Composting and mulching to build healthy soils from scratch

Many tropical trees growing naturally in very shallow soils, like this Blue Marble Tree from Australasia, have developed roots that run along the surface. This particular tree is growing on a 400-year-old lava flow from mount Hualalai. Forests growing in these conditions are terrestrial and at the same time lithophytic (growing on rock). This makes them susceptible to drought, as they have no tap roots to reach down to moisture. (Photo courtesy/Voltaire Moise)

The beginning of a new year and the death and destruction that occurred in 2020 teaches us that life in general goes in cycles. Madam Pele manifests this phenomenon as Kilauea erupts again. With thousands of acres covered with lava in the last few years, it is hard to imagine they will ever support vegetation again at least in our lifetime.