Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Once You Learn About Soil, It WIll Never Be Dirt Again
Don’t you just love the first whiff of fresh peat moss when you open a brand new bag of seed starting mix? It’s the middle of winter, the air in the house is stale with the odors of whatever you cooked for dinner, but that is all forgotten when you open a new bag of seed starting mix and smell that smell you’ve been missing, but didn’t know you were missing. It’s like opening up a fresh can of ground coffee. You pause just for a minute to savor it before getting down to the business of sowing seeds.
I know from the comments on my post yesterday about seeds that I am not the only one who loves to sow seeds. So I assume I’m not the only one who likes the smell of good soil. I’m not! (Am I the only one? I was recently tagged to write 6 weird things about myself, and I haven’t done that (yet). Maybe my confession about liking the smell of fresh peat moss is weird thing number one?)
Anyway, good soil is what the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club is all about in January. Our official book is Teaming with Microbes: A Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis.
But as noted when this book was introduced, if it isn’t your cup of compost tea or you can’t get the book, find another good book on soil or compost and read it. Just learn something new about the soil we are all dependent on for our gardening success and write and tell us about it on your blog. And you have all month to do so! All month. Or nearly so. I will post the round up post around January 28th. Just let me know via a comment to my blog that you have posted about soil or about the official book selection, so I can get your link to include. Our motto for the month: “Once you learn about soil, it will never be dirt again”.
I do realize that reading a book about soil isn’t for everyone, so I am curious to know what others think of the book. I’ve started to read it, and it is bringing back some memories of some of the things I learned about soil in college. (What? You didn’t learn about soil in college? What kind of school did you go to?)
By the way, Jeff Lowenfels has commented to let us know that there is an error in the 1st printing of Teaming with Microbes. I quote:
“There is a major mistake on page 41 where the definition of pH is incorrect. The proper definition is if you have lots of hydrogen ions, you have a low pH or acid...and fewer, higher pH and basic. Sorry about that. Big goof-up. Now corrected! Let me know if you have questions!”
Yes, the author has found us, given us some useful information, and offered to answer questions we have. A first for the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club! So if as you read you have a question, we’ll figure out how to contact the author to ask or do it telepathically over the Internet to see if he’ll comment. (He probably has Google Alerts turned on to find references to his book, would be my guess on how he found out about our book club in the 1st place.)
(Yes, I am aware that this is the first real live author we’ve picked and therefore the 1st who could comment, because technically Jamaica Kincaid was the editor of the last book, and Henry Mitchell passed away several years ago, as we all know. But, it’s still a noteworthy first around here.)
Soil and seeds, the beginnings of the garden, for the beginning of the year. That’s what I’m thinking about these days.
In the next few days, by the way, I’ll post my own answers to the questions about seeds that I asked yesterday. Feel free to post your seed answers on your blog, to reveal more about yourself as a gardener.