Earth Day Reading Project

Earth Day Reading Project

Happy Earth Day everyone! Today, as part of a project created by The Sage Butterfly, I offer to you a selection of books that have inspired me to want to be a better steward of this great planet. I must admit first, that Earth Day has flown by me in the past, as it comes during an especially busy time of the year, so I am happy to be able to take a break this year and share these titles with you, and also to say thanks to Debbie Roberts at A Garden of Possibilities  for asking me to participate.

These are the books that have moved me!

I love dirt. Not the kind you find in the tabloids, although I do look there once in a while, but healthy, dark soil. Jeff Lowenfels Teaming with Microbes, is a wonderful read for those of you who feels the same as me. A layman’s covering of Elaine Ingham’s masterful work with compost tea and the soil foodweb, Teaming with Microbes makes soil science accessible and entertaining.

Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy, is sure to be found on many of these lists. Doug’s research into the relationships between native insect populations and native plant species, caught everyone’s attention. We learn in Bringing Nature Home, that native insects and pollinators cannot survive without native plant species, and that attracting birds and butterflies through scent and flower alone, does not insure their survival. We have taken Tallamy’s message to heart and consider his research in all of our designs.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma is a bittersweet addition to this list, in that it both exposes big corporate agriculture, for its careless regard for the environment and focus on profits, while at the same time introduces us to some folks who are making great strides to grow good, wholesome food, in a way that is safe for both humans and the planet. The Omnivore’s Dilemma should be on every bookshelf in America.

I am often asked by clients about the mushrooms growing on their property, and what should be done to get rid of them. I cannot remember my answer to that question before reading Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets, but since it goes something like this, “Nothing!” Stamets shows us the unbelievably vast role that fungi plays in the health of this planet, and can play with us. This is a must read for all you soil geeks out there, and you know who  you are!

The common thread that runs through each of these titles is relationships. Life is a complex series of relationships, from the microbiology in the soil to the life cycles of pollinators, to the stewardship of land when growing food. Sir Isaac Newton’s Third law of Motion states “to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction”. He was speaking of force, but we can easily apply that to the actions we take on a daily basis. All of life is connected, and connected again to the Earth. The choices we make affect the life around us, and its important that we make the right choices. Happy Earth Day everyone, and don’t forget to “Love Your Mother!”

I’ve invited my friend and fellow blogger Cindy Juliano at Garden by the Sound to join us today, please stop by and see what inspires her!

14 thoughts on “Earth Day Reading Project

  1. Love your choices, Scott. You are so right in saying life is a complex series of relationships. Every thing we do, whether small or large, impacts other people and other creatures. Perhaps the small steps bloggers are taking in participating in the Earth Day Reading Project will encourage others to take a few small steps to act a little more friendly to our Mother. I’m happy to know that my invitation to Debbie led to your invitation (back to the relationship thing) and we are all trying to act more responsibly towards our environment. Thanks for exposing me to Mycelium Running.

  2. Hi Scott,
    I loved this post — Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy is one of my favorites that has inspired me also! I haven’t gotten my post up because my daughter and I have been trekking all over Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina all week on college visits. We start our drive back north today. I am hoping to get my posts online by tonight. Thanks so much for including me! And thank you for the insightful post…as always. Cindy

  3. Your post and selections definitely represent how all life is connected. You have selected a very nice list of books. As a composter, teacher of composting, and organic gardener, I am very interested in reading Teaming with Microbes…sounds like a book I could really enjoy. Thank you so much for joining in The Earth Day Reading Project and Happy Earth Day.

    1. Thank you! And thanks for starting this engaging project also. It has us looking back to the books that have inspired us and making old ideas fresh again. Teaming with Microbes will be right up your alley, enjoy!

  4. great choices…read the first 2 and will check out the others…Happy Earth Day Scott…this was a fun project to be part of..glad you joined in

  5. Scott,

    Happy Earth Day! I’ve never heard of Mycelium Running but I will be adding it to my reading list. After taking the NOFA course this winter and hearing just a bit about fungi I was definitely thinking about the mushrooms that pop up in my lawn differently. After looking at other blogger’s reading lists I must admit we are all a bunch of geeks!

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