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Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition (Science for Gardeners) Hardcover – February 24, 2010
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"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." —Debra McKinney, Anchorage Daily News
“A breakthrough book…well worth owning and reading. No comprehensive horticultural library should be without it.” —American Gardener
“Exceptional…A brief, clear overview of scientific information with which every gardener should be familiar.” —Monterey Herald
“Digs into soil in a most enlightening and entertaining way.” —Dallas Morning News
“Required reading for all serious gardeners.” —Miami Herald
“This intense little book may well change the way you garden.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“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
“The authors have given gardeners an inside scoop on the scientific research supporting organic gardening.” —Pacific Horticulture
“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
“[This book] is 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
They relate [p.69] that one of them wrote a weekly gardening column for 30 years and never once mentioned mycorrhiza "out of sheer ignorance." On the same page they write, that it was only in the 1990's that the term mycorrhiza started to "creep into the agricultural industry's lexicon, much less the home gardener's." Most organic gardeners are aware that it is with home gardeners and "soil pioneers" progress is made in soil science, and not in an entrenched industry.
On p. 125, with the section "a quick look forward," they write, "Given the advancing scientific techniques, the high degree of interest in the subject, and the human as well as the monetary implications of usable bio-products, it is certain more will be taken up - more and more often - as additional tools for restoration and maintenance." In other words, more industry involvement.
Further, on page 126, the authors disclose their wish for the bio-tech development of "an endophytic fungi that rids the lawn of dandelions." The development of such a fungi that kills dandelions could be an ecological disaster. Besides the value of dandelions as a food source for many nations outside of the U.S., dandelions are a nitrogen fixing soil improving plant. Then too, did the authors consider that the bio-tech created endophytic fungi might adapt to also kill other root vegetables, such as sugar beets, and carrots?Read more ›
I agree that people should not till in the spring just before planting. But tilling in the late fall and working in organic matter and then planting a mycorrhizal cover crop will renew the fungus and achieve superior results. Buy this book for the first part and then ignore the second part.
Very interesting reading even if you are not a gardener.
This particular book is detailed, while at the same time reading like a novel. It is full of excellent information about microbiology of soils. When you read a book on a particular subject, what you are really looking for is clarity and answers to your questions. This book provides all of that, and more.
Wonderful book. Highly recommended to anyone who is interested in 1) Organic Gardening 2) Composting, or organic mulches or compost teas 3) Soil microbiology
The authors have arrived at the perfect mix of science and readability - this book fed my hunger for solid science, AND was fun to read. It's my go-to book on soil microbes. Get it, and keep it next to the dictionary on your Important Books Shelf.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book helped me to understand soil biology. The information was new to me and has changed the way I think about soil.Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
Thi is a wonderful book and my library will never be without it.Published 27 days ago by Helen Lyons
An excelent book for everybody who is into gardening or agriculture.Published 1 month ago by Oliver Pfaff
Very fascinating, and jam packed with incredible information that I never knew about. Who would've thought all this would be going on in my dirt haha. Great book.Published 1 month ago by D'Quame T. Brown
I can highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in organic farming and who wants to find out more about microbes and there importance in crop production. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Great reading book for the serious organic gardener. goes into great detail of what a good microbiology active soil is and how it benefits the plants better then using bottled... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robert Walch
This is very deep reading on this subject, I've sort of learn some of it but you really need to be a microbiologist to total understand it but I intend to read it hoping to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Patricia A Cusumano
Fertile soil is more than finely ground rock with some shredded peat moss and some roots and a worm or two sprinkled with some water and chemical fertilizer. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jane Eyre