This word describes a process by which living things break down carbohydrates to make other molecules and provide energy to cells or organs. Carbohydrates are common compounds in food and include sugars and starches Some microbes use fermentation to get energy from carbohydrates. When people put those microbes to work, this process helps make both food and fuels.

Fermentation makes acids, alcohols, gases and other chemicals. A microbe called yeast, for example, ferments the sugars in bread dough. This makes the gas carbon dioxide. Bubbles of that gas make a loaf of bread rise and become light and fluffy. Yeast also make the alcohol in wine and beer.

People can use fermentation to make alcohol for fuels. For instance, bacteria and yeast can break down sugars and starches from plants, such as corn. That fuel can be added to gasoline to help power cars.

The microbes in animal guts, including in our own guts, ferment. When cows digest grass, some of their gut microbes make methane gas. That gas escapes when they belch or fart. That might sound funny, but methane is a greenhouse gas. It traps heat and contributes to global warming.

Fermentation isn’t just for microbes. Our muscles can also ferment. Animal muscles usually get energy from a process that uses oxygen. When they can’t get enough oxygen, they use fermentation. That’s because fermentation doesn’t require oxygen.


In a big bucket with 3lb raspberries (you can choose your own fruit, almost any will do),  Pour on 5pts of water and added a teaspoonful of pectin enzyme to prevent ‘pectin haze’. Then mash berries with a wooden spoon and covered the liquid with a tea towel (very important esp. in summer to keep insects out).

This is left for two days.


Add to the bucket between 1kg and 11/4 kg of sugar (preferably fair trade/organic, white) dissolved in 2 pts water off the boil. Add 1 tsp dried yeast with a little sugar all dissolved in some of the fruit liquid in the bucket.

It’s the yeast that turns the sugar into alcohol and the more sugar the sweeter the wine. Nick uses less (1kg) as he likes a drier wine.

This liquid is then stirred 2-3 times a day over the next four days, and the process is called ‘fermenting on the must’.


This is the messy bit, where you strain all the liquid through a muslin sieve, before funnelling it into the demi-johns and putting an airlock on it. This is then left to ferment for between 3 and 18 months until there are no longer any bubbles to be seen in the airlock. During the fermenting process a stable temperature is important. Nick doesn’t worry too much about whether it’s warm or cool, just that there is as little fluctuation as possible.

Decant into bottles and leave for 1-2 years depending on the fruit. Raspberries need less time than elderberries, for example.

Now invite everyone to taste some of the wine made  – for medicinal purposes only, of course. 

Microbes sustain life on earth and they have relationships we are just beginning to understand leading us to discover these smallest of small critters and animals are the basis of all life.

The floriculture of microbes is called the soil microbiome and it is very similar to our humanbiome and definitely intricately connected.    Unseen (with our eyes) microbes have a collective mass greater than all the animals on the planet.   In the human, there are more microbes then human cells.   

We are here because of the microbes and we live in their world!

Microbes (also called microorganisms) are literally everywhere.  They  grow and reproduce in and on your body, and on rocks, within plant roots and on their leaves, in wetlands, oceans and fresh waterways.   And, microbes are in soil.  There are more microbes in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on the earth. There are more microbes in your gut than human cells in your body.   Soils contain about 8 to 15 tons of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, earthworms, and arthropods.

Therein likes the difference to soil and dirt.  There is a big difference.   The Father of Soil Science, Hans Jenny, defined the 3 components of soil.  The first is mineral (texture) which is the sand, silt and clay.    Organisms are the second component.  And, the third is the organic matter (OM).    Without the microbes or the OM, it is simply dirt and void of life. 

In the soil, the microbes decompose and recycle; keep us healthy, make the oxygen we breathe, fix nitrogen, control pollution, are a source of renewable fuel.  They literally feed the world!  Without them, there is no food!  And, without these microbes healthy we may have a plant we can eat force with “ides” and “izers” but it contains no nutrients.   It is like the difference between a tablet of processes vitamin C and a sprig of parsley from good soils.

It is a web of precious live science has neglected for too long Soil microbes throught recycling and decompossition release chemicals (such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) that can be used to build new healthy plants (and animals). So, the flower or a vegetable will eventually become part of another living thing chemically.   So the next time you see cut flowers decay or a garden vegetable rot, remember, you’re really seeing microbes at work.

Our understandings about these microbes is now giving us solid information about how to provide the environment and the biology to ensure the good microbes thrive.  Science is now discovering the microbe world in research that  “…just like the human gut or plant roots, the hyphae of AM fungi have their own unique microbiomes,”  Scientist at the Maria Harrison, Scientist at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI)  “  

Everything has a symbiotic relationship.   For example, all living things require nitrogen for building DNA, RNA, and protein molecules. We knew nitrogen is abundant in the atmosphere but only a few species of microbes can use it in this form. All other organisms depend on certain bacteria that produces enzymes that convert or “fix” gaseous nitrogen (N2) into a form other organisms can use (such as ammonium (NH4+) or nitrate (NO3-)).  Nitrogen-fixing bacteria depend on plants for food therefore forming a symbiotic (or mutually beneficial) relationship. Animals (including us humans) in turn acquire nitrogen by eating plants and plant-eaters.   

Other metabolically talented microbes can metabolize metals, acids, salt, methane, or even radioactive wastes. We are discovering a microbe for every pollutant. Thus microbes can treat sewage, clean abandoned mines, and degrade a variety of industrial chemicals.    

We are just beginning to understand and appreciate this minute world at greater depths.   Maybe it is just in time because we have spent years destroying them and following practices (both chemical and organic) that have harmed their cycle of life.  Soil biology is the mediator of life on Earth. It is the function of the biological systems acting as the “gut” of plants.

When we look into the soil with our microscopes we want to see bacteria, fungi, yeasts, protozoa and nematodes.  They act as microbes in the gut biome to solubilize, sequester and digest the minerals from the sand, silt, clay, rocks, pebbles and crop residues into plant available nutrition.    This nutrition translates for us humans as amazing “taste” that is satisfying. This is referred to as nutrient cycling and in symbiosis with plants, they (the microbes) are critical for carbon cycling also.

We all, farmers and gardeners alike, are realizing this the soil biological system that literally is the “gut” of our environment.    Big money AG and the wrath of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, soluble fertilizers and tillage have left soils void of some of these microscopic soil managers. They are out of balance. Without them, we are left to chemistry that may superficially be a short fix but it is harming the critters.   As our understanding of many of the “-cides” used in agriculture increased, it is clear how devastating these can be to the microbes. We need to eliminate or at the very least, use wisely, all forms of insecticides and fungicides so as to not compromise the biodiversity.   We need to rebuild the biodiversity.

One of the fundamental theories from soil consultants is that not all soil testing is created equal. Simplistic N-P-K and pH tests are fine for determining fertility needs, but worthless when it comes to rebuilding soils.  To rebuild you have to understand the microbiology.

It is important that we remember to view soil as a habitat and an ecosystem, and to shift our mindset from feeding plants to feeding the soil, which will in turn feed the plants and support them in many other ways.   Microorganisms are “everything” and is relevant to everybody.   The proof is around us everywhere.  Microbes actually do everything.  

Soil microbes are the simpliest of creatures that created our environment we live in.   In our soil microscope and compost making we are particularly interested in bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and soil microaggregates (held together by the microorganism glue). 

There are microbes in us, on us and acting upon everything around us.     If we don’t understand them and stop harming them, there will be no nutrition from our plants and we will left with only “dirt”, barren land, anaerobic conditions and life will cease.  We have to look at this differently.   We have help the microbes thrive.   We all need to eat and we all need healthy nutrition.  Microbes are responsible for creating soils we all desperately need.  

Recently, so many insights into how life happens becauses of microbiology.   The microbes are the engines of production and understanding their role and helping them flourish translates to true sustainability longterm.   As we learn more and more we realize they offer roots to all the solutions we are seeking…at least the most fundamental issue we are face with collectively and that is “health”.   It is important now and even more important in the future.  Taking care of the soil is taking care of the whole!

Fider cider is one of those grandmother alchemies that sat on the kitchen counter and was administered (as a treat) to the children.  It is a prime example of the people’s medicine.  It is a modern cousin of Thieves Oil that reported wiped out and warded off the plaque.   It is a full medicine for the body’s systems.

Yes, it tastes great; hot, sour, pungent and sweet.  It is a warming tonic that soothes.   The natural way of our body is a most complex and magical functioning.    It knows what to do to keep us in homeostasis.  This blend is just to give it the fuel required.    It is not a medicine as much as it is a magical food.

The base is fermented for 8 weeks in my homebrew of Apple Cider Vinegar.  The characters include ginger, garlic, onion,  turmeric, horseradish, rosemary, thyme, oregano, cayenne, lemons and oranges, dandelion and burdock root.   All except the ginger and onions have been harvested from the land of the Purple Carrot Club.   

For special purpose, I added the essential oils and hydrosol of pine needle tips, coffee berries and star anise which was  made in my apothecary.     The fruit from coffee bean that has been fermented to release it’s antioxidant power and honey in its’ pure and unpasteurized state.  

This is a tonic to keep you healthy and hearty.   It is a protection and a rebuilder.  This blend considers the plagues affecting us today.

The participants benefits:

Apple Cider Vinegar — a digestive aid that fights bacteria and viruses.

Horseradish — helps alleviate sinus congestion and headaches and cleanses the colon

Ginger — helps with digestion, infections and nausea.

Garlic —has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.   Allicin (the smell of garlic), helps regulate cell death.

Onion — has similar properties to garlic but is also great for preventing (or recovering from!) colds and the flu.

Lemon and Orange Peels – Vitamin C, immune system

Coffee Berry Essential Oil and Hydrosol – a powerful antioxidant and another source fo vitamin C

Cayenne Pepper — helps move blood through your cardiovascular system. Blood circulation = healing.

Raw Honey — soothes inflamed tissues, suppresses cough, anti-bacterial.

Pine Needles and Star Anise (I talk about this in this article in depth)

Dandelion and Burdock Root  Blood cleansers and fortifiers.  Friends of the liver  

 This tonic is great as a salad dressing, a marinade or added to other fermentations.  You can drink it plain, use it in cooking, or mix with water, seltzer, juice, or tea.   

This is a fun elixir to make with many of the products coming from the purple carrot land.   

Eight week Ferment of Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Horseradish, Onion, Lemon and Orange Peels, Thyme, Rosemary, Cayenne Pepper, Oregano blended with Pure Honey, Essential OIl and Hydrosol of Pine Needle Tips, Star Anise, Cherries of Coffee (berries), Tincture of Dandelion and Burdock Root 

A maintenance dose is 1 tsp with every big meal (2 x daily).   For increased immune response double or triple as you body suggests.   Shake well before use.   

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I went on a mission to learn the best method for growing a beautiful lawn naturally. I took it back to the historical roots, learned the reasons we are obsessed with it and then saw grass from an ecological standpoint. Grass is an amazing and super beneficial edible and medicinal plant. If there is one plant we should know it’s how to care for grass. All grass can help us improve our soil as a source of nitrogen for compost with all the new growth rich in nutrient and it’s a source of Protozoa and fungi for many holistic soil management methods. Believe it or not the best way to get grass healthy is to make a tea using healthy grass.

All this works with many plants because to get a plant healthy naturally it has to have its support system. The parameters for growing a plant is the plant in many ways.

Like the concept of we need money to make money when we grow we need life to make life. I didn’t just use grass to make my yard grow this well but for those struggling to understand human engineered teas and extracts plant for plant teas can make a big difference. To make a plant to plant fertilizer we can put a plant in a blender, strain and dilute the juice in 5 gallons of fresh water and scoop, drizzle or spray it onto the same plant we blended. Some plants can affect others differently so if you use one plant to fertilize another and get it in the foliage do so with caution using trial and error hesitations. I don’t want to be responsible for someone using a toxic tropical plant on our natives thinking a healthy plant makes a healthy plant. This is only part of the message. D

ifferent plants have and need different microbes. Kale needs actinobacteria but put actinobacteria on tomatoes and you’ll have blight showing in a few days. I want to help but as with many things I’ve learned the standard ecological answer is, “it depends” so look for 2 sides to everything within the biosphere … “that’s life”, as they say.

The Garden map is the mission and vision of Living Ground

I acknowledge  the superiority and necessity of “Natural Systems” over the artificial stimulation methods employed by traditional plant care practitioners (both organic and chemical).

I strive to learn more about the soil microbiome, we see the connection to all life and especially human life.   We are a part of and not separate.  

believe that land suffers from a deficiency of “chemicals” or nutritive value. Thus, it is time to encourage movement away from chemical dependencies. 

I can enhance the beneficial natural soil biology that supports plant health.THe Microbiology Approach provides peace of mind for all growers while the landscapes are being cared for in a more environmentally sensitive manner.

I follow, to the best of my ability,  nature’s way

I create from the land.   I alchemized taste and texture from the plants and desire each product to be a sensation of happiness from soil to plant to kitchen alchemy.

Collecting Soil Samples is fun and easy.  A composite sample is made by combining several subsamples from the same area, mixing and then sending a portion to our lab.

The Short Form Instructions:

Gently dig around roots zone (2-5 inches) and take a core sample (little hand full). Do this 5 times
Empty those 5 cores into a clean bucket or bowl. Mix up the core samples.
Place 10 oz or 250 g (approximately 2 cups) of mixture in a plastic, zipper-bag. Leave some air space in the bag upon sealing.
Label your bag (name, date)
Complete the Soil Test Submission FormComplete the Soil Test Submission Form
Bring your sample(s) (or send in a taxi) to our lab within 2 days.

Register the sampling here .  We receive the form immediately when you press “submit”, so there is no need to print it.   Label your bag  and bring it to us.

Wait for the result!   You will receive an email as soon as we have received the samples along with an estimate of when you can expect the result (normally this is less than two days).


Soil tests can be no better than the sample. Therefore, proper collection of the soil sample is extremely important.  If there is more than one soil type or native plant community, we suggest doing a separate composite sample for each of them.   For large areas, consider having an onsite investigation and consultation

First, identify the area of interest to take the sample from.    This area should be uniform in nature and plant-type (similar).   Your sample will contain 5 different samples of the soil at the root system of the existing plants from a designated area.  This will be placed in a clean bucket and mixed throughly.   The sample (approximately 2 cups) is taken from the bucket and placed in a zip-locked bag.

The best sample cores are from the root zone of the desired plant.   You can carefully use spade to dig down around the root zone and using apple corer or potato peeler.  Be gentle!   We aim to keep the living creatures alive and not sliced and diced.

Due to our temperate climate and clays of Ecuador, we often have compaction areas (hard compacted soil).   Roots can not penetrate this compaction zone.   Make note of the depth of this compaction zone and record this in the submission form (in other comments)  as it will give us clues for recommendations.  If the root or compaction zone cannot be located, cores from 3‐4 inches down into the soil will work.   It is best to have some root sample material.  We also test for mycorrhizal colonization so it is best to include about 5 inches of roots.

Once you have your sample, fill out a soil test information sheet.   If you are testing different areas, please fill out a separate intake sheet for each sample.   Each sample should be given a different name.

Once all information is received the test takes approximately 2 working days to complete.   We will provide you with recommendations for optimal health of your soil.

Once you receive your report via email we are most happy about the analysis and help you understand the analysis.   Or, you can read “Understanding Your Soil Biology Report” .

We look forward to doing business with you and saving our land one soil particle at a time.  Let’s change the dirt and make soil!

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Microscope analysis for soil health.  Understanding your report!

Soil health is a complex subject and there are many ways to approach it. Biodiversity is a key aspect of soil health with profound impacts on agricultural success and sustainability. Each organism has specific functions that affect the rest of the soil ecosystem, including plants.

Some key functions of a healthy soil ecosystem include:

Good water retention and drainage
Healthy structure and resistance to erosion
Richer, more diverse nutrient cycling and retention
Improved plant health
Increased carbon storage
Resilience against pest and disease outbreaks
The goal of this analysis is to develop a profile of the soil’s ecological status, which considers diversity, the physical characteristics of the soil habitat, and where possible takes into account outside factors such as agricultural activities that can affect, and be affected by, the soil ecosystem.

Observing soil in the microscope can provide great insight into the current ecological status, changes over time or with treatments, and the effectiveness of soil management strategies.

The method
To observe soil in the microscope, samples are mixed with water and then allowed to rest for two days. They are then viewed at 100x and 400x magnification. Bacteria, protozoa, and fungi are observed and recorded along with physical characteristics of the soil and any other organisms that may be present, such as nematodes. Healthy soil should have many different kinds of organisms with populations that are in balance with one another. There should also be visible evidence that the physical habitat supports a complex ecosystem.

Groups of organisms observed with the microscope
The main groups of organisms considered during a microscope analysis are bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Other organisms that are sometimes observed include nematodes and rotifers.


Bacteria are very small (1 μm), but it is possible to see them at 400x magnification. Bacteria cannot be specifically identified using only a microscope, but we can estimate the abundance and basic characteristics such as spiral, rod, or round shapes, and the type of movement they have, which all give clues about bacterial diversity.

For this analysis, any noticeable signs of bacterial activity and diversity are written down, and an estimate of bacterial biomass is made. This estimate is then compared against the fungal biomass estimate (next section) to determine whether the sample is dominated by bacteria or fungi, or equally balanced. For most agriculture and garden soils, the recommendation is to aim for a 1:1 balance of bacteria and fungi.

A variety of robust fungal hyphae found in a sample of forest soil.
Healthy soil typically has robust networks of diverse fungal threads called “hyphae”. In the microscope, these look like clear or brown strands, typically between 2-6 μm in diameter. The length of fungal hyphae varies greatly in prepared samples, and long, robust strands are considered a sign of good conditions in the soil. When disturbance is minimal, fungal networks weave through the soil, extracting nutrients and interacting with plants. They help bind particles together into aggregates, and they provide significant benefits to plants through the exchange of nutrients and much more. Soil fungi develop slowly and are particularly sensitive to disturbance and other stressors, which makes them excellent indicators of the soil’s ecological status. In the microscope, the presence of septate fungal hyphae wider than 3 μm is considered a sign of good growing conditions. Large numbers of light, thin hyphae could be a sign of dense, oxygen-poor soil, which is a less supportive ecosystem for most agricultural crops.

In analysis reports, the fungal biomass estimate is compared with the number of individual fungal hyphae fragments to provide a simple numerical score (total evaluation of fungi / totalvurdering sopp) on a scale of 0-5, where 0 is very poor and 5 is very high. This simplified score is particularly useful for tracking changes over time, or to compare the effect of treatments or soil management techniques.

A large testate amoeba found in a healthy soil sample. Pseudopods or “false feet” extend from the opening at the bottom of the shell, allowing the amoeba to move and capture food.
Protozoa are an incredibly diverse group of single-celled, eukaryotic organisms, which have a predatory role in the soil food web. The role of protozoa in agriculture tends to be underappreciated, perhaps because they are difficult to study, but they are critically important members of the soil food web. For example, bacteria tend to consume a lot of nitrogen and store it in their bodies, but protozoa have little need for nitrogen, so when they consume bacteria they release what they don’t need back into the soil in a form that plants can easily use. Protozoa are voracious predators of bacteria, but they are selective about which species they consume. Each species of protozoa feeds on particular types of bacteria, and in doing so they each play specialized roles in the soil community. This could also mean that protozoa diversity may be an indicator of bacterial diversity in the soil. Protozoa have also been found to promote plant health and disease resistance and improve growth independently of nutrients.

When evaluating protozoa in soil samples, diversity and balance are the top priorities. The ideal sample will have moderate representation from as many groups as possible, with good diversity within those groups. Since it is not feasible to identify all the species of protozoa in a routine analysis, they are instead grouped according to easily observable characteristics. This provides an efficient way to estimate diversity in living, active samples.

We have attempted to create an index that takes into account both the number of groups and the number of organisms within each group. This index is a work in progress, but generally speaking, a more positive result will have several groups and relatively even distribution of individuals within the groups.

What can we do to support soil life?
It is important that we remember to view soil as a habitat and an ecosystem, and to shift our mindset from feeding plants to feeding the soil, which will in turn feed the plants and support them in many other ways.

Here is a summary of the basic conditions that favour beneficial microbial activity in soil and how to provide them:

Microbes need: You can provide it by:
Moisture Keeping the soil covered
Oxygen Allowing natural structure to develop; avoid compaction
Energy and nutrients Maintaining good cover with living plants and mulch; as much diversity as possible
Shelter Keeping the soil covered
Reduced disturbance Minimizing tillage, driving, and chemical interference
Earthworm activity* All of the above
*Earthworms are known as “ecosystem engineers”. Their activity improves soil quality and creates conditions that support beneficial microorganisms.


“A rainbow of soil is under our feet; red as a barn and black as a peat. It’s yellow as lemon and white as the snow; bluish gray. So many colors below. Hidden in darkness as thick as the night; The only rainbow that can form without light. Dig you a pit, or bore you a hole, you’ll find enough colors to well rest your soil.” — F.D. Hole, A Rainbow of Soil Words, 1985
From bacteria to fungi, snake-like mini worms, wobbly, jelly-like morphing cellules and hairy racing bubbles and balls the soil is alive, and when healthy, it teams with billions of microorganisms.    These living organisms feed on tiny minerals specks, plant material and each other to release life.   Their dance adds critical nutrients back into the earth.   Without these critters, the soil is nothing other than “dirt”.

When land and gardens are poorly managed and soil is left uncovered, over tilled, and laden with natural and ago chemicals, the beneficial organisms die. What we have failed to understand is plants, bacteria and fungi have a signally system that will adjust for its’ own needs. When we force the pH and neglect and alter this language dance, the biology of the soil dissipates. This results in a poor quality soil that is unable to produce nutrient rich food.  It is well recognised that soils are comprised of physical, chemical and biological properties. However, up until recently,  there has been disproportionate attention given to the chemical and physical side of soils, without due respect given to the biological aspects.   Even organic farmers and gardeners have unknowingly harmed the microbiome of the soil. Good news is we can reverse this with some understanding of what is going on in the soil food web.

Soil is a living, dynamic ecosystem comprising a complex diversity of life.   This diversity is the basis of the fertility of our soil.    Most of us actually have not experienced “food” that is fully alive and at its’ peak due to the biological infrastructure that created it.   But, we are entering a new era of understanding soil as a function of it’s biology and about to understand the taste of nutrition.

Although chemical tests and geophysical analysis of soil are useful for certain circumstances and queries,  biological analysis allows us to ecologically and effectively manage our agroecosystems. So how can we do this?


Microscope soil tests give us a glimpse into the magical world of soil microbiology that has previously been very abstract and difficult to interact directly with. You are able to see the fungi, protozoa, bacteria and nematodes that play such a vital role in the health of your soil with (relative) ease.

Analysing your soil in this way will allow you to:

  • Analyse the quality of your compost/ compost tea 
  • Analyse compaction and anaerobic conditions
  • Find out about diseases before they become a problem
  • Find out about changes in your soil and how effective your techniques are

Analysing your soil can be as simple as bringing a sample to our lab for a look down the microscope. This gives us the information to figure out what management techniques are needed, which can then be administered and adjusted accordingly.    

Analysing your soil in this way is efficient, effective and helps you to get more in touch with the biology in your own soils, enabling a deeper understanding of soil functioning. And, crucially, knowledge of your soil will empower you to make the right decisions for you, instead of being dependent on third parties that may not have your best interests at heart.   

It is time we view and treat soil as a living being- in a traditionally regenerative manner – more biological activity is present., more biological activity is introduced. When organic matter is present, the soil can thrive and become the rainbow under our feet now and for generations to come.

It all depends how you look at it. “taking over everything” only logically is true when you look ay the fact that industrial chemical ag is what actually has already “taken over everything” and the unwanted side effects are what human hubris is guilty of picking on. Nature has its systems for cleaning up after itself. According to nature these trees are not worthy of survival. It is cold and it is a hard fact about nature which is unforgiving. Humans are the only species that work to ensure the weak survive. Humanity is based on compassion which strives to give everyone a quality of life no matter what. It is a truly beautiful thing about human nature to do that. But it also means we don’t understand that nature is brutal and about strength and numbers only. We just don’t get it.

Allowing it to do its job means not interfering with practices such as tilling, and certainly not the poisonous practices of injecting fracking 600+ chemicals into the soil by the energy industry, polluting water wells, polluting agricultural land, having cows die, using the big ag chemicals etc.

If all the people, who fight for world hunger, poverty, climate change, could understand what Dr Elaine pioneered in her research, and is called “soil”, this world would place Dr Elaine on all billboards along the freeways and other places, and sing her praises.  Once you fix the soil, you fix food problem, you fix nutrition problems which would eliminate many health problems, you fix air problem, you fix air pollution problems, you fix increasing trends in lung health problems, you name it.  The solution for all this is in one word “soil”. In some ways it is ignorance in other ways it’s arrogance that people are “above” the soil, and feel entitled to destroy it.  In fact, at the end of the day, these tiny creatures rule us.  Talk later.

We especially don’t get it when our livelihood is failing because we aren’t managing the earth with respect, only with a desire for money. It is a hard lesson we are learning. Avocado crops failing, coffee plantations failing, bananas gone sterile. Wine grape crops no longer viable in many parts ot the old country.

This is penance for mankind’s action. I sound heartless by saying it but i believe this to be true. I also believe that if we were to respect mother nature she would also turn around our plight faster than we created it. It just requires a leap of faith and a devotion to be a part of the earth instead of to be on top of it all the time. 

The plebeians and the army drank the posca, a drink despised by the upper class. The posca was made from acetum which was a low quality wine that almost tasted like vinegar. Sometimes wine that got spoiled (because it was not properly stored) would also be used to make this Roman drink.

Posca was made by watering down the low quality wine and by adding herbs and spices. It was drunk from the 300-200 BCE and into the Byzantine period (in the Byzantine army the drink was actually called the phouska). Recent studies have shown that posca was actually quite healthy. It was full of anti-oxidants and vitamin C, the coriander seeds had health benefits, and because it was quite acid (giving it its sour vinegar taste), it killed all the bacteria in the water, bearing in mind that water back then was not clean like our faucet water is today (or at least is in most western countries).

As we previously pointed out, posca was the drink of the common people and the upper class looked down on it. It was also the standard drink in the army. Drinking quality wine was considered impertinent in the military and sometimes standard wine was totally banned from army camps in the provinces.

Roman posca recipe
We don’t know how posca was exactly made but based on what we know, it can be recreated and the recipe is as follows:
Posca recipe
1.5 cups of red wine vinegar.
0.5 cups of honey.
1 tablespoon of crushed coriander seed.
4 cups of water.
Boil it so that the honey disolves.
Let it cool down so that it reaches room temperature.
Filter the coriander seeds.

Your posca is ready to be served. You can get a taste of what the standard drink of the average Roman was like!