Sunday, February 11, 2007

Teaming with Microbes A Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web

Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis

January's book club selection over at May Dreams Garden
Yes, I know that it is already mid-February.
Life outside the web demanded attention for
a couple of weeks so I missed the club meeting.
But I read the book while traveling and was taken
with all the information and decided late was
better than never.
Most interesting is this idea of bacteria and fungi
as life to be nurtured instead of eliminated.
Seems advances in science gadgetry has given us a real
good look at what is taking place in the soil.
Wouldn't you love to get a look at your soil through an
electron microscope? Not just have someone tell you what
is there but see it for yourself.It is enough to send you
back to the classroom.
The picture of fungal mycelia activated by adding
fungal nutrients into the compost so as to
increase fungal biomass before making compost tea
gives hope to those of us reluctant to use even
recommended organic sprays. Feeding rather than killing
in a garden is a much appreciated distinction.

This book is a useful tool for learning how to
remediate compacted soil and bring back the decomposers.
I doubt that I will be making compost tea, but the
information about how different plants grow best
in soils dominated by fungi or bacteria can be heeded.
Our local library had this book on the shelf already
so I did not have to buy a copy. After reading
I have decided it will make an excellent addition
to the home library.

Anyone that did not get a chance to read Teaming with Microbes
might want to try again. It is well worth the effort.
It could be the best thing you do for your garden this year.


In addition, after reading a few of the reviews by other book club members
I would like to add a few links to check out on no-till agriculture which has been
around long enough to be accepted by many farmers.

Also master gardener soil classes through
the university agricultural extention service are beginning to include the
advances made in understanding
soil microbiology.

The authors of this book have done a good job of explaining
soil science as it is understood and taught today.


Blogger Carol said...

Better late than not at all! I am going to update the post with a link to your review so that it is part of the "official meeting".

(I was wondering where you went off to, had checked your blog every so often hoping for an update. Welcome back!)

12/2/07 5:38 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Thank you Carol!
Now I need to start reading the February book. But first to finish reading all listed entries for January meeting.

12/2/07 6:52 PM  

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