So...What's with this talk about soil biology, and putting microorganisms to work on plant roots, and "friendly fungi" anyway? Is this really something important for your daily lives, or just more navel-gazing science that produces ignorable fluff like the government's Food Pyramid?
I don't know about you, but to me it's very reassuring to know that our eating habits are being guided by hard-working government professionals. I'm certain that we'll all be getting slimmer now that a new pyramid has been developed, especially if we follow the breakthrough advice that exercise and eating smaller amounts can lead to weight loss. Astounding! This new information alone justifies however many millions we're spending to to keep these dedicated food researchers on the public payroll and to advertise their findings.
The Food Pyramid is a critically important part of our daily lives (although not by that name), at least mine, but should soil biology be considered more than an academic issue?
I fully understand the difficulty of pulling microbiological technology out of USDA and university labs into farm fields and home gardens. My general experience is that only a few farmers, landscapers, and gardeners are actively seeking alternatives for growing plants, and the idea that microscopic fungi can somehow out perform familiar fertilizers is a tricky concept to explain.
Those of us in the bio-products industry are doing our best to explain the "how" and "why" of using beneficial organisms to grow food crops and ornamentals, but obviously lack the kind of huge ad budgets that would really launch biological methods into the mainstream. So, it's basically one grower at a time for us. And when that grower is delighted with the survival rates, disease resistance, and performance of plants with mycorrhizae and a very little fertilizer, we make one more convert.
At some point, I have to believe that either enough successful bio-growers will form a critical mass that will spark widespread use, or that the USDA will begin actively conducting in-field trials and promoting alternatives to chemical methods - with luck, perhaps with at least a tenth of the investment and enthusiasm that is given to the Food Pyramid.
Shameless promotion section.... Our website now offers smaller, more affordable containers of all our mycorrhizal products (powder, micronized powder, root dip, endo/ecto landscape inoculant), plus we have just added our new MycoMinerals(tm) product for home gardens. The latter product is designed to be worked into vegetable or flower bed soil before seeding or transplanting, and produced some dramatic effects during initial trials last year. The giant pumpkin folks by themselves should make for a good market.
Cheers, my friends,
President, BioOrganics, Inc.