Geoff Lawton Soils Video

Help, I’m turning into a soil geek. I just spent an evening viewing a video entitled Soils featuring permaculturalist Geoff Lawton.

What I like about this video is that it’s not just about soil, but Lawton actually shows you what you can do to improve your soil. In the DVD he demonstrates how to build a compost pile (lots of carbon material), contoured vegetable beds, a compost pile heated shower and a simple vermiculture system using an old bathtub to name just a few projects. You get practical tips in a professionally produced DVD. Here’s a trailer:

Soils is available for around $40 US on the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia website, which also has an interesting blog. In an email the Institute said that they allow educational screenings of Soils as long as you don’t charge admission. So get some friends together, watch this video and then go shovel some manure! It would also make a nice addition to a school library.

Thanks to Scott Kleinrock of the Huntington Ranch for the tip on this one. Scott said the Geoff Lawton Food Forest DVD is also worth viewing.

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  1. @Holly: Sorry, Erik’s grammar implies that it’s available on Netflix. It’s not. He was trying to say he didn’t watch Netflix as usual, but this instead. I’m going to edit the post to clarify that.

    You have to buy this video, unfortunately.

  2. For all the soil geeks oil there, here is an interesting audio interview with the “Soil Doctor”

    Part one

    Part two

    Based on this interview, we’re trying a few things, like separate higher nitrogen and higher carbon composts and some no-dig techniques for things like tomatoes and corn that like lots of fungi in the soil….you can get pretty technical and develop your own soil microorganism sprays by inoculating water with your own compost, but that might be too advanced for me. Cool ideas, though.


  3. The cost of the DVD is well out of my budget at this time but I would very much like to see this film. Having recently experienced the difference good compost makes in the garden (we’re new at this but our first batch has been a success) I’m more interested than ever in the benefits of healthy soil. Thanks for the info and thanks to the person who added the interview links. – Damian

  4. @Damian: It *is* very expensive. That’s why Erik mentioned that it’s okay to screen it if you don’t charge admission. We know someone with a copy, and would like to screen it here in LA. Maybe this could happen in other towns, too.

    This has given me a great idea: film clubs for gardeners: Film + Discussion + Homebrew = Fun! Perhaps that deserves a post.

  5. I like the idea of a screening we just need to get more familiar with local gardeners to do so. What I like even better is your film club for gardeners idea. Sounds like a hoot. PS: Pre-ordered your new book. Looking forward to it. – Damian

  6. just became a soil geek myself over recent weeks actually. that dvd looks awesome but yeah, who the f charges $40 for a dvd these days?

    found this place:
    loads of good info there.

    built a biodynamic ‘hot’ compost the other day. these things are great. on that, check out film one man, one cow, one planet.


    for those poor permies….

    if someone could upload that soils dvd – would be greatly appreciated.

    hail to dirt!

  7. I may be a little loopy but watching that clip put tears in my eyes.

    Gosh, there is so much MORE that we can do to better our lives and live more harmonically with nature and

    soil is just the beginning.

  8. Hi! I have the Soils DVD as well as a host of other fabulous permie instructionals I brought back from Australia. I’m in NYC and would love to share and set up viewings. I think uploading it as a torrent is going too far, personally. But we’re running out of time, so what’s important is getting this information into as many people’s working gardens as possible.


    Contact me at olgaa68 at yahoo dot com

  9. It would be nice if the Permaculture Gurus like you propose eating meat only after the animals die a natural death. It goes well with the perma culture principles.
    Chickens for example give their eggs, turn and fertilize the soil and what do you do? Kill them and eat them prematurely before their time to die. Why can’t you wait a year or two and eat them after they die a natural death? Think about that… whats the hurry to kill them. Can’t one satisfy themselves with eggs until they die a natural death?

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