Getting the Dirt on Microbes

It's time for a post that's really down to earth. For the most part, we put plants in soil, whether on farms, in gardens, potted plants in the home, and so on. Most folks know that plants need soil so they can grow, but we forget that it's little things in life that matter. Or, little living things. Microbes. There's a great deal of life underfoot.

Credit: Freeimages / Dieter Joel Jagnow
People tend to get all het up about bacteria, thinking that it makes people sick. Fact is, there are many bacteria that are beneficial to us. They live in us, and in the soil as well, which is good for the plants. Bacteria in dirt has its own communities, like so many other living things. They adjust to environmental conditions and often work together. There is a symbiosis with bacteria, other living things, and the environment that defies Darwinism and shows the ingenuity of the Creator.
I remember making mud pies as a child for my mom—she didn’t like them too much.1 Pie making was always the best just after a good rain, but I had no idea that I was covering my hands in germs. Though I now know there was probably other biomaterial present in the soil (e.g., the organic matter called humus), back then the combination always warranted washing my germy hands when I went inside. In terms of our overall health, there is a fine balance between all the germs in the dirt and all the other stuff that it is made of. Dirt is dirty, but not in the ways that we often think.

While earth is typically considered to be only rocks and dirt, life is also abundant in soil. But we cannot observe all the living things in the soil with our eyes—they require a microscope for us to see them.
To dig into the rest of this very informative article by a microbial ecologist, click on "The Dirt Is Alive: God’s Design for Soil Microbiome".