Books and Papers from MOSES 2016 Part I – Organic University – Understanding and Enhancing Living Soils

So throughout the MOSES 2016 conference many of the speakers made recommendations on books, movies, websites, and research papers that were worth looking into for each of the topics I attended.  See PREVIOUS POST for what the classes were and my thoughts on them.  This is Part I of a two part summary.

Understanding and Enhancing Living Soil

Recommended by Ray Archuleta from NRCS and Gabe Brown a no-till farmer in North Dakota 

Water for the Recovery of Climate – A new water paradigm“.pdf – M. Kravčík, J. Pokorný, J. Kohutiar, M. Kováč, E. Tóth.

Nutrients in Agroecosystems – Rethinking the management paradigm“.pdf –  L. E. Drinkwater, S. S. Snapp – Cornell University.

A hierarchical approach to evaluating the significance of soil biodiversity to biogeochemical cycling“.html M. H. Beare, D. C. Coleman, D. A. CrossleyJr, P. F. Hendrix, E. P. Odum.  Email me if you are interested.

Biomimicry’s surprising lessons from nature’s engineers (23:19) – Janine Benyus – a TED talk

Planting Green (9:08)YouTube video on cover cropping tips and facts

In the Mind of Plants (52:35) – YouTube video on plant communication and intelligence from the BBC

Farming in Nature’s Image: An Ecological Approach to Agriculture”  Judy Soule ISBN-13: 978-0933280885 – Book on farming as biomimicry

The Rhizosphere: Biochemistry and Organic Substances at the Soil-Plant Interface”  Roberto Pinton ISBN-13: 978-0849338557 – Book about the root zone of plants and the interaction between microorganisms, fungi, and plants.

The Influence of Functional Diversity and Composition on Ecosystem Processes“.pdf – David Tilman – Argues that functional diversity is the primary concern over species diversity (i.e. having all functions of an ecosystem present is more important than just a highly diverse but disconnected populations)

Soil Stability Test (1:12) – Ray Archuleta – YouTube video showing the effectiveness of no-till systems on soil aggregation.  A nice test you can do at home and one that we did in class as a demonstration.  Highly effective!

Rainfall Simulator – Soil Management Impacts on Water Infiltration (15:34) – South Dakota State University and NRCS (National Resource Conservation Service) – Nice demonstration on soil management and it’s effects on impact, runoff, and infiltration.  This was shown during the class.

Ward Labs and Woods End Labs – Two companies that can do a new type of soil test called the Haney Test that looks at not just water-soluble nutrients but also biologically available nutrients that don’t show up on standard soil tests.

Green Cover Seed – Cover crop seed supplier out of Nebraska that came recommended by the presenters and which I have personally used in the past.  They have a Smart Mix Calculator that helps you tailor a seed mix for your climate and site needs which you can try for free!

“If it’s dry, don’t fly” – Ray Archuleta – (Translation: Don’t broadcast seed when there is no humidity in the soil!)

“If you want to make small changes, change how you do things.  If you want to make large changes, change how you see things” – Gabe Brown – (Co-presenter for the soils class)


That is all for Part I!  Part II will cover the rest of the conference and hopefully wont be so long!




  1. Robin S · · Reply

    Hello! I would like to speak with you about the potential for consultation and or design work. I don’t see an email address on your website! I have 5 acres I am looking to forest, with some water management involved. I would love to hear from you about the potential for this (Lansing, MI area). Please let me know either way if this is something you are interested in discussing. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Robin,

      I have sent you an email! Let me know if you get it.


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