Most garden addicts will tell you that gardening reduces their stress and lifts their mood; that their garden is their “happy place”.
It is also claimed that for every ‘disease’ out there, there is also a cure in nature. Modern scientists are only just unravelling why many of the ‘natural cures’ actually work. It is only recently that they have discovered microbes in soil that actually have a positive effect on human health.
There is a natural antidepressant in soil – it’s true. Find out how playing in the dirt works.