Life in the Soil

Author: James B. Nardi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226568539
Release Date: 2009-09-15
Genre: Science

Leonardo da Vinci once mused that “we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot,” an observation that is as apt today as it was five hundred years ago. The biological world under our toes is often unexplored and unappreciated, yet it teems with life. In one square meter of earth, there lives trillions of bacteria, millions of nematodes, hundreds of thousands of mites, thousands of insects and worms, and hundreds of snails and slugs. But because of their location and size, many of these creatures are as unfamiliar and bizarre to us as anything found at the bottom of the ocean. Lavishly illustrated with nearly three hundred color illustrations and masterfully-rendered black and white drawings throughout, Life in the Soil invites naturalists and gardeners alike to dig in and discover the diverse community of creatures living in the dirt below us. Biologist and acclaimed natural history artist James B. Nardibegins with an introduction to soil ecosystems, revealing the unseen labors of underground organisms maintaining the rich fertility of the earth as they recycle nutrients between the living and mineral worlds. He then introduces readers to a dazzling array of creatures: wolf spiders with glowing red eyes, snails with 120 rows of teeth, and 10,000-year-old fungi, among others. Organized by taxon, Life in the Soil covers everything from slime molds and roundworms to woodlice and dung beetles, as well as vertebrates from salamanders to shrews. The book ultimately explores the crucial role of soil ecosystems in conserving the worlds above and below ground. A unique and illustrative introduction to the many unheralded creatures that inhabit our soils and shape our environment aboveground, Life in the Soil will inform and enrich the naturalist in all of us.

Discoveries in the Garden

Author: James B. Nardi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226531830
Release Date: 2018-03-05
Genre: Gardening

Every square inch of soil is rich with energy and life, and nowhere is this more evident than in the garden. At the tips of our trowels, a sun-driven world of microbes, insects, roots, and stems awaits—and it is a world no one knows better than James Nardi. A charming guide to all things green and growing, Nardi is as at home in prairies, forests, and wetlands as he is in the vegetable patch. And with Discoveries in the Garden, he shows us that these spaces aren’t as different as we might think, that nature flourishes in our backyards, schoolyards, and even indoors. To find it, we’ve only got to get down into the dirt. Leading us through the garden gate, Nardi reveals the extraordinary daily lives and life cycles of a quick-growing, widely available, and very accommodating group of study subjects: garden plants. Through close observations and simple experiments we all can replicate at home, we learn the hidden stories behind how these plants grow, flower, set seeds, and produce fruits, as well as the vital role dead and decomposing plants play in nourishing the soil. From pollinators to parasites, plant calisthenics to the wisdom of weeds, Nardi’s tale also introduces us to our fellow animal and microbial gardeners, the community of creatures both macro- and microscopic with whom we share our raised beds. Featuring a copse of original, informative illustrations that are as lush as the garden plants themselves, Discoveries in the Garden is an enlightening romp through the natural history, science, beauty, and wonder of these essential green places.

The Humane Gardener

Author: Nancy Lawson
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 9781616896171
Release Date: 2017-04-18
Genre: Gardening

In this eloquent plea for compassion and respect for all species, journalist and gardener Nancy Lawson describes why and how to welcome wildlife to our backyards. Through engaging anecdotes and inspired advice, profiles of home gardeners throughout the country, and interviews with scientists and horticulturalists, Lawson applies the broader lessons of ecology to our own outdoor spaces. Detailed chapters address planting for wildlife by choosing native species; providing habitats that shelter baby animals, as well as birds, bees, and butterflies; creating safe zones in the garden; cohabiting with creatures often regarded as pests; letting nature be your garden designer; and encouraging natural processes and evolution in the garden. The Humane Gardener fills a unique niche in describing simple principles for both attracting wildlife and peacefully resolving conflicts with all the creatures that share our world.

Essential Soil Science

Author: Mark Ashman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118685433
Release Date: 2013-04-18
Genre: Technology & Engineering

This textbook is aimed at the majority of students, who need to quickly acquire a concise overview of soil science. Many current soil science textbooks still cater for a traditional student market where students embark on three years study in a narrow discipline. The growth in modular degree schemes has meant that soil science is now often taught as self-standing unit as part of broad based degree program. Students pursuing this type of course are increasingly reluctant to purchase expensive textbooks that are too detailed and often assume a scientific background. For those opting to specialise in soil science there are a variety of good textbooks to choose from. This short informative guide, will be particularly useful for students who do not possess a traditional scientific background, such as those studying geography, environment science, ecology and agriculture. Only textbook to cater for introductory courses in soil science. Provides an affordable concise overview of soil science. Learning exercises and chapter summaries enhance usability. Annotated suggestions for further reading. Based on proven and successful modular course structure. Emphasis on readability and interactive learning. No scientific background assumed.

Teaming with Microbes

Author: Wayne Lewis
Publisher: Timber Press
ISBN: 1604692545
Release Date: 2010-09-10
Genre: Gardening

Healthy soil teems with life—not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms. Chemical fertilizers injure the microbial life that sustains healthy plants, and the soil becomes increasingly dependent on artificial, often toxic, substances. But there is an alternative: by strengthening the soil food web—the complex world of soil-dwelling organisms—gardeners can create a nurturing environment for plants. Teaming with Microbes extols the benefits of cultivating the soil food web. It clearly explains the activities and organisms that make up the web, and explains how gardeners can cultivate the life of the soil through the use of compost, mulches, and compost tea. With Jeff Lowenfels’ help, everyone—from devotees of organic gardening techniques to weekend gardeners who simply want to grow healthy, vigorous plants—can create rich, nurturing, living soil.

The Soul of Soil

Author: Joseph Smillie
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603581240
Release Date: 1999-06-01
Genre: Gardening

Soil is the basis not only for all gardening, but for all terrestrial life. No aspect of agriculture is more fundamental and important, yet we have been losing vast quantities of our finite soil resources to erosion, pollution, and development. Now back in print, this eminently sensible and wonderfully well-focused book provides essential information about one of the most significant challenges for those attempting to grow delicious organic vegetables: the creation and maintenance of healthy soil. Chapter 2, "Understanding the Soil System," is alone worth the price of admission. Gershuny and Smillie give lay readers and experts a clear explanation of subjects--soil life and nutrient cycles--that have confounded most authors. Nowhere will the reader find simpler and more coherent descriptions of key concepts including cation exchange capacity and chelation. There are other books about soil available, including Grace Gershuny's comprehensive Start with the Soil, and there are books that feature chapters on soil building. What distinguishes The Soil of Soilis the authors' concise presentation; they give readers important information, including technical essentials, without getting bogged down in scientific or quasiscientific mumbo-jumbo. In addition, useful tables list specific compost materials, green manures, and other resources that allow growers to translate into action the more general information provided by the book. The soil-building techniques featured include: Organic matter management Building and maintaining humus On-site composting Green manures and rotations Cultivation and weed control Nutrient balances and soil testing Using mineral fertilizers Planning for organic certification Updates to the 1999 edition include analysis of Proposed Rules for the National Organic Standards, and expanded recommendations for private testing services and soil-testing equipment for home gardeners and organic farmers. All of us involved in the cultivation of plants--from the backyard gardener to the largest farmer--need to help regenerate a "living soil," for only in the diversity of the soil and its creatures can we ensure the long-term health of ourselves and our environment. The Soul of Soil offers everyone a basic understanding of what soil is and what we can do to improve our own patch of it. Seen in this light, this practical handbook will be an inspiration as well.

The Soil and Health

Author: Albert Howard
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 9780813132099
Release Date: 2011-01-23
Genre: Nature

During his years as a scientist working for the British government in India, Sir Albert Howard conceived of and refined the principles of organic agriculture. Howard’s The Soil and Health became a seminal and inspirational text in the organic movement soon after its publication in 1945. The Soil and Health argues that industrial agriculture, emergent in Howard’s era and dominant today, disrupts the delicate balance of nature and irrevocably robs the soil of its fertility. Howard’s classic treatise links the burgeoning health crises facing crops, livestock, and humanity to this radical degradation of the Earth’s soil. His message—that we must respect and restore the health of the soil for the benefit of future generations—still resonates among those who are concerned about the effects of chemically enhanced agriculture.

Cows Save the Planet

Author: Judith Schwartz
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603584333
Release Date: 2013-05-20
Genre: Technology & Engineering

In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems—climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesity—there are positive, alternative scenarios to the degradation and devastation we face. In each case, our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil. Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems. For example, land can suffer from undergrazing as well as overgrazing, since certain landscapes, such as grasslands, require the disturbance from livestock to thrive. Regarding climate, when we focus on carbon dioxide, we neglect the central role of water in soil—"green water"—in temperature regulation. And much of the carbon dioxide that burdens the atmosphere is not the result of fuel emissions, but from agriculture; returning carbon to the soil not only reduces carbon dioxide levels but also enhances soil fertility. Cows Save the Planet is at once a primer on soil's pivotal role in our ecology and economy, a call to action, and an antidote to the despair that environmental news so often leaves us with.

Medical Growing

Author:
Publisher: Trine Day
ISBN: 9781936296972
Release Date: 2012-06-01
Genre: Gardening

Employing proven flower-growing techniques used by commercial greenhouses the world over, the growing of cannabis plants is demystified in this helpful gardening book. The natural cycles and growth of the plant are explained, as is how to sprout seedlings, manage growth and soil, how and when to use nutrients, what to look for when it is flowering and finishing, how to cure, and a little about what cannabis can be used for in day-to-day living. Advising to grow the crop patiently, take notes, and observe results, the book also includes a growth journal that makes keeping track a breeze. Plans for an herb hut are provided to make it easy to build an outdoor greenhouse. Easy-to-use and efficient methods, materials that are inexpensive and easy to find, and explanations that suit the simple truth of the environment are all presented in this all-in-one guide to growing a successful crop of cannabis.

Dirt The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth

Author: William Bryant Logan
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393351606
Release Date: 2007-01-17
Genre: Nature

"A gleeful, poetic book…Like the best natural histories, Dirt is a kind of prayer." —Los Angeles Times Book Review "You are about to read a lot about dirt, which no one knows very much about." So begins the cult classic that brings mystery and magic to "that stuff that won't come off your collar." John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Saint Phocas, Darwin, and Virgil parade through this thought-provoking work, taking their place next to the dung beetle, the compost heap, dowsing, historical farming, and the microscopic biota that till the soil. Whether William Bryant Logan is traversing the far reaches of the cosmos or plowing through our planet’s crust, his delightful, elegant, and surprisingly soulful meditations greatly enrich our concept of "dirt," that substance from which we all arise and to which we all must return.

Secrets of Fertile Soils

Author: Erhard Hennig
Publisher: Acres U.S.A.
ISBN: 1601731280
Release Date: 2015-12-01
Genre: Humus

Translation of: Geheimnisse der fruchtbaren Beoden.

A Naturalist s Guide to the Arctic

Author: E. C. Pielou
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226148670
Release Date: 2012-07-31
Genre: Nature

This book is a practical, portable guide to all of the Arctic's natural history—sky, atmosphere, terrain, ice, the sea, plants, birds, mammals, fish, and insects—for those who will experience the Arctic firsthand and for armchair travelers who would just as soon read about its splendors and surprises. It is packed with answers to naturalists' questions and with questions—some of them answered—that naturalists may not even have thought of.

Life Everlasting

Author: Bernd Heinrich
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 9780547752693
Release Date: 2012-06-19
Genre: Nature

An enlightening look at animal behavior and the cycle of life and death, from “one of the finest naturalists of our time” (Edward O. Wilson). When a good friend with a severe illness wrote, asking if he might have his “green burial” at Bernd Heinrich’s hunting camp in Maine, it inspired the acclaimed biologist to investigate a subject that had long fascinated him. How exactly does the animal world deal with the flip side of the life cycle? And what are the lessons, ecological to spiritual, imparted by a close look at how the animal world renews itself? Heinrich focuses his wholly original gaze on the fascinating doings of creatures most of us would otherwise turn away from—field mouse burials conducted by carrion beetles; the communication strategies of ravens, “the premier northern undertakers”; and the “inadvertent teamwork” among wolves and large cats, foxes and weasels, bald eagles and nuthatches in cold-weather dispersal of prey. Heinrich reveals, too, how and where humans still play our ancient and important role as scavengers, thereby turning not dust to dust, but life to life. “If it has not been clear to readers by now, this book confirms that Bernd Heinrich is one of the finest naturalists of our time. Life Everlasting shines with the authenticity and originality that are unique to a life devoted to natural history in the field.” —Edward O. Wilson, author of The Meaning of Human Existence and The Social Conquest of Earth

Garden Insects of North America

Author: Whitney Cranshaw
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400888948
Release Date: 2017-12-05
Genre: Nature

This second edition of Garden Insects of North America solidifies its place as the most comprehensive guide to the common insects, mites, and other “bugs” found in the backyards and gardens of the United States and Canada. Featuring 3,300 full-color photos and concise, detailed text, this fully revised book covers the hundreds of species of insects and mites associated with fruits and vegetables, shade trees and shrubs, flowers and ornamental plants, and turfgrass—from aphids and bumble bees to leafhoppers and mealybugs to woollybears and yellowjacket wasps—and much more. This new edition also provides a greatly expanded treatment of common pollinators and flower visitors, the natural enemies of garden pests, and the earthworms, insects, and other arthropods that help with decomposing plant matter in the garden. Designed to help you easily identify what you find in the garden, the book is organized by where insects are most likely to be seen—on leaves, shoots, flowers, roots, or soil. Photos are included throughout the book, next to detailed descriptions of the insects and their associated plants. An indispensable guide to the natural microcosm in our backyards, Garden Insects of North America continues to be the definitive resource for amateur gardeners, insect lovers, and professional entomologists. Revised and expanded edition covers most of the insects, mites, and other “bugs” one may find in yards or gardens in the United States and Canada—all in one handy volume Features more than 3,300 full-color photos, more than twice the illustrations of the first edition Concise, informative text organized to help you easily identify insects and the plant injuries that they may cause

Roof Gardens

Author: Theodore Osmundson
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393730123
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Gardening

A lavish, richly illustrated study of gardens built on the roofs of buildings traces the history of roof gardens, from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to the present; explains how to construct safe, durable gardens; and offers tips on selecting plants, garden maintenance, and planting techniques.