Soil Health

You are about to see the dork come out of me. A few years ago, I never though about the soil or roots of a plant. Then, I took a Soil Food Web course with Dr. Elaine Ingram to achieve a certification. My priorities flipped in an instance.

Envision a plant. You are probably envisioning a pretty shrub, with flowers, or without… I did too. Majority of what keeps plants alive, is below soil level. The soil web is an extremely complex cycle. It runs merely perfect without the intervention of humans. Similar to gut health, you need soil health. I’m going to share a bit of my knowledge, so you can better understand the importance of this topic.

soil food web

The Nutrient Cycle:

This is the process that keeps the world turning. Beneficial Microorganisms harvest nutrients from organic matter in the soil and parent material. Which is considered as rocks, pebbles, sand particles, clay, loam, etc. Molecularly, they are made of crystalline structures. These structures are difficult to break down. Atomically, these structures contain Nitrogen, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Boron, and so many more. Plants need 17 nutrients to live. They need several more to thrive. Unfortunately, plants can not independently access these nutrients in these structures.

Bacteria and fungi produce enzymes that break down these crystalline structures then release the nutrients. The Bacteria and Fungo eagerly absorb these nutrients they broke down. Bacterial and fungal predators, like nematodes, then come along and consume the bacterias and fungi’s. As the excrete their waste, it’s in plant available form. Allowing the plant to absorb from the root.

During the process of photosynthesis, the plant produces simple sugars. They diffuse about 35% of these sugars into the soil. The bacteria and fungi love these sugars and feed on them. Increasing the bacteria and fungi population around the roots.

The Nutrient Cycle can’t happen without decomposers and predators. Even more so, these groups have to be balanced to each other and to the species being grown.

If you ever have time, I highly encourage you to visit Dr. Elaine Ingrams website. She has traveled world wide, fixing issues in the soil food web. Helping farmers reduce bloat in livestock, increase yields on farms, erosion issues, etc. The knowledge and wisdom she has is incomparable in this industry.

Chemical Fertilizers:

The chemical fertilizer industry, like others wants returning clients. Who doesn’t, right?

You buy them and put them out in your yard/flowerbed, you yard turns greener, your plants look happier. A few months pass and it’s time to do it again. However in that time, you are killing the micro organisms and putting out elements like Potassium, Nitrogen, etc. Don’t get me wrong, your plants need nutrients, but you’re slowly killing what God already designed for that job. After a few years, you will not have any micro organisms in your lawn. Your lawn and flowerbeds will be reliant on you for those nutrients. Doing exactly what the fertilizer industry was designed to do, get you coming back for more.

Benefits of a healthy Soil Food Web:

  • Increased Yields
  • Protection from Pests and Diseases
  • Reduced Irrigation Requirements
  • No need for fertilizers
  • Weed Suppression
  • Protection against Soil Erosion
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Protection of Insects and Birds

If you are curious where your soil health is, we are happy to collect a sample and perform a microscope evaluation.

soil food web foundation certification