Cloud layer gardening is a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that adds layers to the soil like building Lasagna for dinner. Instead you are building your dirt. This method of building the soil, which is, essentially, adding layers of organic materials that will “cook down” over time. Your result? Beautiful forest floor dirt! I like to think of the layers we put on the ground as clouds, they regulate the amount of solar energy reaching the dirt. When we cover and protect the dirt like clouds we keep the dirt cooler and less water is evaporated as well as keeping the carbon in the ground which keeps the climate cooler. Keeping the climate in balance. This is also known as “sheet composting,” cloud layer gardening is great for the environment because you're using your yard and kitchen waste and essentially composting it in place to make a new garden. And keeping the climate cooler. Rodale says:
“ This is recommended for all farms because it build soil organic matter,
which has far reaching benefits for plant health and farm sustainability.15 This
minimize biota disturbance and erosion losses while incorporating carbon rich amendments
and retaining the biomass of roots and shoots, all of which contribute to carbon sequestration
by photosynthetic removal and retention of atmospheric CO2 in soil organic matter.” Rodale White Paper
What is carbon sequestration?
The carbon cycle is a fundamental part of life on earth. 'Soil organic carbon' (SOC) – the amount of carbon stored in the soil is a component of soil organic matter – plant and animal materials in the soil that are in various stages of decay. Soil organic carbon is the basis of soil fertility.
Sequestration means maximizing the carbon dioxide pulled from the atmosphere by plant growth and minimizing the loss of that carbon once it is stored in soil. ... Regenerative organic agriculture is comprised of organic practices including (at a minimum): cover crops, residue mulching, composting and crop rotation.
One of the best things is you don't have to remove existing sod and weeds. You don't have to double dig or work the soil at all. The first layer is either brown corrugated cardboard or three layers of newspaper laid directly on top of the grass or weeds in the area you've selected for your garden. The grass or weeds will break down fairly quickly because they will be smothered by the newspaper or cardboard, as well as by the materials you're going to layer on top of them.
Rodale says “We suggest an obvious and immediately available solution – put the carbon back to work in the terrestrial carbon “sinks”
that are literally right beneath our feet. Excess carbon in the atmosphere is surely toxic to
life, but we are, after all, carbon-based life forms, and returning stable carbon to the soil can
support ecological abundance. “
Anything you'd put in a compost pile, you can put into a cloud garden. The materials you put into the garden will break down, providing nutrient-rich, soil to plant. Add the following materials:
You can make a cloud garden at any time of year. Summer is an optimum time because of the heat breaks things down rapidly. You can let it sit and break down all winter. By spring, it will be ready to plant in with a minimum of effort. Also, fall rains and winter snow will keep the materials in your lasagna garden moist, which will help them break down faster.
Finish off the entire bed with three or four inches of finished compost or topsoil, and plant. The bed will settle some over the season as the layers underneath decompose.
When it's time to plant, just dig down into the bed as you would with any other garden. If you used newspaper as your bottom layer, the shovel would most likely go right through, exposing nice, loose soil underneath. If you used cardboard, you might have to cut a hole in it at each spot where you want to plant something.
To maintain the garden, simply add mulch to the top of the bed in the form of straw, grass clippings, bark mulch, or chopped leaves. Once it's established, you will care for a lasagna garden just as you would any other: weed and water when necessary, and plant to your heart's content.
While you will be maintaining a cloud layer garden the same way you would care for any other garden, you will find that caring for a lasagna garden is less work-intensive. You can expect:
emitted, tipping the needle past 100% to reverse climate change.
We know that agriculture has played a role in creating climate chaos
but, now, with your help, it can be part of the solution.”
Cloud layer gardening is fun, easy, and allows you to make new gardens at a much faster rate than the old double-digging method. Now your only problem will be finding plants to fill all of those new gardens!
“Simply put, recent data from farming systems and pasture trials around the globe show that
we could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely
available and inexpensive organic management practices, which we term “regenerative
organic agriculture.” These practices work to maximize carbon fixation while minimizing the
loss of that carbon once returned to the soil, reversing the greenhouse effect.”
What is organic: how does organic solve a problem?
Organic solves the problem of diversity. When we grow thing in a monoculture meaning only one thing. All the diversity is wiped out. Diversity is important for the relationships to flourish to pollinate and promote the food web of all beings of which we are apart. When we grow organic we are not polluting that food web with chemicals and fertilizers. When we use materials directly from animals, plants, minerals for gardening we are apart of the the food web. When we use chemicals we separate ourselves and are destroying other systems. It’s really not necessary.
I look around and see all the destruction taking place and realize this is an outer extension of the accumulation of everyones internal turmoil of hurt, angry and loneliness.
When we process our feelings of destroying or destructive acts, we learn we are just acting out our loneliness or anger or hurt in what has happened to us. The act of Destroying is just how we feel in action in response to what has happening to us.
When we can curb our aggression toward others and the land, we can truly make change in the world. How would it be to treat the land ever so gently when we want to make a change. Visualizing and doing this is equally important as interrupting the destruction.
Which of these do we need to hear that will heal that old hurt? Below is the Ho'oponopono healing language that heals all things. Sometimes just saying all of them shows me which I resonate with and need to repeat often. My current one is I am welcome. Give it a try!
Oh Lasagna Gardening
I do it bit by bit
I think I started doing because the materials are free and work very well
just aliitle grass here some leaves there, add some manure
and suddenly the plant is flourishing
the summer really seems like the best time because the materials break down so quickly
This year I had a lot of successs with wood mulch, which doesn’t break down quickly but it sure does hold the soil moisture
Carbon gardening or sequestration has really opened my eyes to why lasagna gardening has become so important which is what I want to share with you!
in Texas carbon goes out of the soil really quickly due to heat. I add it (wood, leaves etc)a lot because mixed with nitrogen (grass, manure etc) they make a complete diet for soil development.
in essence creating a forest floor
I realize I do a lot of things just to relax, just so I can think clearly. I eat relaxing foods, go to to chiropractor acupuncture massage (I wish) just to get to the work of clients feelings expectations and gardens and relaxing them. What if I were to build into activities the relaxation action of a modality as I go? What if we were to practice this.