BD Now! 036 Michael Phillips, Organic Orchardist and Author of “Mycorrhizal Planet: How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility”

Organic orchardist Michael Phillips is the author of “Mycorrhizal Planet”

Michael Phillips is a farmer, writer, carpenter, orchard consultant, and speaker who lives with his wife, Nancy, and daughter, Grace, on Heartsong Farm in northern New Hampshire, where they grow apples and a variety of medicinal herbs. Michael is the author of The Apple Grower (Chelsea Green, 2005) and The Holistic Orchard (2011), and teamed up with Nancy to write The Herbalist’s Way (2005). His Lost Nation Orchard is part of the Holistic Orchard Network, and Michael also leads the community orchard movement at www.GrowOrganicApples.com

Mycorrhizal fungi have been waiting a long time for people to recognize just how important they are to the making of dynamic soils. These microscopic organisms partner with the root systems of approximately 95 percent of the plants on Earth, and they sequester carbon in much more meaningful ways than human “carbon offsets” will ever achieve. Pick up a handful of old-growth forest soil and you are holding 26 miles of threadlike fungal mycelia, if it could be stretched it out in a straight line. Most of these soil fungi are mycorrhizal, supporting plant health in elegant and sophisticated ways. The boost to green immune function in plants and community-wide networking turns out to be the true basis of ecosystem resiliency. A profound intelligence exists in the underground nutrient exchange between fungi and plant roots, which in turn determines the nutrient density of the foods we grow and eat.

Exploring the science of symbiotic fungi in layman’s terms, holistic farmer Michael Phillips sets the stage for practical applications across the landscape. The real impetus behind no-till farming, gardening with mulches, cover cropping, digging with broadforks, shallow cultivation, forest-edge orcharding, and everything related to permaculture is to help the plants and fungi to prosper . . . which means we prosper as well.

Building soil structure and fertility that lasts for ages results only once we comprehend the nondisturbance principle. As the author says, “What a grower understands, a grower will do.” Mycorrhizal Planet abounds with insights into “fungal consciousness” and offers practical, regenerative techniques that are pertinent to gardeners, landscapers, orchardists, foresters, and farmers. Michael’s fungal acumen will resonate with everyone who is fascinated with the unseen workings of nature and concerned about maintaining and restoring the health of our soils, our climate, and the quality of life on Earth for generations to come

 

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SHOW NOTES

Michael Phillip’s author page at Chelsea Green Press

Michael Phillip’s website

Community Holistic Apple Growers

Suzanne Simard (“Mother Trees”) TED Talk on “How Trees Talk to Each Other”

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BD Now! Podcast 020 Stephen Harrod Buhner, Cosmic Herbalist, Wise Paleface

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Stephen Harrod Buhner

Stephen Harrod Buhner is an Earth poet and the award-winning author of ten books on nature, indigenous cultures, the environment, and herbal medicine. He comes from a long line of healers including Leroy Burney, Surgeon General of the United States under Eisenhower and Kennedy, and Elizabeth Lusterheide, a midwife and herbalist who worked in rural Indiana in the early nineteenth century. The greatest influence on his work, however,has been his great-grandfather C.G. Harrod who primarily used botanical medicines, also in rural Indiana, when he began his work as a physician in 1911.
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Episode 018: Stephen Crimi, Poet, Writer, and Publisher of the Alan Chadwick Archive

Poet, Writer and Publisher, Stephen Crimi of Logosophia Books

Poet, Writer and Publisher, Stephen Crimi of Logosophia Books

Steve Crimi is the publisher of Logosophia Books in Asheville, NC, and one of the keepers of the Alan Chadwick Archive. He and his wife Krys ran Philosophy Farm, an biodynamic/permaculture farm in the mountain of Western NC for over a decade. He has given talks internationally on Biodynamics, Sacred Geometry and the Sacred Origins of Western Civilization, and can be reached through www.logosophiabooks.com. A blog containing some of his writings is found at http://open.salon.com/blog/stevecrimi. Continue reading

Episode 017: The Future of CSAs with Jean-Paul Courtens and Steven McFadden

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Community supported agriculture is a social movement that arose in the US in the late 1980s because people recognized a need to produce healthy, clean, safe, ecologically sound and spiritually energized – foods while caring appropriately for the environment. It was clear then as it is today that agriculture within the pressures of the current economic system is subject to so many degrading economic forces that it is incapable of producing foods that provided the nutrients necessary for proper human health and development. While there are larger issues at stake when children (and adults) are developing with only a fraction of the nutrition required to reach their full potential, we can see these nutritional short comings in increasing rates of cancers, allergies and intestinal problems. In addition, the environmental impact of extractive industrial agriculture is seen everywhere. Continue reading