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Old 10-08-2010, 12:15 AM   #1
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Default Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web

Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web (Revised Edition)
Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis
Timber Press; Revised edition (February 24, 2010)

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Smart gardeners know that soil is anything but an inert substance. Healthy soil is teeming with life — not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. When we use chemical fertilizers, we injure the microbial life that sustains healthy plants, and thus become increasingly dependent on an arsenal of artificial substances, many of them toxic to humans as well as other forms of life. But there is an alternative to this vicious circle: to garden in a way that strengthens, rather than destroys, the soil food web — the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms whose interactions create a nurturing environment for plants. By eschewing jargon and overly technical language, the authors make the benefits of cultivating the soil food web available to a wide audience, from devotees of organic gardening techniques to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants without resorting to chemicals.
Amazon.com: Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition (9781604691139): Jeff Lowenfels, Wayne Lewis: Books
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:15 AM   #2
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This book opened my eyes and was a contributing factor in making me stop using mineral salts. Required reading in my eyes.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:23 AM   #3
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Healthy soil is teeming with life
All this goodness can also be deleted from the soil simply by keeping it in an excessively wet state!
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:58 AM   #4
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I think I live in that state. . .
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:45 AM   #5
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This is why I keep 'feeding' our garden soil - when we moved here 11 years ago, it was a rare occasion to say the least when an earthworm could be found in the garden plot; it now is crawling with them...
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:02 AM   #6
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This is why I keep 'feeding' our garden soil - when we moved here 11 years ago, it was a rare occasion to say the least when an earthworm could be found in the garden plot; it now is crawling with them...
This works.

I had precisely the same experience with my garden. Except I've only been here for 4 years, and the soil is seeming far more alive.

I also seeded the soil with some soil from a forest from up the road. I have no idea if this did anything. I imagined that I was gathering up some nice somethings and introducing them to some sweet real estate.

I kicked the whole thing off with an N fixing green manure, which still pops up now and again. I've been fairly intensively adding stuff to it since, including all the weeds that everyone else on the road throws out.

I noticed the other day (before the snow) that my soil level is about a foot higher than the neighbour's.
That's a lotta stolen bags of weeds
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:03 AM   #7
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Ooohh, that reminds me - I need to go out and REMOVE the wet bags of leaves from the trunk of my car. . .
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cirsium View Post
Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web (Revised Edition)
Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis
Timber Press; Revised edition (February 24, 2010)

Amazon.com: Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition (9781604691139): Jeff Lowenfels, Wayne Lewis: Books
I just purchased this through this site. It's a subject I want to know more about, as I spend much time moving leaves from the cemetery down the road to my property and constantly fantasize about what is changing in my soil as I add it. One nice result last summer was when I found my first salamander in the leaf mulch I had put down.

Sometimes the fallen trees from rotted wood or decay have been cut up into manageable size and I bring those back to the yard too. I find they add the "forest" flavor to the ground beneath my developing trees, something I've been wanting since I moved here to this old cow field some twenty odd years ago.

I read as extensively as I could from the pages freely accessible through the Amazon site and like the content and the writer's style. This book was just what I was searching for.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:53 AM   #9
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All this goodness can also be deleted from the soil simply by keeping it in an excessively wet state!
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I think I live in that state. . .
LOL. I love all of the humor sprinkled through this site.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:17 AM   #10
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That's what makes this sight a fun learning experience!
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