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185. The Hidden Half of Nature | Anne Bikle | Seattle, WA | Part Two
23rd July 2017 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 00:33:40

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It’s April 29th! I am so excited to introduce my featured guest today Anne Bikle who is going to talk about her book The Hidden Half of Nature.

Anne  are you ready to dig into it?

Anne Biklé is a biologist and environmental planner. Her career spans the fields of environmental stewardship, habitat restoration, and public health. The Hidden Half of Nature is her first book she wrote with her husband David R. Montgomery who is a professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington and a 2008 MacArthur Fellow. He is the author of The Rocks Don’t Lie and other award-winning popular science books.

Their website is

The Hidden Half of Nature


Welcome Green Future Growers!

I interviewed this woman Ashley from PittMoss® on February 25th and we just love it. I’ve been using it in the classroom everyday and I just love it.

So you and your husband wrote 3 books now right?

Dirt Trilogy

We ended up with this triology, in Dirt that’s the plight of our soil on


worst thing you can do for soil

digging around

Dirt The Erosion of Civilizations by David R. Montgomery

that’s the story in Dirt, the plight of our soil

the hidden after nature which David and I coauthored, he solo authored Dirt.

This amazing new area of science, where we’re finally able to see into the microbial world and I’m using see metaphorically, because of course the microbrial world is invisible but we now have tools and techniques that scientists have tools to look into

symbiotic relationships plants and microbes in the soil we also cover in

Hidden Half of Nature The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

The Hidden Half of Nature  the human microbe biome what’s going on in our guts.

Both we and plants are chimeric organisms meaning we are an ammagulation of life forms

We have all our own cells and each plant has all of it’s own selves, but we also each haul around a good number of microbes that help us live and keep us alive. So the 

insights and understanding


May 9th

Growing A Revolution Bringing Our Soil Bake To LIfe

Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life

that book is solving the problem talked about in dirt

using the science we unveiled in 

Hidden Half of Nature The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

The Hidden Half of Nature  

Any gardener would not be surprised that we’ve really hammered the soil, but that it’s possible and investigate and understand 

  • how the soil works
  • apply all of that
  • bring soil back to life

Do that’s the Dirt  triology!

I think I’m talking with David next week.

Where does one find your podcast?

Besides my website… iTunes, there’s Podcast Addict I use on my kindle or android, stitcher, google play… etc.  Im usually a techy but the learning curve for Podcasting has been a bit longer then usual. I feel like youre my new friend already, that’s what I love about podcasting I feel like we’re new friends already just talking.

There’s so many angles to the digital world. I think one of the best is when you connect

Tell us a little about yourself.

David and I live just north of downtown Seattle, and this time of year, I was outside way too late last night try

this must be what farmers talk about at harvest time.

in my case here it’s at the other end of the season spring

differnet kinds of maples that are in pots

some I should

root work

dam it!

too far leafed out to be pulling them out of their post

that things opened up now

that’s opening up now

that is the wonderful world of gardening

something very exciting happened this week

let me tell you about it

anyone who reads the 

Hidden Half of Nature The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

The Hidden Half of Nature

wood chips

I am a big proponent of using organic matter to keep the soil micro biome well fed so it can do all the things for the plants

my favorite ingredients

wood chips

you can get free wood chips

lot of demand for free wood chips

get on the phone with arborists

beg and plead

can’t you bring some

pretty slim pickens

called an arborist

don’t sound whiny

can I please have some wood chips

got a call back 3 hours later


I love you

comes over my neighbor and I we’re partners in crime

Len, 70 year old painter

if we can all do what he does when were 70

I will be happy happy

Wood chips Anne Bikle

Wood Chips

Jason pulls in

almost as big as the RV

then he pulls away

we’re thrilled to have the chips

in the past we’ve gotten chips from arborists

you get what you don’t pay for

they are free

pick around it

these wood chips are promo!

got a really nice grind on these chimps

no bamboo and blackberry

Leonard and I are giddy!

@dig2grow twitter feed

you’ll see the big pile of mulch

Leonard only condition is they be moved out of his driveway by may 31st

So we have a month!

That is my very exciting thing this week we scored those wood chips!

They just bring them to you for free?

they need to get rid of them

They don’t want to have to drive to dump them. They get charged money for that.  I think it’s crazy anyway that we have any sort of incentive for a business for an arborist to be throwing away perfectly good organic matter!

that’s just a complete crime!

this is good clean stuff! It’s not like other things you sometimes run into with the gardening and nursery industry! 

Anyone out there listening contact your, local arborist. Most every town has some kind of tree service and call them and ask!

I’m sure lots of listeners are like I can just call and they will bring me compost to add to my soil!

Hidden Half of Nature The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

The Hidden Half of Nature

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

I grew up in the Denver Metro area of Colorado,

lived there till I moved away for college

I think I remember, maybe being really little and being 4-5 and helping to plant flowers. That was my first gardening experience in June sometime. That’s just little tiny memory.

What I remember most being a little bit older, maybe about 11-12, and my dad would take me to Ardano’s Flower land. That was a big nursery. Anyone who’s been to Denver knows, Sante Fe Avenue

Sante Fe Blvd they had a big wide shoulder not paved just kind of dirt, wide enough there were businesses you’d pull off the paved part of the road.

I remember walking in and it was flowers as the eye could see! We’d get a big cart, he’d say go get whatever you want! 

Flower Disneyland

Here I am walking around in flower Disneyland so here I am pulling things off the tables and putting them on the cart! 

I grew up in pretty much a suburban environment!

not like an acre

1/4 acre or 1/8 of an acre

There was this small garden right alongside the driveway. That was the garden you waked to and from the house! I always in daily sight I planted up with the things from Ardanos. 

Just common things not knocking anybody’s socks off

Something about early June

  • being outside
  • having the hose nearby
  • hands in the dirt
  • and all of these gorgeous flowers
  • marigolds
  • petunias
  • snapdragons
  • annually around the house

11-12 through high school. Then things got out of hand. 

Inside the house, there is no gardening in the winter time, but I started a plant collection

  • looking at pictures a while back, I had sort of taken over the living room
  • gardening habit
  • plant lust bad enough you’ll figure out how when and where you can.

I was just at my friend Nola’s and she talked about back in the beginning. She had this aloe plant blooming! It’s the most incredible thing I ever saw. 


We just went on the garden club field trip and I was constantly pointing out arrays, incorporating some math, but it was like Disneyland the kids were excited looking all over at the different plants and flowers! 

GardenClubLettuceBedWe have some stuff growing a lettuce garden fro the guineea pig!

How did you learn how to garden organically?

I you know

a true confession

around the house

after planting all the flowers that I had brought home, my father would always insist it’s time to fertilize them, here’s the miracle grow! Here I was dutifully mixing up the miracle grow, the plants needed fertilizer! 

There was no example in my household

pretty typical

You fertilize plants, you poison weeds!

We were not throwing chemicals around! 

There were weed checmicals in the outdoor shed but I didnt because there was no beauty or joy. so my dad would ask my brothers

not a model

around the house

mostly the yard was a sort of area of benign neglect

 unless something got out of hand, it’s intereting because it’s kind of my li

approach here in Seattle, but things grow like crazy so if things get out of hand it’s a little intense! Out of here with all the rain and water!

I interestingly enough

I have to say