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Growing Healthy Soil

By Michele Hatton

"[Healthy] soil isn’t an inert growing medium but rather is teaming with billions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that are the foundation of an elegant symbiotic ecosystem," according to the USDA Conservation Service. We aren't talking about a slithering earthworm or two, but of a diversity of organisms that the USDA says, "make up a large proportion of the world's genetic diversity," which range in size from tiny, one-celled bacteria to small animals with backbones.

These...

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Tasty Toadstools

By Michele Hatton

The mushroom possesses some surprising characteristics for such a peculiar and almost weightless food. In fact, the largest organism in the world is a mushroom, creeping 3.5 miles underneath the forest floor. The stem and cap which we harvest for food are simply the fruiting of a complex network of underground “mycelium”—the vegetative body.

Jonathan Manning, New Leaf Market Co-op produce manager and assistant manager, appreciates the unique flavor imparted by mushrooms. "No...

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