The Soil Food Web

Day 5: Celebrating Soil Security

Top: Common earwig (forficula auricularia) Bottom: Ringlegged earwig (Euborellia annulipes) Illustration: Craig Latker

Top: Common earwig (Forficula auricularia)
Bottom: Ringlegged earwig (Euborellia annulipes) Illustration: Craig Latker

For the past 5 years Frederique Lavoipierre, regular Pacific Horticulture contributor and author of our “Garden Allies” series, has written about soil life and its impact on—well, everything!

The air into which plants extend their stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits is a virtual desert compared to the soil in which their roots seek anchorage, water, and nourishment.  – Frederique Lavoipierre

With a scientist’s perspective and a storyteller’s heart Frederique’s work opens our eyes to the life beneath our feet; how we can support it, use it to increase soil fertility, and respect the importance of members of this soil food web.

Without this largely invisible (and otherwise not very attractive) population our soils would just be crushed rock. Yet the alchemy of these microorganisms and mineral components, fueled by sunlight and chemicals reactions, form the basis of living soil.