Michael started his orchard on imperfect apple ground, something that forced him – or gave him the opportunity – to figure out what he needed to do to make his apple trees tick. And that led him to the fungal relationships between trees and soil organisms that transfer information, nutrients, and water not just to individual plants, but through a field or plant population. In addition, mycorrhizae induce a systemic resistance to pests in the plants.
We dig into how this amazing fungal network works, and how you can enhance and preserve its functioning in the orchard and in the vegetable field. Michael provides background information and practical tips on how to maintain and enhance mycorrhizal populations even when we have to till the soil, as well as how to make and use your own mycorrhizal inoculant for transplants and seeds.
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Quotes from the Show
I am creating the very kind of soil that a tree wants to grow in.
It is really neat that now we have both the microscopic insight and also a much finer-tuned awareness of how plant physiology work in terms of standing up to disease and pest pressure.
We’ve got to honor these fungi. We've got to learn how to do growing without disturbing the soil.
As you start to see how all these things come together, it's just so exciting… how great it would be to a young farmer again, as we're just starting to discover things that are going to make us so much better at growing foods for ourselves and being healthy overall.
We do what we think is right. We stand by our principles. Yet, it isn't about being pure. It's about recognizing you do the best you can… That's great but still things can happen.
Do fungal things.
Nature has us covered if we're doing it right.
There's times for inoculum and there's times when it isn't necessary but all along the journey, we have to be thinking fungally.
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Michael’s favorite tool is the Meadow Creature Broadfork.
Michael likes the Hoss Wheel Hoe discs for incorporating cover crop seeds.