HUMUS sapiens glossary

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Advance Sowing (also known as "no kill cropping") dry-sowing crops directly into existing pastures without using tillage, fertilizer or chemicals.



C3 plants, such as wheat, rice, oats, and barley, grow early in the season and then become less active or go dormant as temperatures rise and light intensity increases.

C4 plants, such as corn, sorghum, sugarcane, and millet, remain dormant until temperatures become warm enough to switch on and begin growing.

Companion Planting: Placing plants from differnt species close to each other, so one benefits the other, for example by keeping away pests or insects. Cover Crops: are crops which are planted specifically with the aim of preventing soil erosion through dry out and suppress weeds.

Composting toilets are a type of dry toilet that treat human excreta by a biological process called composting. This process leads to the decomposition of organic matter and turns human excreta into compost-like material. Most composting toilets use no water for flushing and are therefore called "dry toilets".


Deep Ecology is a holistic worldview, which understands earth as a living system in which all is related. Thus it understands humans as embedded in the ecosystem, not superior to it.

Deep Adaptation is a concept based on the paper "Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy" written by sociologist Jem Bendell. It posits that the effects of climate change may be so extreme as to lead to civilizational collapse, and that instead of downplaying this conclusion, we should embrace it. A central theme is the notion of 3 R's: Resilience, Relinquishment, and Restoration.

Degrowth questions the logic of growth inherent to the present economic system,reaching deep into the values of the culture of industrial civilization. Degrowth aims to explore ways of a simpler yet more fullfilled and earthbased life.


Grassroots Movement are using collective action on the local level to effect change on a local, regional, national or international level. Decisions are being taken and implemented from bottom up rather than from top-down direction.


Hackteria is an international network of people practicing DIY (do-it-yourself) and DIWO (do-it-with-others) biology with an interest in art, design and interdisciplinary cooperation. As a community platform hackteria tries to encourage the collaboration of scientists, hackers and artists to combine their expertise, write critical and theoretical reflections, share simple instructions to work with lifescience technologies and cooperate on the organization of workshops, temporary labs, hack-sprints and meetings.

Humus is the key element for building soil fertility. "It is difficult to define humus precisely because it is a very complex substance which is not fully understood." [wikipedia]


Keyline Design is a technique of designing landscapes in a way that water is used in the best way. Keylines are the contour lines, meaning the altitude differences in a landscape.


mikroBIOMIK ( or The mikroBIOMIK Society) is an association for the promotion of intrinsic curiosity and participation in science - with a focus on invisible creatures.


Nitrogen Fixers are plants (like leguminosae) that make atmospheric nitrogen available to other plants by storing it in their roots. Once they die and decompose, they release the nitrogen back to the soil, from where it can be taken by other plants. Nitrogen fixers are a key element for bringing fertility to the soil.


Pasture cropping utilizes the niche created by C3 and C4 plants. When a C4 is dormant (during winter), a C3 plant seed is sown by no-till drilling into the C4 pasture. With the onset of spring, the C3 plants begin to grow. If managed properly, plus the right amount of rain, the C3 crop can be harvested before the C4 plants begin the vigorous part of their growth cycle. The removal of the C3 crop will then stimulate C4 plant growth (due to reduced competition). The mix of shallow- and deep-rooted plants also access water resources in the soil differently, which can reduce competition and increase overall productivity.

Perennial (per- + -ennial, "through the years") is a plant that lives more than two years. The term is also widely used to distinguish plants with little or no woody growth from trees and shrubs, which are also technically perennials.

Pioneer Plant are fast growing, nutrient accumulating flora that arrives first after disturbance. They create conditions for other plants to grow and represent the first step in the succession.


Vermicompost is a compost that involves earth worms for digestion of organic matter. Thus the process of composting goes much faster. And the humus coming out of it is capable to contain a lot more water than normal compost. Vermicomposts are an easy and clean way to keep a compost in a flat in urban settings.

this glossary was inspired from (and partly uses its contend)