Howdy! Andie, here.
I know first-hand what it’s like to look at a field, greenhouse, or grow room full of crops suffering from some invisible cause. The plants are clearly communicating, but you’re unable to see the source of their problem(s) – is anything more maddening? Not only is it stressful in the moment, but even when things are growing well you feel on edge, wondering when it might take an unexpected turn for the worse quite literally overnight.
Soil biology first captivated me in 2010 while studying Bioenvironmental Science at Texas A&M University, but it wasn’t until experiencing the frustrating sensitivities of crop loss that I started searching for real tangible insight into this invisible world of microbiology. Ultimately, this led me to a microscope practice and invaluable training in soil ecosystems.
I’ve got to tell you, it’s been SO encouraging to learn just how practical it is to evaluate AND improve the biological health of soils, substrates, and amendments! We CAN make the microbiome of plants more biologically complete – isn’t that great news?! And when we do, we are rewarded with improved crop quality, yield, pest resistance, and water-use reduction in controlled ag and organic gardens alike.
The thing that excites me most of all… these principles are not limited to agriculture. Of course not!
I also happen to know what it’s like to have a weedy patch of land, wishing it were a lawn or a thriving meadow. Imagine if we took what we know about regenerating soil in agriculture and applied it to other human-influenced landscapes – turf systems, designed landscapes, rehabilitation sites, and other urban green areas. When we nurture such soil systems, the benefits in our communities are endless. We are able to mitigate erosion, drought, and flooding; we are able to improve the quality of our water sources and even our air!
This is meaningful work, y’all and I can’t think of a better way to spend my time on this planet than helping stewards nurture their land and plants for their own success and the greater good.
Thanks for bein' here!