Looking at our greenhouse on one of the few sunny days in February we decided to use up old supplies from last year. Making use of scrap wood left over from building the house we made new veggie beds. We had soil from last year in 10 gallon pots so emptied them into a pile.
Thriving life in our soil is very important to build. To increase soil life we amended with steer manure, earth worm castings, compost, chicken manure, and trace minerals. Then inoculated with mycorrhiza and a strong compost tea. Mycorrhiza is a fungus that helps plants make a web of hyphae, extending the roots ability to uptake nutrients and water. “Harness the fungal force- it’s powerful, works to make systems more resilient, and offers food and medicine yields as a bonus,” says Ben Flak in his book The Resilient Farm and Homestead.
We make our compost tea with an active aeration brewing system for 24 hours in a 55 gallon drum using a large aquatic air stone.
We add hot water into the tea to maintain optimal temperature which increases bio activity. We do our best to create a stable ecosystem for bacteria, fungus, and microscopic animals to thrive.
Chelsea Green explains in her book, Gaia”s Garden, “microbes connected with each other, building food webs, multiplying, and preying on each other in a well-linked ecosystem.” Soil life is the the foundation for plant life and if we nurture it right we won’t have to feed as much and can worry less about disease and bugs. Having a well balanced bio diverse soil food web creates a self helping system. Chemicals can’t compare to mother nature!