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

What's living in your soil?

Soil bacteriaIf you raked back the leaves and carefully weighed out all of the life in a forest's soil, the sheer quantity would astound you.  The soil invertebrates would add up to the equivalent mass of four to thirteen sheep per acre.  In a coniferous forest, where fungi are king, the threads of fungi in a single teaspoon of soil would unspool to stretch forty miles.  Tickle out the tiny bacteria and they'd add up to a few tons per acre as well.

That said, the volume of soil microorganisms doesn't hold a candle to their essential functions.  This week's lunchtime series is based on Dave Jacke's Edible Forest Gardens volume 1.  I didn't have room to present all of the rivetting information there, so if you're intrigued by this teaser, I highly recommend checking his book out and flipping straight to chapter 5.

This post is part of our Living Soil lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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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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