A Christmas puzzle

Do you ever get soil samples and have no idea what the plants were like, what health concerns there might be, what the growing conditions would have been?

What can we glean from just a soil sample and the soil food web in it?

What questions does this pose, and can we judge from the soil alone which plants grew best?

Spore printing for mushroom identification

This year we have fewer autumn colours as so many drought-stressed trees in a bid for survival economised on their water use by dropping their leaves early without dressing themselves in the yellows, oranges and reds.But now, here in the UK, those with deep roots are putting on an end-of-season display, and we have hadContinue reading “Spore printing for mushroom identification”

A glimpse at the sex lives of fungi

For several weeks I wondered: What is it that I am seeing here?There were lots of little off-shoots of the single strands of mycelium, at fairly regular intervals. Someone had suggested the fungus started branching off in search for food, but this did not fit the pattern I saw. Branching fungal strands, hyphae, maintain theirContinue reading “A glimpse at the sex lives of fungi”

Flood and drought. Two sides of the same coin

Niels Corfield’s blog post this week, Wet on top, dry underneath, shares how poor soil health, in particular, poor soil structure due to lacking soil biology, leads to floods, drought and reduced yields. It resonates what I am learning right now in Regen Academy’s module on Why we have water-stressed crops with 30 inches ofContinue reading “Flood and drought. Two sides of the same coin”

Review – Dr. Elaine’s™ Soil Food Web School Foundation Courses

Should I take Dr. Elaine’s™ Soil Food Web Foundation Courses?
Well, that’s a question only you can answer. I can speak to:
Would I take the Dr. Elaine’s™ Soil Food Web Foundation Courses again?
If you want the short answer, yes, I would.
If you want to know a bit more critical detail, read on!

AbraCadabra: Shingle to soil

Last weekend I needed a good breeze of sea air, so went for a walk from Dover to Deal on the Kent coast. I’d been on this walk a while back, and recalled taking shelter from fierce winter winds under the canopy of one of the Holm oaks (Quercus ilex – an evergreen oak), somewhereContinue reading “AbraCadabra: Shingle to soil”