The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Fungal inoculant amendment experiment

podcast speaking of fungal amendments and nutrient dense food

Soil expert Dan Kittredge from the Bionutrient Food Association was on the always fresh C-Realm podcast yesterday.

Mr Kittredge has some interesting things to say on nutrionally dense food crops and the conditions and interactions that can improve soil health and vitality.

I liked his metaphor explaining how soil acts as an external digestive system for plants not unlike our stomachs. I learned about fungal inoculants and after a little research we've decided to try out a product sold by Paul Stamets that should increase mycelium networks in our raised beds which will in turn help to promote beneficial bacteria growth and aeration.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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When I bought my little appes trees from a holistic nursery, the owner said I needed to work toward a good balance of beneficial fungi in the soil more than anything else. I'm guessing this supplement you are getting will aid in that fungal growth as well as the bacterial? I'm only beginning to understand many do these relationships in more detail...
Comment by Deb Thu Oct 11 21:56:45 2012

Deb --- Excellent question. Both the bacteria and the fungi are important, although certain plants like the proportions to be higher on one side or the other. (Woody plants adore fungi, tomatoes like it in the middle, and crucifers tend to like bacteria.) The supplement Mark's looking at is all fungi, so we'd probably use it on tomatoes, but boosting any soil life can also help the others, so I wouldn't be surprised if it helped bacteria too.

I highly recommend the book Teaming With Microbes for a fun and easy to read introduction to soil life.

Comment by anna Fri Oct 12 11:34:22 2012

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