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Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition Hardcover – February 24, 2010
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“A breakthrough book. . . . well worth owning and reading. No comprehensive horticultural library should be without it.” —American Gardener
“Digs into soil in a most enlightening and entertaining way.” —Dallas Morning News
“Required reading for all serious gardeners.” —Miami Herald
“The authors have given gardeners an inside scoop on the scientific research supporting organic gardening.” —Pacific Horticulture
“This intense little book may well change the way you garden.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Exceptional. . . . A brief, clear overview of scientific information with which every gardener should be familiar.” —Monterey Herald
“Sure, it’s a gardening book, but it has all the drama and suspense of an extraterrestrial thriller. A cast of characters without eyeballs or backbones. Battle scenes with bizarre creatures devouring one another. Only this book is about as terrestrial as it gets.” —Anchorage Daily News
“All good gardeners know healthy plants start with healthy soil. But why? And how? In Teaming with Microbes Lowenfels and Lewis reveal the new research in the most practical and accessible way.” —The Oregonian
“Read this book and you’ll never think of soil the same way.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Sure, it’s a gardening book, but it has all the drama and suspense of an extraterrestrial thriller. . . . Read this book and you’ll never look at soil the same way.” —B&B Magazine
“A must read for any gardener looking to create a sustainable, healthy garden without chemicals.” —Virginian-Pilot
“It takes readers underground to meet the critters that live if you let them under the garden.” —Rockland Courier-Gazette
From the Back Cover
Smart gardeners know that soil is anything but an inert substance. Healthy soil is teeming with life—not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. When we use chemical fertilizers, we injure the microbial life that sustains healthy plants, and thus become increasingly dependent on an arsenal of artificial substances, many of them toxic to humans as well as other forms of life. But there is an alternative to this vicious circle: to garden in a way that strengthens, rather than destroys, the soil food web—the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms whose interactions create a nurturing environment for plants. By eschewing jargon and overly technical language, the authors make the benefits of cultivating the soil food web available to a wide audience, from devotees of organic gardening techniques to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants without resorting to chemicals.
This revised edition updates the original text and includes two completely new chapters—on mycorrhizae (beneficial associations fungi form with green-leaved plants) and archaea (singled-celled organisms once thought to be allied to bacteria).
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Top customer reviews
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The author has made an effort to keep the readers attention from beginning to end.
The book starts off explaining the different types of bacteria, fungi & life in the soil, both aerobic & anaerobic, how to increase the good microbes & spot the bad boys in the hood.
In the second part of the book the author teaches you how to find out what your plants need & to make the correct compost or tea for your plants.
Once you start reading this book you will not want to put it down.
I hope, for the sake of all of us on this earth, that more people can read this book and the information related to this subject. Also it needs to be translated to every language.
Although it is meant for gardeners, poor people living from poor farming practices could use this information and start walking the path to a better living.
Scientists, gardeners, farmers, educators, and all with this kind of knowledge have a huge responsibility in sharing it with the less fortunate.
Those buying this book must read it cover to cover, no matter how boring some part might seem. It is way worth it!
Maybe it's just me, but I thoroughly enjoy the step by step from bacteria, archeae, fungi, to worms and more! This book tells you how to join the team of the microbes and make them do the work for you in your organic garden.
It's the WHY behind why go organic in your gardening. There's a why out there now, but it's only describing the benefits, this book delves into the details, and makes you understand WHY each part of the microbe world benefits the soil, and HOW, and it teaches you BUNCHES of great information. Like what are Archaea(sp?), and what are mychorrhizae (ok, I spelled that right...!)
Anyways, this makes gardening and composting more enjoyable for me, as I am able to understand things like PH, and ammonium versus nitrates, and fungi vs bacteria dominated soils.
Must read for any organic gardener or nursery!
Hope this helps.