What is the Soil Foodweb and why is it so Important?
The soil foodweb is the tonnes of beneficial bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes that live in soil or compost whose value has been overlooked, undervalued and misunderstood for decades. Recent discoveries in soil biology show a huge potential to improve current organic, biological and conventional growing and farming and move away from costly synthetic inputs.
Today, soil ecologists recommend thinking twice before adding ingredients blindly to soil. Instead, we should actively measure what is actually living in the root zone of our crops before adding anything because they have discovered that the plant we see above ground are in a complex symbiosis with microbes in the root zone. It is soil life that provides the ‘living bridge’ to store and make nutrients in the soil available to plants. It is the protective barrier of friendly fungi and bacteria around the roots of plants that protect plants from disease and crop stress.
So, encouraging the growth of life in the soil by creating better habitat and providing proper and adequate foods, sets free currently unused levels of profit-making potential in soil, naturally. Use of chemicals and excessive tillage or poorly composted manures has destroyed this huge potential. This way of growing plants is called soil foodweb health management and was developed by world-renowned soil micro-ecologist, Dr. Elaine Ingham. She has dedicated her career to help us grow crops better by directly observing and promoting life in the soil.
Soil foodweb management puts back the valuable life in the soil that has been destroyed or is missing. This allows us to move away from costly synthetic inputs that cause so many problems. Commercial growers using the soil foodweb management programs, report substantial savings in crop production input costs, reduced water usage and increases in yield and quality.