Microbial Explosion

Microbial Explosion is a response to the need for repopulating our ecosystems with microbial life and the cascading soil food web it nurtures.

A key regenerative agriculture practice is building soil. Building soil is done by transforming dirt (the lifeless clays, silts and sand) into a living and active matrix teeming with biological activity. It can be helped along by invigorating the process of life creating conditions for life through directly applying biology to our landscapes and/or through the intestinal microbial cauldrons of animals.

Soils that have undergone the gauntlet of modern agriculture are often biologically beaten back. Chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and mechanical rupture through tillage leave very little biota alive and well which is why we percieve the need to “drip-feed” nutrients to plants in the form of soluable saltbased fertalizer. The biology that usually feeds plants is missing, nutrients are locked away in mineralized form and volitile compunds have evaporated.

But we can help biology come back. Enterprises can be designed and coordinated to do so. Microbial Explosion is about creating regional networks of compost creators, biochar producers and soil feed makers that can repopulate our ecosystems with biology. Like a film of life, covering our surfaces just like we are recognizing that we need for our bodies can be put back on the surface of the planet where we have scarred its tissue.

Thermal composting is a rapid composting technique that can generate very large amounts of bacteria, fungi, protazoa, ciliates and nematodes, a base layer of the soil food web that leads to healthy nutrient cycling and healthy plants (with that health bestowed to the humans and other animals that eat them). This extremely biologically active compost can be further explanded by bubbling some of it in a blend of oxygenated water and microbial foods which results as something called Compost Tea. Teas are very useful in their ability to quickly inoculate large areas of land or piles of things like biochar.

Biochar, is microbial habitat. Well made char has an extreme amount of porosity (up to some 800m2 per gram) which makes it ideal living space for microbes of all sorts. Bacteria thrive in the crevasses, fungi tunnel through the porosity and so do worms and other creatures. Biochar alone has been lauded for its waterholding capacity but its ability to house and transport life may be it’s largest contribution as far as soil applications go.

Soil foods
Chemical fertilizers, most often in the form of water soluble salts, kill many soil microbes through destroying their membranes or inhibiting plants from extruding exudates (proteins and sugars) that help microbes grow. Organic fertalizers can be created that is not so much focused on feeding plants as they are on feeding the microbial life in the soil. This can be done through things like anaerobic digestion and create liquid fertalizers that can help the soil microbes have access to bio-available nutrients that they need.

@zaunders is currently nursing this idea.