5. Dirt Breathes

You’ll find Gigi’s comment about bacteria throughout the soil science literature, but the first article I tracked down on the subject suggests that pristine soil can have up to a million species of bacteria (Gans, Wolinsky and Dunbar; Science August 26, 2005.  Vol. 309, pp. 1387-1390).

Answers to yesterday’s question: (1) fruit espalier along the fence and (2) planted in a guild with bulbs; (3) chicken tractor; (4) pool converted to a natural swimming pond, fed by (5) rooftop catchment (6) filtering through a constructed wetland; (7) potatoes growing in stacked tires filled with straw; (8) an herb spiral; (9) keyhole beds (10) polycropped with garlic and salad greens.


1. Gigi: You need to stay on the paths so you don’t squish the food beds and suffocate the soil.
2. Les: What? Dirt breathes?
3. Gigi: Yup. It’s alive. See all the worms? I’m also holding hundreds of insects, thousands of yeasts and fungi, and over 10,000 species of bacteria.
Les: I’ll never eat anything again.

Posted on June 25, 2009 at 12:00 am in Comics and tagged with , . Follow responses to this post with the comments feed.