Ultimate Nature Geek-Out

Lichen in a Boreal Forest

Sun rays shining through the Boreal Forest
Sun rays shining through the Boreal Forest

The only place I recharge is in the forest. I’ve retreated there most of my life and mid hike always take moments to ponder its serenity. I disseminate and break down why it is what it is. The plants, the trees, the insects… thinking about the ecological dance while watching foxes and chipmunks go about their daily business. Quietly and by myself. The roar of natures sounds so peacefully enveloping me.

I sit here writing this during a huge wind storm. The blustering winds rolling over the house stretch every shingle with every breath. It almost feels as though at any moment the whole house will be taken to flight. I’ve nailed the doors shut to stop them from flying open from the pressure and now sit quietly amongst a pack of snoring dogs totally excited about an old science new to me.

Biogeochemistry description illustration
Biogeochemistry Description

Biogeochemistry. New to me but actually quite old. First brought to my attention through friends experiencing difficulties at their farm while trying to cultivate truffles. I searched out more information on the topic and finally found the holy grail of Biogeochemistry . ‘Biogeochemistry in Mineral Exploration’ by ‘Colin E. Dunn’. That’s when the official Geek-Out began.

This book delves into a science most Foragers, Nature Lovers, Gardeners & Master Gardeners want to know but Geologists haven’t been good with sharing with us. To put it bluntly, Geologists having been studying surface plants & trees for a very long time… to figure out what is below and in the bedrock. Biogeochemical methods of exploration involve the chemical analysis of plant tissues to assess the presence and nature of underlying mineralization, bedrock composition, bedrock structure (faults, joints and folds), and the chemistry of the soil, surficial sediments, and associated groundwater. Biogeochemistry measures the concealed mineral absorption growth in Trees, Plants Fungi. The roots absorb minerals from depths down to the bedrock and deposit them on outer areas of the root system. Fungi are known for their scavenging and absorb in great quantities whatever happens to be below them. Mushrooms have the relationship with a tree as ectotrophic, meaning that a sheath of mycorrhizal fungi encases the roots. This mass of mycorrhizal fungi is estimated to connect trees with as much as one thousand times more soil area than the roots themselves.


Biogeochemistry found this mine
A mine discovered through Biogeochemistry

We think of them as rock hounds but they’re actually silently studying our turf. How dare they NOT share.

By their own studies I can now walk into a forest and Identify what is happening below by identifying the trees and plant life above. This is actually one of the first things they do before ultimately taking samples for further laboratory study of concealed minerals. If I wasn’t so excited by the knowledge I’d actually spit in their direction.

So while biogeochemistry is typically used for mining. My wish is to use it to better understand Native Plants & Trees in the use of food forests as we attempt to rebuild our ecologies.

A food forest
A food forest

My view in the forest is ever changing and now with a this knowledge… I see deeper. It’s exciting! I have studied over the years a direct correlation between high carbon stored soils and fungi growth. This will definitely expand that as my new nightly bedtime reading is a textbook on biogeochemistry. A Drama of Nature unfolding before my eyes.

If you’d like a copy of the book, kindly email me and I’ll send you the PDF copy. Life has never been so exciting as now 🙂

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