Michael Phillips - Mycorrhizal Planet, The Apple Grower, and Vineyards & Orchards as Fungal Ecosystems
On this episode of the Organic Wine Podcast we take a journey to far north New Hampshire to talk to Michael Phillips.
Michael Phillips is a farmer – or a cultivator of fungal ecosystems, as he might put it - and he’s the author of the books The Apple Grower, The Holistic Orchard, and most recently, Mycorrhizal Planet. If you’re an orchardist or vineyardist all three books are must reads. But Mycorrhizal Planet is a must read even if you’re just a human with no interest in growing apples or grapes.
On the surface, Mycorrhizal Planet is about Regenerative practices for the farm, garden, orchard, forest, and landscape, but as you listen to Michael describe the principles it covers you begin to see that it is a cornerstone in the literal foundation of our future.
Michael is laying out some of the groundwork – pun intended – of that regenerative renaissance. He promotes “outrageous diversity” and “collaboration” as some of the ways that we can “do fungal things.” When we begin to apply the principles he promotes to the world, we stop planting vineyards and orchards and we start launching deeply interconnected ecosystems.
This really is a magical journey. You can’t take a fungal trip without a little magic. But it’s also extremely practical. Michael describes his vision for a connected landscape by explaining the science and the steps we can take to help cultivate it.
The end result is, of course, a healthier orchard or vineyard and more delicious bottle of cider or wine. But is that really the end of the process, or the tantalizing lure that the earth uses to draw us into the fruit and then the trees and vines and then down into the soil from where we all awaken?