The Soil Food Web

The Soil Food Web

Photo by Douglas Gayeton

The Soil Food Web

Location: OSU’s Plant Protection Center, Corvallis, Oregon
Featuring: Dr. Elaine Ingham

Soil Food Web:
Our soil teems with a multitude of organisms, which provide the necessary work for healthy plants to grow free from disease, pests and infertility. These interconnected interactions and feeding relationships (quite literally “who eats who”) help determine the types of nutrients present in soil, its depth and pH, and even the types of plants which can grow.

Elaine's note to farmers:
“Making a more vibrant soil food web begins with making good compost. Properly converted organic wastes are worth their weight in platinum.”

Parts of the Soil Food Web:
• Nematodes (fungal and bacterial-feeders and predators)
• Protoza (amoebae, flagelletes, and ciliates)
• Animals, birds, anthropods (Predators)
• Bacteria organic matter (waste, residue and metabolites from pl ants, animals and microbes)
• Plants (shoots and roots)
• Fungi (mycorrhizal + saprophytic)
• Arthropods (shredders)

Dr. Elaine Ingham believes getting a healthy food web back into our dirt will stop poisoning us and turn this sick world around. Our use of toxic chemicals to grow food has greatly imperiled our soil, rivers, lakes, streams and oceans. In many areas of the world, our impact has been massive and unremitting, resulting in the loss of many organisms we don’t even know exist (we’ve only identified 10 percent of the bacterial and fungal species on the planet). Can nature teach us how to grow enough food to feed an abundance of life sustainably, without killing everything in a field simply to force-feed a single crop?

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