hands holding soil

Microbes are the building blocks of healthy soil and farms

Microbial diversity is essential for functioning farms

Microorganisms have existed for billions of years, and were the first form of life on earth.

They successfully colonised every corner of the earth and every creature on it. They
complete the cycle of life through the process of fermentation and decomposition. They break down organic waste and use the remaining minerals and nutrients for regeneration, enabling soil, crops and livestock to flourish.

Most microbes are helpful and life enhancing; very few cause disease. A healthy soil microbiome contains trillions of diverse microorganisms doing thousands of different jobs, from keeping soils nutrient rich and supporting livestock health through to delivering nutrients to plants.

Without microbes there would be no life as we know it

speckled sunlight through the trees

The cycle of life

Probiotic microbes break down organic matter into the building blocks of life, making them available for rebirth and regrowth. 

The healthy breakdown of organic matter is critical in the cycle of life process. This can happen in two ways: putrefaction or fermentation. 

Putrefied matter releases toxic gasses such as methane and ammonia, is toxic to soil and air, and smells. Adding beneficial microbes rebalances a putrefying environment, turning it into a healthy fermentation process.

During fermentation matter is broken down into its constituent parts, mostly carbohydrates, nitrates and phosphates, which are then readily available for other organisms to use. This gives soil and plants a bountiful supply of nutrients on which to thrive.

“To live in a sustainable world we need to learn how to live in the cycle of life and make it real and sustainable. Effective microorganisms are very good at this. They naturally have an intelligence that will assist what is growing and also assist what is decaying.

They seem to know when to do what they need to do and they’ve been around for three and a half billion years. They were the first form of life on this planet and if we’re not careful they’ll be the last.

Microbes are fundamental to all areas of agriculture and reintroducing them will do a lot to protect our food and farming systems.”

Jeff Allen 

Jeffery Allen
hands holding soil

Soil microbes

Soil microbes exist in single cell form or as a colony of cells. There are microorganisms everywhere. There are more soil microbes in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on earth, around 50 billion. 

You may already know that each of us humans has a microbiome: our own wonderful community of trillions of single cell, living organisms. As we look after it, it looks after us. The same is true for the microbiome of the soil, which is the combination of microorganisms within the soil.

Most microbes are helpful and life enhancing; very few cause disease. In trying to kill the bad ones, we can strengthen them and weaken the environment and our bodies. Chemical fertilisers and agri-chemicals are destructive to the soil microbiomes because they wipe out all bacteria, or microbes, not just the bad ones.