Why consider glomalin? Glomalin is the support system for inclusive wide reaching economy, communication networks, a facilitator of open spaces, the fabric of community, commerce and a healthy future; Glomalin is at work for its living constituents and future generations. Literally, glomalin is a sticky gluey glycoprotein exuded by the hair-like roots of a microbe called mycorrhizal fungi. The fungi roots and shoots are called hyphae. These hyphae are busy connecting with other hyphae over long distances transporting information and nutrients between plant roots to nourish the plants from far reaching sources. An underground economy. Glomalin is carbon exchange and sequestering. Symbiotic relationships. These are indicators of healthy soil, which in turn makes healthy resilient plants, and healthy inhabitants of planet earth. Glomalin is the structural embodiment for feeding the weak to strengthen the whole.
Glomalin sticks together sand, silt and clay to form hardy micro structure in the soil, called soil aggregates. It protects the hyphae. Even after the hyphae die, the glomalin stays for decades, that is, unless disturbed by forces cutting into the soil, such as happens in industrial farming-or anyone tilling the ground repeatedly.
Glomalin provides porous space for air to flow underground, for water to infiltrate at greater speed, and a sponginess of water held in the ground where microbes can thrive. Industrial agricultural practices obliterate the topsoil ecosystem every time the plow is cutting the ground or fertilizers and pesticides kill microbes in the soil. The US loses 4 tons of topsoil per acre per year with these practices and it doesn’t have to be this way…let us look to healthy ecosystems to emulate. It is possible to grow topsoil while growing crops and sequester CO2 from the atmosphere at rates that can turn back the climate disaster clock. It is, in fact being done large scale, and needs to spread quickly.