Keeping Soils Healthy Through the Winter

Podcast Transcript Are You Tending Your Soil Microbes as Winter Approaches? As the days are getting shorter and the weather’s getting colder, it’s tempting to put your farm or garden soil on the back burner, so to speak, and start thinking about: how to store all the produce you just harvested who to invite over … Read more

Herbicide Drift Ignites a Toxic Cascade

Herbicides Don’t Just Kill Weeds In the last post, we looked at biological cascades in ecosystems.¬† We saw that seemingly unrelated activities are linked together through complex food webs.¬† Living creatures that seem unrelated at first glance turn out to be so dependent on one another that what benefits one species can benefit many.¬† Likewise, … Read more

Why Is Living Soil a Disruptive Innovation?

We know soil is alive.¬† Why do we treat it like dirt? The first lesson in the first soils class I ever took covered what soil is made of.¬† We learned soil contains minerals, air, water, organic matter, and “critters”.¬† Yes.¬† That’s right.¬† Critters.¬† All those little squirmy, wiggly things that live underground.¬† Bacteria.¬† Fungi.¬† … Read more

The Johnson-Su Bioreactor Enriches Beneficial Soil Fungi

Stop Turning Your Compost Composting offers a terrific way to culture native microbes that benefit your soil. However, there is more to a good compost than simply building a pile of manure and yard waste. Proper aeration is important to prevent overheating and to ensure that aerobic bacteria-bacteria that consume oxygen, dominate the mixture.¬† While … Read more

Humic Acids and Lignins: Prebiotics for Soil

Humic Acids and Lignins are like Prebiotics for Soil

  Every grower knows beneficial microbes like rhizobia and mycorrhizal fungi can help plants produce strong, resistant, and resilient crops.  Many growers know that having the right microbes in the soil can reduce or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.  Far too many growers have fallen for the “bug-in-a-jug,” spending various sums of … Read more

What Exactly is a Biological Soil Crust?

Soil Crusts are Tiny Communities¬†that Can Help You Build Healthy¬†Soil Did you ever walk out in the desert following a rainstorm? ¬†If so, you may have noticed a thin black or green layer ¬†on the surface of the soil. ¬† Of course. you may have noticed¬†a sprinkling of dry, black powder on the soil surface … Read more