Despite a long blogging silence, the land is still in good order. The trees are growing and cared for by our neighbors while I am at university. Currently, I am beginning my thesis research, using our land as the focus of my research. Soil samples were taken from the soil horizons at 6 key locations. 3 on the PermaPai property, and 3 from the surroundings. The idea is to provide a comparison of topsoil quality over a variety of land uses. In collaboration with the Geoscience laboratory of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, we are conducting the following soil tests: pH, bulk density, cation exchange capacity, organic carbon content, potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus and a soil particle analysis.
Above are the preparations for the cation exchange capacity tests, which require 3 days preparation. These tests will be finalised on Wednesday.
This fancy 25,000 euro piece of equipment above is a LECO EC-12 Carbon Determinator, which burns the carbon in the soil at 1000 degrees C. The CO2 produced can be measured using infrared sensors. By multiplying by a factor of 1,724 we can convert the CO2 gas to the soil organic carbon content.
Here we see the preparations for the pH tests with the pH meter in the background.
I look forward to sharing the results with you soon!