Understanding the Soil Food Web with Dr Elaine Ingham

Dr. Ingham was the keynote speaker at the Oxford Real Farming Conference (6th  – 7th January).  You can find the slides from that talk below:

Elaine Ingham ORFC 2015 Presentation

Immediately following the conference, 0n January 8th and 9th, she gave two one-day workshops at Somerville College, Oxford on the Soil Food Web.  During these workshops she discussed …what is going on down there in the life of the soil? Who is eating who? Who is releasing and who is locking up nutrients? How can you put these organisms to work and reduce your own workload?    She explained why inorganic fertilisers kill the organisms that would allow you to not use inorganic fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides and not to have to cultivate your soil so often.  She talked about “how to enhance the beneficial organisms in your soil” together with some comments on how to making compost, compost tea and extracts.  You can learn more from her website (http://www.soilfoodweb.com)



Elaine Ingham pic

Dr. Ingham is a world-renowned soil microbiologist. In 1996, she founded Soil Foodweb, Inc., an organization that helps farmers all over the world grow more resilient crops by understanding and improving soil life. For the last 30 years Dr. Ingham has focused on the soil and its living organisms and providing sustainable solutions for maintaining soil health.

Dr. Elaine Ingham is President of Soil Foodweb Inc., an international laboratory system that assesses the balance of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and mycorrhizal fungi in all materials.  The major emphasis of her work is to return health to soil, so that natural nutrient cycling and disease suppression mechanisms are present, allowing the desired plants to grow without requiring use of pesticides or inorganic fertilizers. Dr. Ingham has been conducting workshops and seminars around the world for the past 30 years. She was recently Chief Scientist at Rodale Institute.  Dr. Ingham earned her PhD from the Colorado State University in 1981. Her doctorate is in Microbiology with an emphasis on soil. Along with her husband Russ (who also has a doctorate from Colorado State University in Zoology, emphasizing nematology), she was offered a post-doctoral fellowship at the Natural Resource Ecology Lab at Colorado State University. In 1985, she accepted a Research Associate Fellowship at the University of Georgia. In 1986, Ingham moved to Oregon State University and joined the faculty in both Forest Science and Botany and Plant Pathology. She remained on faculty until 2001. Dr. Ingham is also an Affiliate Professor, Graduate Research, at Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW, Australia, and an Affiliate Professor of Sustainable Living at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, and was Program Chair of the Ecological Society of America from 1999 to 2000.



2 comments on “Understanding the Soil Food Web with Dr Elaine Ingham
  1. i have a 2 compost plants in the netherlands and we like to learn more about the soil. This because we belive thats oure feature.

    1 off my main questions is can we grow profesional turf whit compost products?

  2. Lorna Reed says:

    What book has the list of fungi to bacteria ratios four different plants?

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