If you love our planet Earth and really want to make a significant contribution to its restoration, look no further than the soil beneath your feet. This course is designed to equip you with the essential tools to make a positive, meaningful and practical impact in reversing the damage we have created to this magnificent piece of universe.
Soil is the medium for plant growth providing us with air, food, water, housing the world’s biodiversity and playing a key role in the Earth’s water, carbon and nitrogen cycles, driving and influencing climatic conditions. One third of the Earth’s arable land has been lost over the last 40 years and our population is predicted to rise to 9.7 billion by 2050. Our soils are dying and we must restore them back to life if we are to feed, clothe and house ourselves and the future generations, and to preserve our biodiversity.
The Soil Restoration Course is designed to promote the understanding of the soil ecosystem and its function to empower our efforts in soil and therefore ecosystem restoration. It is designed for anyone interested in learning about the simple solutions to the threats of our very existence, addressing climate change, food security, biodiversity conservation and pollution remediation. You will learn the principles, theory as well as practical application of the information whether you’d like to apply it to your backyard, a large scale food production system or in ecosystem and biodiversity conservation efforts.
Learn how to
Biologically cultivate nutrient dense, healthy crops and native vegetation
Sequester carbon back into soil
Effectively conserve biodiversity from the ground up
Mitigate weed infestation and proliferation
Remediate pollutants from soil and the environment
Prevent loss of topsoil, erosion, and soil degradation
Build soil structure and drought resilience, ensure water infiltration and mitigate flooding
Introduction to soil formation, composition and degradation
Soil ecology and the soil food web organisms
Bacteria and their function in soil structure, plant nutrition and immunity
Root symbiotic fungi in plant nutrition and immunity, carbon sequestration and soil structure formation
Saprophytic fungi in plant nutrition and immunity, carbon sequestration and soil structure formation
Protozoa and their function in nutrient cycling
Nematodes in nutrient cycling and dispersal of bacteria and fungi
Cultivation of microbial diversity with a focus on fungi via thermal composting
Vermicomposting - the role of earthworms in optimal microbial diversity and plant production
Practical application of soil restoration methods and examples of what’s possible
Course recap, summary and practice
The course is an online engagement of ten pre-recorded lessons or units divided into several videos and supported by live Q&A sessions. In addition to the online content, you will learn how to research relevant topics and actively participate in your own learning both academically and practically.
Cost: $500 for approximately 20 hours of course material, access to lesson slides plus your own learning engagement.
Direct bank transfer is the preferred, bank details are below, alternatively use the enrolment form to use PayPal:
Direct bank transfer details:
BSB: 923 100
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or post in the YouTube comments section. You will be invited for live online Q&A and discussion sessions to support your learning. Your questions will be answered regardless of whether you participate in the live discussions and you will get access to the recorded Q&A discussion sessions.
Course content details
Course overview and introduction to soil formation, composition and destruction - learn about how soils form, the role of biological activity in soil formation, soil mineral composition and its significance, and how soils are destroyed
Ecology of soil and the soil food web organisms - meet the key soil microbes and their interactions in releasing mineral nutrients from soil and providing these to plants, ensuring plant nutrition and plant immunity, and how these organisms create soil structure for moisture retention, carbon sequestration and pollution remediation
Bacteria and their function in soil structure and plant nutrition - discover the key bacterial functional groups, their roles in soil structure formation and plant nutrition, their interaction with other soil life forms, and why bacterial diversity is the key in a healthy soil ecosystem
Fungi in plant nutrition and immunity, carbon sequestration, soil structure formation and impacts on fungal biomass such as fire - understand the importance of fungi in soil ecosystems and how these often missing microorganisms are vital in sequestering carbon back into soils, the importance of plant symbiotic fungi in plant nutrition and immunity and of saprotrophic (decomposer) fungi in nutrient cycling and soil structure formation
Protozoa and their function in nutrient cycling - discover the various types of protozoa (unicellular animals) including amoebae, flagellates and ciliates which consume bacteria releasing plant available nutrients, their interactions and roles in the soil food web ecosystems
Nematodes in nutrient cycling and dispersal of bacteria and fungi - learn about the microscopic worms which form the bulk of the weight of all organisms on the planet and how as predators of bacteria, fungi and other nematodes, they ensure nutrient cycling while moderating the soil food web, driving ecological succession
Ecological succession - understand the concept and principles of ecological succession in the soil, it’s dependance on the soil microbiome structure and how it dictates plant ecological succession driving biodiversity; understand how disturbance of soil biological structure forces ecological collapse creating the need for weed proliferation to drive soil restoration
Carbon sequestration - understand the processes which sequester carbon into soil, how organic matter, its quality and quantity is transformed by microbial processes and sequestered into soil aggregates forming humus
Cultivation of microbial diversity through various composting system with a particular focus on vermicomposting - learn how to cultivate a functional soil microbiome to ensure soil food web structure necessary for optimal plant growth; learn various composting methods, how to feed and look after the organisms that form soil, their requirements and reliance on organic matter and their plant host
Practical application of soil restoration practices - learn through practical examples how to apply the cultivated microbes to soil ecosystems in farming and ecosystem restoration efforts, the practices that support the cultivation of beneficial soil/plant microbes, soil detoxification and carbon sequestration