I've been devouring all the informational resources I can get my hands on lately when it comes to learning more about regenerative gardening.
I have compiled a list of the resources that I have been consuming in my effort to better understand the soil food web and regenerative gardening. I am sharing them in hopes that more people will learn about how important the soil food web is for gardening, farming, and our earth. It's also seriously fascinating!
If you only watch/listen/read one thing it should be the Netflix documentary, Kiss the Ground. This documentary discusses the impact our soil can have on climate change and how important it is that we start regenerating our soil, not just sustaining it. Woody Harrelson narrates the documentary and who doesn't love Woody's voice?
For a super scientific dive into understanding the soil microbiology, I read Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis. I recommend listening to this book first as an audiobook (I was able to listen free through my library and the Hoopla app) and then reading it. I found that being able to listen to how to pronounce some of the more daunting terms was very helpful, and also having the narrator read some of the latin names and chemical compounds kept me from zoning out like I would while reading. The narrator also has a pleasing voice which is important to me. There is nothing worse than an audiobook narrated by an annoying voice.
Author Jeff Lowenfels has two other books, Teaming with Nutrients and Teaming with Fungi. I started listening to Teaming with Nutrients as an audiobook and found myself zoning out a bit. I did not zone out with Teaming with Microbes.
Then, after listening to it as an audiobook, if you want to purchase the book for reference, it's a great resource. I find myself going back to several chapters and reading them over and over.
I'm currently taking the Soil Advocate Training by Kiss the Ground. This course costs $150 and has a money back guarantee. This course is not for everyone. It helps people arm themselves with the knowledge and talking points to help advocate for a regenerative farming and gardening movement.
I started the Advanced Regenerative Gardening course by Kiss the Ground, however, I found the term Advanced is not applicable as the course felt very much geared towards beginners. I asked to switch to the Soil Advocate Training course instead. They even have a beginner course, but I'm wondering what is even in that course since the "advanced" one felt beginner to me.
Podcasts are one of the easiest to digest formats to get started learning about geeky subjects. If the host and guest are good at explaining the science in layman's terms it makes for an enjoyable listen. One podcast that I have found to be very easy to absorb has been the Joe Gardener podcast.
Joe interviews Dr. Elaine Ingham (widely recognized as the world's foremost soil biologist)
Joe Gardener and Dr. Elaine Ingham episodes 116 Understanding the Soil Food Web with Dr. Elaine Ingham. Episode 117: Compost, Compost Tea and the Soil Food Web with Dr. Elaine Ingham.
Dr. Elaine Ingham started Soil Food Web Inc and has videos that explain the soil food web, nutrient cycling and more on her website. The video visuals really help with explaining the soil food web process. Definitely check them out.
Another podcast I found to be easy to understand and full of interesting science is The No Till Flower Farmer Podcast. Specifically the episode about why insects attack certain plants.
Jennie interviews Dr. Tom Dykstra, an entomologist about how insects choose the plants they want to eat and how this choice relates to the plant's health level. Check out the episode,
However you like to consume your scienc-y garden information, all of the above options are excellent resources to learn more about your garden as an ecosystem and how the soil food web plays an integral role in your garden's success. I would love to know your thoughts on any of the suggested resources if you check them out for yourself.