Aotearoa Retreat Centre Project
You may remember meeting Lulu last year with her honours project to grow a variety of pasture plants in soil from the farm. (See the link HERE) Lulu is now diving deeper into the soil for her PhD research at Lincoln Uni. Here you can find out more about this exciting research.
She will plant a variety of trial plots in one of our paddocks. Each plot will contain a mixture of different pasture species. Lulu wants to investigate how the roots of these plants grow and particularly what relationships evolve between the different plants and between the mixtures of plants and other soil life such as invertebrates, bacteria and fungi.
This is is exciting stuff as very little is known about this part of how soils function. In the past soil science was seen basically as chemistry, but now scientists are expanding our understanding of soil life. This is critical a piece of the sustainable agriculture puzzle.
Through learning about the soil, we hope to understand better how we can support a thriving and beneficial ecosystem, living with our principles of 'beneficial for all'.
Watch this video to learn about what she found last year..
What does her research look like? Lulu takes soil samples from the farm and here is what she does when she gets back to the lab....
So - she has found out what grows well and had some interesting findings - she found that lotus was the best performing legume which grows wild in the pasture NOT white clover which is the one most commonly planted in this area.
Now she wants to find out why - what's next for Lulu and what does that mean for the farm?