Dr Elaine Inghams ‘Soil Food Web’ Lectures

Take a look at this amazing resource I’ve just discovered, it’s Dr Elaine Inghams lessons on the soil food web, as well as creating your own composts and compost teas/extracts. The information contained hereinafter is often behind a paywall.

“Elaine Ingham, Chief Scientist at Rhodale Institute came to Hawi, Hawai’i in July 2012 to deliver a 5 day seminar dedicated to studying, understanding, and improving our soil biology to assist in ecologically sound agricultural practices. This is where I got my introduction to the microscope and learned much of it’s importance. This was some of the best 30 hours of class ever, and I often re-watch this epic series to refresh myself and discover more as I tune my own magnification of understanding this microscopic wonderland.” – Drake of Natural Farming Hawaii.

This presentation consists of 18 videos containing a total of 26 hours of footage. For information purposes the audio quality is a little poor and the presentation slides are slightly out of focus.

LINK: http://naturalfarminghawaii.net/learn-natural-farming/elaine-ingham-seminar/
PLAYLIST: https://youtu.be/a5Lbag-4Dew?list=PLEF3AC2CFE07692A4

Life In The Soil: A Perspective To Healthy Farming

“Bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, earthworms, and what lies between—a healthy ecosystem underfoot is key to the vigor of life above ground. A leader in soil microbiology and author of the USDA’s Soil Biology Primer, Dr. Elaine Ingham will detail the complex interactions within the soil that make clean water, clean air, and life for higher creatures possible. Learn to foster and sustain the proper balance of soil organisms, and hear how compost tea can stimulate plant productivity and stave off disease. Dr. Ingham is also the founder of Soil Foodweb, Inc. and the former chief scientist for the Rodale Institute.”

I found this to be an excellent and completely fascinating introduction to the soil food web, I’d highly recomend it. This comes in 5 parts and is around 3 hours long in total, I know I’ll be listening to this one more than once thats for sure, check it out and be prepared to learn a lot from this fasinating woman.

PART 2: https://vimeo.com/90902847
PART 3: https://vimeo.com/90908150
PART 4: https://vimeo.com/90913699
PART 5: https://vimeo.com/90913700

Soil Biology Premier Book

SoilBiologyPremier

The creatures living in the soil are critical to soil health. They affect soil structure and therefore soil erosion and water availability. They can protect crops from pests and diseases. They are central to decomposition and nutrient cycling and therefore affect plant growth and the amounts of pollutants in the environment. The soil is also home to a large proportion of the world’s genetic diversity.

The free online Soil Biology Primer version is an introduction to the living component of soil and how it contributes to agricultural productivity and air and water quality. The Primer includes chapters describing the soil food web and its relationship to soil health and chapters about soil bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods, and earthworms.

The online Primer includes all of the text of the printed original, but not all of the images of the soil organisms. The full story of the soil food web is more easily understood with the help of the illustrations in the printed (or PDF) version.

Authors:
Elaine R. Ingham
Andrew R. Moldenke, Oregon State University
Clive A. Edwards, Ohio State University

LINKS:
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/soils/health/biology/ (free online version)
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/soil/SoilBiology/soil_biology_primer.htm (also sell phyical copy $16+shipping)
http://www.nofanj.org/LiteratureRetrieve.aspx?ID=104155 (online version in PDF format)

DIRECT DOWNLOAD:
https://planetpermaculture.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/soil_biology_primer_elaine_ingham_pdf.pdf

BUY PDF BOOK:
https://sellfy.com/p/sINN/ (Digital copy $25)

Growing Asparagus In Meteorites To Prepare Us for Space Food

Image

For those of us without a green thumb, growing even the most hardy plants in perfect conditions can seem impossible. How about trying to grow plants on a meteorite? Well, at least one scientist is doing it, with moderate levels of success.

The thinking goes—if we’re going to have space colonies, we’re going to need some way to eat. Transporting all food from Earth isn’t realistic, and neither is bringing tons of bags of topsoil. Photos of asteroids, meteors, and other planets in our solar system look incredibly desolate, but, in fact, some of them contain many of the nutrients necessary to grow plants.

“People have been talking about terraforming, but what I’m trying to do is give some concrete evidence that it’s possible to do this, that it’s possible to grow in extraterrestrial materials,” Michael Mautner, a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher and one of the world’s only “astroecologists” told me. “What I’ve found is that a range of microorganisms—bacteria, fungi, and even asparagus and potato plants—can survive with the nutrients that are in extraterrestrial materials.”

Asteroids and meteorites often contain phosphate, nitrates, and even water that plants can feed on. Mautner thinks it’s not outside the realm of possibility to directly grow certain plants on other planets, in some sort of protected environment.

An asparagus seedling in meteorite soil. Image: Michael Mautner

He’s not simply tossing asparagus seeds onto a meteorite, however—he’s grinding up the rock into something more closely resembling soil. His plan is to eventually find several different plants and extraterrestrial soils that make the most sense to farm, and use his experiments to develop a “rating system” for which are likely to fare best—a kind of interplanetary farmer’s almanac, if you will.

Continue reading “Growing Asparagus In Meteorites To Prepare Us for Space Food”

6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World

TED talk by Paul Stamets regarding Mushrooms and how he believes that mushrooms can save our lives, restore our ecosystems and transform other worlds.

Entrepreneurial mycologist Paul Stamets seeks to rescue the study of mushrooms from forest gourmets and psychedelic warlords. The focus of Stamets’ research is the Northwest’s native fungal genome, mycelium, but along the way he has filed 22 patents for mushroom-related technologies, including pesticidal fungi that trick insects into eating them, and mushrooms that can break down the neurotoxins used in nerve gas.

There are cosmic implications as well. Stamets believes we could terraform other worlds in our galaxy by sowing a mix of fungal spores and other seeds to create an ecological footprint on a new planet.

Paul Stamets Quote: “Mycelium is Earth’s natural Internet.”