Contributed by Richard Campbell and Yola Balde-Heltberg from To Soil Less
Geological agriculture is the study of growing plants in rocks without the use of soils and fertilizers. All that is publicly known and can be found in the book River Stones Grow Plants by Richard Campbell. In summary, rocks were never inert; previous experiments were not properly conducted. In fact, many rocks can provide a consistent stream of nutrients.
To Soil Less is working with a number of Mandela Washington Fellows to bring geological agriculture to their countries.
For example, YALI GeoAg Senegal President Maman Codou Ndiaye has assembled a team of YALI members in Senegal and gathered the necessary rocks and seeds to try growing plants in rocks herself. Eight days after her Skype GeoAg training with To Soil Less founder Richard Campbell, you can see how her beans and hibiscus look in common Senegal rocks. Simply put, she has usable bean and hibiscus plants growing. Now she is using the YALI Network to start the process of teaching GeoAg to others, seeking support and resources and consulting her way to be Senegal’s premier GeoAgripreneur.
In Guinea-Conakry, YALI GeoAg President Alpha Diallo is already moving to secure funding and connecting with key stakeholders in his county. “When I met Yola and saw the plants growing in rocks, I knew I needed to find a way to work with her,” Diallo said.