“For all our technical wizardry, we human beings still owe our existence to a few inches of topsoil, an occasional thunderstorm, and a handful of crops.” (Fowler & Money 1990) Today we still know very little about life in the soil and yet it is responsible for providing essential nutrients that affect our physical and mental health.
Why I am crowdfunding
What you are being asked to fund is my time. I want to write up and publish eight years of results that track 23 minerals, e.g. calcium, lead and selenium, from soil to crop in response to different methods of cultivation. I need to collate all the data I collected between 2004 and 2011 into a written document so I can a) analyse the results b) get it into the public domain.
About Matt Adams
I have a B.Sc. in Environmental Quality and Resource Management and held the post of Chief Executive for a National charity called the Good Gardeners’ Association from 2000 to 2011. Currently I am developing a small craft cider making business and whilst the cider ferments slowly I have a window of a few months to do this work.
About the research garden
GREEN (Gardens for Research Education and Nutrition) is a collaboration between three national charities based in Stroud, Gloucestershire. At the heart of this project is a theory that the integrity of the soil’s microbial community is key to the increase and balance of essential nutrients from soil to crop.
To investigate this idea we grew the same food in an organically certified garden but under different methods of cultivation. Each method represents different levels of soil disturbance including no dig and double dig methods. To understand the affect of soil disturbance we measured the microbial life in the soil each year and tracked 23 naturally occurring minerals, known to effect health, in the soil and in the crop. Samples were sent to professional laboratories and Universities for testing.
The small print
As with all research it needs to remain objective and the data examined without prejudice of personal beliefs and aspirations. There is no guarantee of finding anything significant at all but until we go through the process of studying the data we will never know! However, it is very rare that research has no value at all. It is always progressive and by the very fact that it has been done can itself act as a catalyst for inspiring new ideas and further research.
Research of this nature is very costly and so with limited budgets we have relied on the kind contribution of many volunteers, including myself, to undertake much of the practical work and I wish to thank them all for this. The majority of our funding was used to pay for soil and plant analyses and because of the high costs involved we could not afford to create replicas. Therefore, any findings from this study can not be taken as fact until verified by further research. From my personal networks at least one university has so far expressed an interest in this project.
Your help in publishing this work could mark an important contribution that 'adds value' to the soil and the life within.