DIRT MATTERS – WORKSHOP & FORAY
We now know there is a greater biomass of living organisms within than above the soil. Modern industrial agriculture with its intensive use of chemicals, fertilisers and mechanical disturbance has largely eliminated these organisms. However, innovative and regenerative farmers are turning things around through ‘ecological intensification’ – that is, by fostering the organisms within soils with the aim to reduce fertiliser, irrigation and tilling practices. Central to these approaches is understanding how symbioses between plants, fungi and other organisms function.
How do we maintain or restore the diverse functions and processes in soil that foster soil resilience and provide a buffer against climate-change induced changes? In particular, how do we retain and rebuild the fungal ecologies that provide the frameworks, foundations and interconnectivities vital to functioning ecosystems?
This highly interactive and sensory workshop provide an overview of the vital significance of fungi in soils and the important roles they play in providing soil architecture, retaining water, increasing nutrient availability and maximising ecosystem resilience.
The workshop begins indoors around a specimen table becoming familiar with the wonders of the fungal kingdom. We then head to the forest to explore the role of fungus-plant-soil interactions especially in regard to soil restoration and remediation.
This workshop is part of the Anthropogenic Soils Collaboratory.