EPISODE 38: The Importance of Fungi W/ Michael Amaranthus

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Show Notes

Welcome everyone to another episode of Kiss the Ground. Today’s guest is a very fun guy, Dr. Michael Amaranthus, a USDA forest service soil ecologist who retired from the USFS to start his own biotech company called Mycorrhizal Applications. Mycorrhizal is a relationship between fungi and plants to increase water and nutrients to the plant while providing carbohydrates to the fungi. Today, Michael is here to chat about his journey to discovering the benefits of fungi, what this process looks like, and how it can affect climate change.

Transcript


Welcome everyone to another episode of kiss
the ground. Today's guest is a very

fun guy, Doctor Michael Amaranthus,
a US DA forest service soil ecologist who

retired from the US for a service
to start his own biotech company called Micro

Rizal Applications. Michael EISL is a
fungi that is able to increase water and

nutrient capacity to a plant, while
the plant provides carbohydrates for the fungi.

Today, Michael is here to chat
about his journey to discovering the benefits of

Funga, what this process looks like
and how it can affect climate change.

My Life, my purpose was to
be a protector or to care for mother

for nature. Soil really is the
nutritional bank account for our WISTANS. Together

we can do something that we've never
done before. We can rebuild our ecosystem,

our degraded soils and our degraded water
cycles. Freedom to me is the

ability, the right to be all
of who you are. I think we

can all do our roles, even
if you're not a farmer. From the

words of Roomy, let the beauty
you love be all that you do.

There's hundreds of ways to feel and
kiss the ground. So I from.

I'm a southern organic from grants pass. I was trained very conventionally. I

was, you see, Berkeley and
soil scientists and I was it was all,

you know, just chemistry and physical
manipulation of the soil. So that's

kind of how I was trained and
my first job is actually coming to southern

Oregon. In one thousand nine hundred
and seventy seven, Michael started working with

a reforestation program. The goal of
the program was to grow seedlings and transplant

them to forest that had been cut
down or ravaged by fires, and so

we would grow these baby trees.
We grew like close to two hundred and

forty million trees a year and we
would grow them like you grow corn and

a Cornfield. We try and grow
these trees and we had all kinds of

problems. I thought I was going
to get fired. A lot of the

trees were stunted and not growing very
well at terrible root systems, and it

turned out that the soil the trees
were actually phosphorus deficient and the soils had

super high levels of phosphorus in them. So how are the trees all stunted

and growing so poorly? With foshus
deficiency. So I asked, you know,

experts all over the country and they
kept telling me while you just need

to add more fertilizer, and so
we did. In the problem that really

the problem got worse. The soils
got really salty, they got the soil

texture guy really terribles like bricks out
there. We had a bunch of because

there was no ration in the soil. We had a bunch of disease problems.

So we had fungicides and problem got
worse after the fun side war off.

So we were literally spending million dollars
on these trying to grow these trees.

So I finally someone said we should
talk to this kind of Jip tracky.

He's at university, Professor at Arding
State University. Michael called up Jim

who luckily knew just what to do
about his fungicide problem. But Jim Solution

wasn't it all what Michael was expecting. Just go out of wood and click

the soil or cut these truffles and
puff balls and put them in a blender

and sprang over the site and your
trees will grow normally. And I thought,

who's this guy's cover? Its crazy
guy up there were anything about this?

You know when you just go out
the woods, it's like Bush for

whoms. And put in my mob
wife's Margarita blender and we added him to

a big tank and we did a
bunch of test plots and literally within two

weeks these trees started growing normally without
all the chemicals, without all the few

against, without all the fertilizers,
with all these chemical inputs. I I

was I was just blown away.
I mean I it was a one of

those epiphanies for me. Michael began
implementing Jim's techniques to other forest nurseries all

over the Pacific northwest and the results
were unbelievable. We went from fifty percent

survival to ninety percent survived, and
that was the because they had better root

systems. They had like normal tree
roots instead of these really terrible, you

know, three feeder roots on a
tree and I was not going to get

it to survive and a mountain environment. So it was just, you know,

kind of a epiphany for me and
I went back and got my PhD

with with Jim and we're still friends. He's ninety one to day. Before

Michael started his biotech company, he
studied soil for twenty years but in a

conventional university setting, the curriculum didn't
much offer information on microizal fungi and organic

soil techniques. There wasn't a lot
of information in terms of science. There's

probably a couple hundred papers on my
car. As a WHO's ever work,

there's over a hundred thousand research published
papers on my car, rising now compared

to two hundred when I started.
Michael says he sees the trend slowly changing

and more university research is shifting to
developing more regenerative methods, and we have

students to thank for that. But
the students for really the ones that were

saying, you know, it's just
really sustainable. There's got to be other

approaches. How did how did humankind, how did the world's ecosystem survive and

thrive without all these inputs? You
know, until the nineteen threes and s

are when we started getting into the
the chemical paradigm. So you know,

how did you know organic methods and
methodologies were used, you know, five,

ten thousand years ago? So you
know, adding carbon to the soils

has been a tried intrude practice for
Millennia. So you know, they start

asking those kinds of questions. You
know, can we do this with less

in a healthier environment and with less
damage to the soil? So it was

really driven, I think, from
the students. To add that those curriculous

and some institutionals, institutions, because
that's a researcher. I was involved with

a lot of university studies. Some
are still behind, but some are still

some are being very progressive in terms
of looking at the benefits of regenerative methods.

Michael had another soil epiphany when he
visited the Rodale Institute farming trials.

The trials started in one thousand nine
hundred and eighty one and gives a side

by side comparison of crops grown in
organic and conventional settings. When Michael visited

the trial was that year twenty and
we had a I had a shovel.

That's all took. I went out
in the conventional soil and I for the

is like shoving through a rock pile. It was. The soils were really

solid. You could actually smell the
soil. It was like it was like

night. Nitrous nituraging gas come out
of the soil very poorly drained. There

was little specks of like Purple Reduction
Manganese me. It was bad. And

then we literally fifty feet away,
dug into the twenty year of organic methods

and the soils were like butter.
The organic soils also showed a twenty percent

increase in carbon levels compared to the
conventional system, which decreases year after year,

which is huge in terms of a
climate change scenarrow because you know a

one percent is equal to a thousand
pounds per acre, and started multiplying that

times millions of acres and you can
do the math and it's a big part

of our our co two emission.
So it was. When you can see

it and feel it and smell it, is it what it really has meaning?

So how did we get so off
track? Michael gives us a great

example of how organic methods compare to
conventional but when did our soil techniques become

a danger to our environment? As
a soil science expert, I had to

ask Michael, where did we go
so wrong? You know, we were

making, you know, cheap chemical
fertilizers and a lot of that capacity was

coming from the bombs that we were
making in World War II. It was

that bomb production nitrogen. All the
all that cheap nites and fertilizers. They

were used to make bombs and then
when the war ended, they found they

can make cheap chemical fertilizers and added
on the land. And you know the

problem with that is that they got
these great increases and yield at a cost.

The cost was about fifty percent of
the nitrogen that we still put on

a farmer's field. Chemical Forms of
nitrogen are lost and they end up in

ground water, surface water, you
know, lake streams, oceans where they

caused these you know, microaerophillic conditions
were you get so much nip, so

much algae build up that when the
Baalgade composes, it takes all the oxygen

out of the water and get these
massive fish kills and caught a life.

So you know, it's just it
was cheap fertilizer. You can see an

immediate gain, but it's gone kind
of like putting your soils on heroin.

I mean it was wasn't sustainable.
It just wasn't sustainable. It was just,

you know, quick increases and yields, but that had had an effect

on the soil's ability to work effectively, let the way it has for you

know, thousands of wounds of years. So it was. When you say

it was like putting heroine your meaning, like it was a the green revolution

was a party that was like really, it was a party that was like

we got a lot of calories from
our land, but ultimately at some point

it started to burn out and that's
that's you know, the impact is yeah,

yeah, and you worked like growing
plants hydropolically. They didn't need roots

because they didn't need to do the
normal things that they do in the soil,

which is take organic forms and nutrients
and other forms of nutrients and dissolve

them naturally at a slow release way. They were just it wasn't slow release,

saved was quick release and then soon
as seals, those neutrons squashed away,

liquefied, became soluble out of the
soil. Then you had to do

another so you had to fertilize every
few weeks to really maintain those high levels,

and so in a lot of that
was just leaching through the soil and

the ground water and surface waters etc. So, yeah, it was a

party and you know, plants need
roots, you know, in the normal

sense, but when you're supplying highly
soluble fertilizers, plants don't produce the kind

of rich systems that they do normally. Michael says, it really comes down

to mic Rizal Fungi. They're being
adversely affected by conventional agricultural practices, which

stunts the growth of the plants.
We know that high levels of soluble chemicals

fertilizers and the soil keep the Microizal
fungel spores, which are the seeds of

the microizer, from germinating and really
reduces the amount of microizal threads in the

soil. The microizier kind of the
roots of the roots, are the tiny

threads that attached to the roots and
radied out the surrounding soil. And you

know they're unlike roots and that they
produce these powerful exodates and they're basically enzymes

that dissolve nutrients in the soil off
the sole particles to make them available.

So in the absence of the activity
of Microiz will fungi, with all these

soluble fertilizers, you know we just
basically sterilized our soils and and so without

microizing, then that you can't go
out to get these polls of organic nutrients

that these plants and fungi I work
together to attain for Forman Sixteen million years.

So yeah, it's kind of a
limitated a lot of the ecosystem effects

of how soils work naturally. So
it's fundamental to life on the planet and

really wasn't appreciate it to what I
started. You know, people thought I

was crazy, basically because, you
know, I could see all these things

going on with blow ground from terms
of the microwizer fungeab but you know,

there wasn't a lot of published information
back then. Michael has been studying fungi

for forty years, but he says
there has been an increase in research and

development in the last twenty years,
especially as it relates to climate change,

which is near due to the heart
of the stick around group is the microwriyser

produced a stuffing's called Clamala, and
Glamalin is a sticky organic clue that's forty

percent carbon and it's a big part
of climate change models now because clamala turns

out, is a big part of
the amount of carbon that there isn't soil.

I don't people. People don't really
realize that there's so much as much

carbon in the soil as there is
in the atmosphere. So this is huge

reservoir. Carbon isn't there? Isn't
there two to three times more cart carbon

in the soils than there isn't the
atmosphere, knowing the vegetation. So there's

three times as much carbon and soil
that all the vegetation on earth. And

then there's about equal numbers of equal
amounts of carbon in the soils or is

an atmosphere. So it's it's a
huge and the way we get one of

the main ways we put carbon in
the soil is is the activity of plants

and plant roots and the micro Ryzl
fonge e that produces klamal. And it's

like this. I looked at it
for twenty years before you even do what

I was looking at. I mean
I would see this on so part that

I want your us. It turned
out it was gloomal on and it's like

it's it's kind of shiny and sticky
and I'm taking many pictures of it over

the years, but it kind of
blues soil particles, two roots and when

microizer turnover and turn over they leave
this residue Glamala in the soil and there's

a much glamal and in soils.
All the vegetation on earth, which is

crazy. So it's a big it's
a big way to sequester carbet and put

in soils because you can take it
out of the atmosphere of coot down through

the leaves, the stems, into
the roots, into the Microizal funge and

then into the soil and stick it
in the soil and leave it in the

soil and it it'll build up for
thirty or forty years and the soil,

if you have really could health the
conditions for Microizal fungize. So, Michael

Says, the biggest takeaway from this
technique is that it's attainable and we can

start right now. If we added
four parts per thousand carbon into the top

ten to twenty inches of soil,
we would be able to offset, you

know, most of the rules cotwo
emissions by just increasing the soil carbon levels

four parts per thousand, which is
very attainable. So it's it's an opportunity

that's that's out there and I know
that that's one part of my interest in

the hook is the ground movement,
is that I think it's something that we

can start today. Doesn't require any
crazy technic anologies or rocket science kinds of

activities. We could just do it
right now. Yeah, I mean and

and I mean the good news is
there is, there is lots of people

doing right now. Actually even just
since, you know, in the last

couple years, understanding Agg the soil
consultancy group, with it's made up of

gay Brown, rare to Letta,
Nolan Williams, are now consulting on twenty

two million acres of land, you
know, supporting regenerative agriculture to take place

on grazing and crop lands. So
and that's just one group. You know,

there's so it is exciting. I'd
still obviously at the very beginnings,

but it is exciting and it is
gaining momentum. Some research has suggested that

soil has a capacity that it can
become saturated to a point where it can

no longer receive so the followup question
to that is, can we confidently rely

that soil can continue to store carbon
if you have perennial root systems, if

you have plants that are actively growing
on the site and you've got healthy populations

to micro asal fungi and you've got
depenetration those roots into the soil, over

time you can greatly increase the organic
carbon levels in the soil and that's that's

what we saw in the Great Plains
and saw that and a lot of ECO

systems. There's a lot. There's
fires, all kinds of respiration, other

microbes in the soil that are actually, you know, creating cot that back

into the atmosphere. But the the
net gain because of like things like Clamalin

and root activity and to try this
from plants that are on the site and

then organic amendments like compost cover crops. Photosynthesis is the way to get carbon

in the soil. So the more
photosynthesis you have, the more carbon and

and the faster it's going to go
in terms of net gain. So you're

probably familiar with the process of photosynthesis, when plants convert light energy into chemical

energy. But where does microizal fungi
fit into that system? Yeah, it's

a symbiotic relationship. So the Microizal
fungei depend on the plants for their sugars,

for their energy. So the leaves
will fix steal two in the in

you know as photosynthate, and then
they allocate it down through their branches into

the Stam, into the roots and
into the Microizal Fungi, which are actually

the root tips, the microizle,
they're actually fungal root tips. That's the

microize and then the microrect isisle fungus
are the threads in the soil. So

see it comes starts to CET,
moves down through the system into the Microhizo

flungo strands. So in to return
for all of the the energy that the

planet supplying, the Fungal threads go
out to the soil and they increase the

surface absorbitary of the roots several hundred
to several thousand times. So there's sort

of the roots on the roots and
they're doing the heavy lifting in the soil

in terms of, you know,
acquiring phosphorus and nitrogen and all the micronutrients,

calcium, and they access it by
growing to these pools and nutrients in

the soil. They access it,
they produce enzymes to digest it, to

get it, to lift it out
of the soil and they absorb it in

their tissues and then they transport back
to the plant. So that's how the

plant benefits, is that they have
access to water and all these nutrients in

the soil, and not just physically
access, but do these enzyme activity are

actually reprocessing soil nutrients to make them
available for the plant, and the Nice

thing about the micro Eizal fungis they
can get chemical forms and we trans but

also organic forms in nutrients. They
can absorb amino acids out of the soil,

which is a great benefit to the
plant that they can absorb organic nitrogen

and take it up right into the
troots and the organic form instead of waiting

to grate down to nitrates, which
are also very leachable. So it's a

win win situation for the plant.
Know, so one plus one equals three

kind of symbiotic relationship and that's why, you know the earliest known plants had

like her as a funge that they
were just unable to colonize a relatively harsher's

environment without their funnel buddies. Yeah, there's a lot of like spinoff Cootwo,

but the worst thing we did,
and they can actually measure this in

the glacial ice, is tenzero years
ago humans you can actually see the CEO

two missions go up in these glacial
ice deposits. When we start cultivating,

we started putting Chili, he started
releasing massive amounts of seat. When you

take oxygen and you mix it with
soil, carbon you get ceot out of

the soil, oxygen and carbon and
you end up with carbon dioxide. So

that flies up into the atmosphere and
they can actually see the birth of agriculture

in Mesopotamia and glacial ice. You
can see when they started killing the land

and what that meant in terms of
CEO two emissions. People Reckon that we've

lost fifteen to nine percent of the
organic carbon and that's soils of the great

planes. So there's there's been a
massive release of carbon in the soils to

the atmosphere. They it's twenty five
to thirty five percent of our cotwo emissions

are agriculturally based. So it's it's
a huge, you know, supplier of

Cooti to the atmosphere and and your
point, and I think the point of

many of the people that you mentioned
and people that are working on this,

is that we can turn this practice, which it has a negative effect on

our climate and our long term sustainability, and we can make it a positive.

This could be a big part of
this solution to the climate change and

I find that exciting. Creating rich, healthy soil through microizal fungi can also

affect the mineral nutrients of the food
produced by the Earth, because a lot

of that, like zinc and copper
and all these love of the micronutrients,

are especially obtained by the activities of
Microizal Bungei. So especially from a micronutrient

standpoint, I think the microizal fungi
or pretty critical to food quality because they

can get at these harder access mineral
nutrients in the soil. They're usually president

and small amounts. So that standpoint, but in terms of just total you

know, the plant doesn't really differentiate
between, you know, inorganic soluble nitrogen

uptake versus organic nectors. That is
an update versus the plant and that you

can content is is the same.
So I think for the micro nutrients in

the minerals it does make a big
difference, but for the macron nutrients probably

it's not a big effect. So
so let's say we have an or range

tree and it's in soils that are
being sprayed with Glife, to say,

and you know there's no life on
top of the surface, on top of

the soil, there's just a stump
coming out of the kind of sand,

silt and clay. And then we
have another sort of orchard where there's,

you know, intentionally using fungi and
you know there's there's not anything being sprayed.

As far as the like the the
vitamin C or the macro even like

the quality of that orange. And
again, you may not have, you

know, the data, the science, it's the knowledge to back that up.

I'm just wondering, from your perspective, what you've seen to, you

know, give any insight around,
you know, how that might work.

And it maybe it's you've already said
it. And then it's, you know,

the macro NU trans. You know, probably are not going to be

able to tell that much, but
you can get you know, you will

be able to see that there's micronu
trans. There's a lot of things in

the skins of plants that could be
mediated and there's a bunch of research going

on. It's like how does the
presence of APSINCE Micros of fungi effect the

flabnoid content of Io flaboid content of
the skins of apples and grapes, etc.

US. So there's a lot of
research and there's been you know,

it's been mixed, but most of
the most of it's been positible or the

back riisal fungi are really good at
getting creating these chemistries that just can't be

simply explained in terms of the nitrogen
or the phosphorus content, because you can

grow a big giant fruit with by
chemical additions of fertilizer. The question is

the you know, the skins.
You know, how are those affected by

the presence? Are appsence of a
living soil? Yeah, and there's quite

a bit that shows that a healthy
living soil, it's biologically mediated, produces

more of the kinds of chemicals and
skins that have a lot of direct health

effects that can't be explained by just
the calcium content or the nitrogen content,

etcetera. So it's a really it's
a it's a it's highly fruitful area of

research right now. As we say, the National Human Genome Institute defines the

microbiome as the collective genomes of microbes
that live inside and on the human body.

Basically, the microisal fungi are the
stomach of the plant and so they

mediate a lot of soil processes,
a lot of growth processes, the way

your stomach, your microbiome and your
your stomach mediates human health. Michael wrote

a paper called healthy soil microbes healthy
people for the Atlantic, which further breaks

down the importance of the relationship between
the Microbiota and soil. Obviously, you

know, the microbiome is critically important
in the soil as it is in a

human and those populations really are manifest
themselves, you know, to create healthy

plant Michael's biotech company, Micrizal applications, promotes the power of natural systems to

promote an increase in quality, predictivity
and health of soil, plants and people.

I mean ideally, if you have
a healthy population of microisial fungi,

that you maintain that population rather than
have to add it back. Yeah,

so the kinds of things that really
excessive tilling, high levels of chemical fertilization,

a lot of the pesticides fungicides,
you know, adversely her besides,

some of them adversely affect my cars, will fungi. So if you got

a healthier Nantic soil, that's got
my cars with fungi. You know,

you don't need to add knockulum,
but it has really decreased in cost in

the last ten years and you can
add it on your seed, you can

add as a bandit beneath your you
know, you can band. It a

pretty pretty little rates in the soil
because it's spreads once you get into your

soil, spreads from plant to plant. Or if you have a continuous cover,

you just add it once and you
never have to add it again because

the plants keep it alive and spread
it across the area. So you know

you can you can be a onetime
addition for say, like an orchard,

for example, and put it on
once you never have to do it again.

So makes extremely cost effective. So
I mean I think the technology is

here. I was like you,
I think, in that you know,

I was getting pretty fed up it's
just talking about these things and not doing

anything about yeah, and I wanted
to actually produce an oculum to make it

available to people that wanted to try
and restore their soils, whether it be

like a restoration site and a highly
eroded site or even a farm, you

know, conventional farm that wanted to
switch to Regenerat the back. So,

yeah, I was tired of talking
about it. I wanted to get my

hands dirty and actually start producing innoculum. Started in my garage. My wife

and I, you know, and
you know now, weren't forty, you

know, like companies in forty countries
and, you know, treating literally millions

of acres of farmland. So that's
it's making progress in there's some other good

companies out there too. Not to
start, there's probably twenty five microizon companies

now, which is great to see, you know, because if it could

be produced locally, you know in
a country, then that's probably the better

way. And and as far as
you know, there's these statistics of like

you know, there's in a teaspoon
of healthy soil there's more living organisms than

people on the planet. As far
as far as what is the diversity of

Microiza, fungi and like, is
there lots of variations? Is there one

variation or is there one kind that's
pretty universal around the planet? How do

we think about fungi in a diversity
conversation? Well, you're asking some really

good questions and these are the kinds
of questions that I think a lot of

the people that are listening to podcast
would be interested in. Because when it

comes to the tree micizer, there
is quite a bit of diversity. There's

probably close to Fivezero different species and
you do try and mix the Microiza with,

say, Douglas fur or pine tree
with the right fungus. So there's

a lot of specificity between what forms
with the tree and what you should be

adding is an oculum. So but
for the agricultural plants there's probably two hundred

species of Endomcariza. That's the they're
also called our buscular and Microizal fungai that

form when their cultural plants and they
don't seem to be very specific with a

particular crop. There are a few
examples, but not many. Most agricultural

crops or broad generalists in terms of
the kinds of microizing they go form with

and there are certain types that are
globally distributed. That seemed to work pretty

well. However, that means said, I see a time, and I

know our old company is working on
this and other companies are as well,

where they're looking for specific relationships between
certain Microizal fungiant save water uptake, where

you have some real draft resistant microhizal
fungi that are more specific to desert e

kinds of environments or arid environments or, say, salty soil, salty environments

were salt salty waters use for your
gation that little as plasts to tolerate salty

soil conditions and water conditions. So
I see a lot of that happening.

I know there's a lot of research
in that area and there's been a few

species that have shown their ability to
handle rigorous conditions, whether it be temperature,

drought or soil solidity, etc.
So it's coming, I think.

I think right now there are some
good generalist species that seemed to stimulate like

phosphorus uptake and, you know,
plant productivity. Right now that are broad

generalists, but I think we're going
to get a lot better. I identifying

species particular crops and situations, because
not all crops have created the same.

The introduction of Microizal fungi will have
a greater impact on some compared to others.

Certain kinds of agriculture, like say, potato production, which uses a

lot of phosphorus. Usually in really
sandy soils there's a lot of offsite movement

of nutrients. They have to add
massive amounts of phosphorus to grow potatoes.

We find that, for example,
we can cut down our fertilizer use on

a potato production, you know,
thirty to fifty percent, and actually give

more potatoes. So the cost benefit
analysis on the cost of fertilizer versus the

costs of the Micar Ez. Cost
of the micarize is far less than the

cost of phosphorus for that. So
that's an immediate win. You know,

you reduce your environmental impacts and you
get more productivity, more bottom line for

the farmers. So those are the
kinds of situations where things are rapidly being

adopted, where you can say.
Another good one is corn, corn and

droughty conditions. The microisal effect is
pretty pronounced. So if you have a

fearing corn, non narrogated corn,
and you have a dry year, the

difference between micarizal colonized corn versus non
microysle corn colonized corn is spectacular, the

difference in yield. So if you're
one of those farms that are growing corn

in areas of potential drought, it's
an insurance policy and it pays off dramatically

and the Chan of dry year.
So I mean there's a lot of winds

right now. Be Crazy not to
grow onions with micro eyes that they're literally

to the secs. Tomatoes or unbelievable. A lot of the vegetables that require

a lot massive amounts of phosphorus respond
to MICR EISL inoculation pretty dramatically. A

lot of these farmers have so much
phosphorus in their soil right now because they've

been adding phosphorus, but they have
they their root systems can access it.

So you add the Microwriz in to
the mix, suddenly all this phosphorus is

built up in their soil is available. So in it said, you're getting

these high yields response to some practice, you know, for or five years

ago, where they had a bunch
of phosphorus to the fielding just keep adding

it because there's no biology. The
plant just can't get it, so they

just keep adding that hoping that a
little bit will be released into the soil.

Solution for these plants. But having
the micro as you out there scavenging

for these pools and nutrients is a
huge advantage to these farms that are already

invested in massive amounts of fertilizer and
all the expense, etc. To distribute

the fungi into the soil, you
have to go beneath the surface. So

there's their seed an Oculum, so
you can just coake the seed or during

seating there's liquid varieties now micarislon lock
on, where they can actually you know,

the depositing the seed in the furrow
and they're actually putting drifts of Micarislon

oculum behind the seed. So when
the seat expands, the rude little roots

or have I are the Micrazzel knockins
close proximity of the of the of the

roots during those early stages. So
seed Infra applications. There's granular applications that

you could do with like a Gandybox, or they just kind of bandit in

the soil and looks like little kitty
litter kinds of articles. But what you

don't want it's just delay it on
the surface of the soil. It's got

to get down beneath the soil surface
with their should activity and then once to

stay on there. Once it forms
with a particular root system, it'll spread

to the next root system over and
actually link the plants via these these fungal

hypee. So you know, get
it down in the soil is really the

basic rule of thumb and do it
when the roots are roots are active or

two or during set. Michael says
one thing to look out for when integrating

fungi into soil is when you're leaving
farmland fallow, when you're leaving soil fallow

or land where you're not having a
vegetative cycle and there's nothing growing in those

soils, the fungi can potentially die
off. So if you and not you're

going to get the benefits for that
one crop. But if you leave the

soil bear for six months between rotations, the MICRORIZA will not survive until the

next plant team. So if you
have a cover crop between your primary crop

you shouldn't need to UNOCULATE that next
year. It should just be stable in

the soil and it'll actually build up
in the soil by having a cover crop.

Certain a lot of fungicides effects.
So if you're using a lot of

fungicides, and that's one of the
big effects of potato farmers is that you

know, they use a lot of
soil fuming against and fungicides and so they

maybe get a great response but at
the end of the season they're killing it

all off. So yeah, certain
funge sides are obviously micarizal fungi or fungi.

So a lot of the broad spect
spectrum fungicides have adverse effects and some

of the herbicides, I mean it's
there's mixed day out around up effects,

but some studies have shown that that, you know, round up adversely affects

populations of Micarizal fungise. So the
other agricultural impact on fungi is when we're

disking or tilling the soil. We've
had minimum chill systems that the micro eies

of Funga I have done quite well. It's takes excessive telling that just the

filaments there's in the in the micro
end, the Microiz of filaments, there's

no Septa. So you got these
long filaments and it's like there's no divisions

between cells. So when you tell
you've cut those filaments all the side up,

as leads out of those filaments.
So there's no way to that they

don't immediately die with tilling. So
you know, any time you tell you're

adversely affecting those threads that are actually
tasked to the roots that are benefiting the

plan. So yeah, telling the
folow or the are the big impacts and

dimensional act. It's good to see
some progress finally being made in terms of

getting, you know, greater awareness
to the farm community. Michael says there's

many projects today that inspire him to
continue his efforts towards a brighter future for

our soil. Well, kiss the
ground is certainly one of them. I

mean, I know it sounds crazy, but they got me really pumped up.

I saw I've been following you guys
for a couple of years now and

then just I think it just is
the perfect target and the perfect audience for

our new knowledge and we can make
it a big difference in a relatively short

period of time. So that's exciting. You know, Paul standmets, the

fantastic funge Andy, while all these
guys they've been friends. We've been friends

for thirty Paul and I've been friends
for thirty, forty years, and he's

done such a great job popularizing the
benefits of Fungi's medicine as for the ecosystem

is food, you know. You
know psychoactive therapies. It's just good to

see something that was considered. You
know something that you got jocktch and Itchy

toes, you know, so negative
the normal from the normal person and there's

a lot of, you know,
phobek people out there when it comes to

fungai. But so I'm just excited
that the next generation sees Fongei. It's

kind of fascinating and a potential helper
for whole of our variety of the of

the human and environmental problems that face
the earth. I mean we have some

serious problems that we're facing right now
and fungai. Mean you look at Penicilla

and how many lives is Penicilla and
say, well, that's typically iceberg of

what we're going to see when it
comes to these these fonge e. There

highly adaptive and highly intelligent organisms and
they're going to make a difference. So

how does Michael Kiss the ground?
Well, I grow tomatoes. I try

and do something every day. I
mean I have lunch with the farmer today.

I just try and make tiny steps
every day to get the word out

and, like your day, I
had a good day to play
Kiss the Ground w/ Ryland Engelhart
The essence of the work of Kiss the Ground is this deep reverence for life. A conversation about ecology, soil, trees, and all the layers of the biology and living th... View More

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