SOIL FOOD WEB CLASS: LESSON #2
Now We’re cookin’ with grease!
Second class handled. This lesson and test was on the components of soil. Sand, silt, clay, organic matter and microbes.
This is where the rubber meets the road for me. MICROBES!
When I was in Middle School I had a science teacher “Ms. Vorace” she was a big fat miserable blob of knowledge that I renamed “Ms. Voracious”. She HATED me. Not sure why, but she did. Her classroom housed ALL of the best science equipment in the school. Dope ass microscopes and all the slides, dies and tools one would need to explore the universe that lives below. I was an avid fisherman and loved science; but hated Ms. Vorace. My only option was to break into that school after class and use the equipment. Before the end of the day I would place a small rock in the crack of a back door so the latch wouldn’t close. I’d leave the building, go skate around the school for a while and wait. Once the teachers left for the day I’d head for that back door and sneak in. I’d always take a few laps around the school on my board before tearing into the science. I’d bring pond water from fishing trips and look at the life. I was fascinated. I’m sure I would have gone into science if it weren’t for my science teacher. Ironically jacked situation.
Obviously my love of microscopy has been a blessing in regards to soil science. I have a nice OMAX and have used it to look at my compost and compost teas for many years. This knowledge is paying off.
The class starts with biochemistry (I know almost nothing about that stuff) then went into organic matter then microbes. This is the meat and potatoes right here. From CO2 in the atmosphere, add some sun and chlorophyll and sugars are made by the plant. These sugars are sent down the plant to the root. This is where the relationship between plants and microbes starts. Root exudates (Sugars that exude from the plant roots) These sugars attract and feed microbes who then reproduce and feed the plant. This process is fascinating to me. Root exudates are then transformed to Ameno Acids by bacteria. The amino acids are then converted to Poly- saccharides then proteins then hormones and eventually into Humic Acid and Fulvic Acid.
The final component of soil was my favorite. Elaine explains all the different microbes and what they eat and how they do their thing. I love this stuff. Until next time y’all.