This section began innocently enough as a simple info blog about jujubes. But during the dormant winter periods with no live action to write about, I went back to my roots (ha!) to write more on soil, biochemistry, and soil microbiology in general. I found myself wanting to keep going, and this blog was becoming less and less jujube-specific.
Thus it made sense to restructure everything.
This blog is now The Biosphere Blog, where I will continue writing about these subjects very dear to me.
(And here is my passion project From Soil to Fruit, a combination of the two and very much a work in progress. This is where topics in this blog are arranged in a more structured book-chapter format, to be explored in far more detail.)
Metabolism An organism’s metabolism — the sum of all the chemical reactions going on inside it — can be precisely defined by its energy source, its electron donor source, and its carbon source. The Macro World People who study plants, animals,… more »
Life Needs a Carbon Flow All organisms are made of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, which are needed for growth, reproduction and movement. These molecules all contain carbon, making them organic molecules. The Law of Conservation of Mass states that… more »
Life Needs an Electron Flow Just as electricity is the flow of electrons, so too is life the flow of electrons. Chemistry is the study of the reactions between atoms and molecules, which are all driven by electron flow. Biochemistry is the study of the… more »
Life Needs an Energy Flow All living things need energy to constantly fuel the biochemical pathways that enable them to grow, reproduce and move. The Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be… more »
Until 1859, it had always been accepted that life on Earth had always been around, unchanged and unchanging. Until the publication of a single book that year turned everything on its head, and changed the theological and scientific worlds forever:… more »
The Spheres of Earth Planet Earth is a complex system, made up of sub-systems called ’spheres’, as they too are round like Earth. It is possible to divide the Earth into at least 17 spheres (and possibly more), beginning with its core and… more »
Back in 1648, Johannes Baptista van Helmont took a young willow sapling weighing 5 pounds (2.3 kg*), and planted it into 200 pounds (90.7 kg) of soil. Five years later he uprooted the tree and determined its weight to be 169 pounds and 3 ounces… more »
Have you ever seen these very smooth round and oval shapes in leaves before, and not known what made them? These aren’t caused by caterpillars, which produce jagged edges. These very smooth edges are the tell-tale sign (to those in the know!) of… more »
What is a Fruit? A fruit, botanically speaking, is the seed-bearing structure which develops from the ovary of a flowering plant. Last week was a brief introduction to the diverse categories of fruits that exist — with maybe a few surprising revelations… more »
Fruits Bananas, peaches, apples, watermelons, and yes, jujubes are all immediately known and recognised as ‘fruits’, and if asked what makes a fruit a fruit, one may perhaps use words such as ‘food’, ‘juicy’,… more »
Introduction Fruit fly is an absolute scourge of a pest. If you have ever experienced just one infestation for yourself, then you will fully appreciate the devastation and its potential to literally wipe out the livelihood of commercial fruit growers… more »
Back in 1st September 2020 I began a new category: “Life of a Ta-Jan” with the intent of following a new Ta-Jan as it left dormancy, budded and grew during its first season after grafting. And then I had the idea of not only recording growth… more »
The History of the Word ‘Humus’ ‘Humus’ to the Romans meant the soil (earth, ground) as a whole. Carl Linnaeus, the inventor of binomial nomenclature, used this word in his system to classify soils as he did plants and animals:… more »
This post is for people with small (or no) yards, or who otherwise can’t or don’t wish to set up an outdoor compost pile, but who would still love to ‘do their bit’ and feed their trees at the same time. This composting-in-a-box… more »