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

 

DOWNLOAD this PODCAST HERE!

<

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”

If you listen to the Biodynamics Now! Podcast, please help to to support the show by subscribing and leaving a rating and review in iTunes. The reviews help improve the show’s ranking in iTunes, so it is easier for new listeners to find it which is all good in the long run. Maybe we’ll find our secret benefactor one day if we get a wide enough reach!

Thanks in advance for taking the time to do this.

If you’ve never heard of the Biodynamics Now! podcast, I appreciate you checking it out in the iTunes Podcast Store.

On a desktop machine you should be able to click on the link here and it will take you to the iTunes Podcast Store Preview page.You should see our Holstein logo there and under it a button that says “View in iTunes” Click on that button and it will take you to the Biodynamics Now! Podcast setup in the iTunes app on your own desktop. Find the section for leaving ratings and reviews. It would be great is you gave us one of each (The Highest Value possible, of course.) (Oh, and if this sounds like too much hassle, please take the time to leave a comment on this page so we know that you enjoyed the program and would like to ‘see’ more in the future.) This is the link to the iTunes Store Preview.


 

BD Now! Podcast Episode 025 Toby Hemenway, Author of “The Permaculture City” and “Gaia’s Garden”

toby-original Urban permaculture takes what we have learned in the garden and applies it to people, neighborhoods, and even culture.

Permaculture is more than just the latest buzzword; it offers positive solutions for many of the environmental and social challenges confronting us. And nowhere are those remedies more needed and desired than in our cities. The Permaculture City provides a new way of thinking about urban living, with practical examples for creating abundant food, energy security, close-knit communities, local and meaningful livelihoods, and sustainable policies in our cities and towns. The same nature-based approach that works so beautifully for growing food—connecting the pieces of the landscape together in harmonious ways—applies perfectly to many of our other needs. Toby Hemenway, one of the leading practitioners and teachers of permaculture design, illuminates a new way forward through examples of edge-pushing innovations, along with a deeply holistic conceptual framework for our cities, towns, and suburbs.

The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods, and even cultures. Hemenway lays out how permaculture design can help towndwellers solve the challenges of meeting our needs for food, water, shelter, energy, community, and livelihood in sustainable, resilient ways. Readers will find new information on designing the urban home garden and strategies for gardening in community, rethinking our water and energy systems, learning the difference between a “job” and a “livelihood,” and the importance of placemaking and an empowered community.

This important book documents the rise of a new sophistication, depth, and diversity in the approaches and thinking of permaculture designers and practitioners. Understanding nature can do more than improve how we grow, make, or consume things; it can also teach us how to cooperate, make decisions, and arrive at good solutions.

Toby Hemenway

Toby Hemenway is the author of the first major North American book on permaculture, Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture. After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Toby worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology, first in academic laboratories at Harvard and the University of Washington in Seattle, and then at Immunex, a major medical biotech company. At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture, a design approach based on ecological principles that creates sustainable landscapes, homes, and workplaces. A career change followed, and Toby and his wife spent ten years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He was associate editor of Permaculture Activist, a journal of ecological design and sustainable culture, from 1999 to 2004. He teaches permaculture and consults and lectures on ecological design throughout the country. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Whole Earth ReviewNatural Home, and Kitchen Gardener. He is available for workshops, lectures, and consulting in ecological design.

Download this Episode

Show Notes

Please take a moment to give The Biodynamics Now! Podcast a 5-Star review on ITunes HERE!

Toby’s Website Pattern Literacy 

Toby’s Facebook Page