The World Underground: Wisdom from Life Beneath Us

We humans tend too often to look only at the surface of things. It turns out, however, that all of life on Earth actually depends on the extraordinarily dynamic life hidden beneath our feet, in the incredibly complex interrelationships of plants, bacteria, fungi, insects and minerals that make our continued existence aboveground possible.

This week we share the work of some of the world’s leading specialists on different aspects of those amazing underground ecosystems, including Suzanne Simard, Anne Biklé, David R. Montgomery, Dr. Daphne Miller, and Merlin Sheldrake.


Finding the Mother Tree: Suzanne Simard and Forest Wisdom

In nature, trees are linked to one another by a single tree that acts as a central hub. Suzanne Simard, Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia, refers to this tree as “The Mother Tree.” In her new book, Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, Simard explores the communal nature of trees and their shared network of interdependency. Read this excerpt from the introduction to her book, titled “Connections.”
Read more here.


Suzanne Simard at Bioneers 2021

Suzanne Simard is a world-renowned expert on the development of sustainable forest stewardship practices and is at the forefront of research on plant communication and intelligence. Register for the 2021 Bioneers Conference to hear Simard speak alongside other leaders in the Bioneers community.

Read more here.


Got Dirt? Get Soil! Ditch the Plow, Cover Up and Grow Diversity 

Institutionalized farming practices have degraded soils across the U.S. and globally. Once bare of protective vegetation, cultivated soils can erode over centuries to limit the lifespan of entire civilizations. We face a fork in the road: collapse or regeneration? Biologist Anne Biklé and geologist David R. Montgomery show how solutions residing in nature surpass our conception of what’s even possible. Their groundbreaking work on the microbial life of soil has revealed its crucial importance to achieving truly sustainable agriculture.

Listen to the podcast episode here.


How Soil Health Affects Human Health: An Interview with Dr. Daphne Miller

Science is uncovering the inseparable nature between agriculture and medicine, which can create new possibilities for both human and environmental health. Dr. Daphne Miller is a physician, professor, research scientist, and founder of the Health from the Soil Up Initiative. In her book Farmacology: Total Health from the Ground Up, she shares lessons from inspiring farmers and biomedical researchers. In this interview with Bioneers, Dr. Miller explores the intricate connections between soil, food, nutrition and personal health. 

Read more here.


Merlin Sheldrake, Author of Entangled Life, speaks with J.P. Harpignies 

Fungi provide us with a key to understanding our planet as they sustain nearly all living systems. By nature, the existence of fungi challenges our concepts of individuality and intelligence. In this interview with Bioneers Senior Producer J.P. Harpignies, the brilliant biologist/ecologist Merlin Sheldrake discusses his highly acclaimed book — Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures — and its exploration of fungi as the cosmic connectors of our world. 

Watch the conversation here.


Using “ancient wisdoms and techniques” can lead to carbon-neutral buildings says Yasmeen Lari

Having built over 45,000 homes from lime, mud and bamboo, Yasmeen Lari designed some of Pakistan’s landmark buildings such as the Finance and Trade Centre. In this article from Dezeen, Yasmeen talks about how traditional materials and construction techniques can help eliminate carbon emissions. 

Read more here.

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