Growing Fertile Ground
Soil is a complex ecosystem, but you don't have to know engine mechanics to drive a car, nor soil ecology to grow a garden. Despite the wide ranging difference between soil types, building soil fertility is remarkably similar across most conditions. It boils down to the addition of biomass, organic material. There are many approaches. You can grow cover crops then "chop and drop" them as a mulch. Use the lasagna method with an initial layer of cardboard before applying organic amendments. Sheet composting is a common technique, although many people create and add compost and compost tea to their plants. Some people use a thick layer of wood chips to establish garden plots. Others go to additional lengths to bury woody material creating hugel beds or pits. Many urban growers use containers and literally build or create their own soil. In all these applications the objective is to promote the growth of the complex mixture of soil organisms which in turn benefit the plants you want to grow. Let's also take a brief look around the world to see if we can find some fertile opportunities for positive growth.