Six Weeks of Asparagus EVERYthing
Rhubarb coffee cake
Frisbee-sized (and edible) Shaggy Parasol mushrooms
Garden Soil, Fungi, & Critters T.Byrne 2015
I lifted up the edge of one of our blue tarps last summer to find this thriving microcosm of life. This led to a bout of wondering about the multitudes of life forms that I cannot see with my naked eye (in addition to wishing that I had a light microscope, instead of just my old-fashioned Swift Stereo 90...). From the looks of things, it seems that we are providing a nurturing place for a multitude of garden invertebrates and other tiny neighbors.
Microbes, microbiomes, good bacteria/bad bacteria...I believe that our next deep science explorations will be into health of the soil that we depend on to grow our food and sustain life on the planet. Did you know that there is more life below the surface of the soil than above it? In a single tablespoon of soil, there are 50 billion microbes alone!
Along with a focus on soil health, it appears that as we humans need to make friends with the three pounds of bacteria, fungi, one-celled archaea, and viruses "that collectively they weigh the same as our brain". In other words, that would be the microbial make-up of a healthy human. (Are you ready to meet your wild life?)
What is a person/superorganism to do?
Feed your microbes well my friends, support non-toxic agriculture, green cleaning, do not use anti-bacterial soaps, read labels, drink your Kefir, and be sure to get your daily dose of dirt!
All three of these fungi are fruiting within five feet of my backdoor; unfortunately, I do not know enough about mushrooms to know if they are edible, but it appears that the shiny orange ones are being nibbled by someone...
I am thrilled that we have so many varieties popping up. These fruiting bodies indicate that there is a healthy mycelium network in our backyard, and we are hopeful that it will continue to grow.
Look what I found on my way home from school today....
This fairy ring was across the sidewalk from where the robust Amanita flourished last October; still hoping to spot the fairies and gnomes...
It felt like spring again today, and I caught some tiny things growing in the Washington Park Arboretum.
P.S. and about that red nose...