About Us

Company

Merlin Organics is dedicated to replacing chemical fertilizers and pesticides with natural biological systems that produce healthier and more pest- and disease-resistant soils and plants than found in conventionally managed landscapes. We design and implement organic land-management programs that are less expensive to maintain and reduce water usage versus conventionally managed sites.

Our team primarily works for organizations and institutions that manage large landscapes, helping them convert from conventional management to organic methods and working with existing organic programs to optimize results. In addition, the company provides services to select agricultural and residential clients.

Our work focuses primarily on using science and technology to develop the soil microbiome. Scientific research has demonstrated that increases in population and diversity of soil microbiology will increase nutrient cycling and disease resistance in plants.

By restoring or replacing the soil’s microbiome, our systems increase root mass and rooting depth, sequester more carbon than conventional systems, eliminate nitrogen runoff and groundwater pollution, and greatly reduce or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

We founded Merlin in 2011 because after thirty years of growing things ourselves—vegetables, fruit trees, turf, and ornamentals—we wanted to engage others in practices that improve the safety and efficacy of land management.

Principals

  • Tom Pew

    Tom Pew

    Tom founded Merlin Organics to help owners and managers of large-scale landscapes replace chemical fertilizers and pesticides with the natural biological process of nutrient cycling to produce healthier, greener, more pest- and disease-resistant plants and soils than found in conventionally managed landscapes. His first-hand knowledge and expertise in Merlin’s methods and practices were gained from decades of practical study and formal training in organic land management and 38 years of managing the same garden, citrus grove, and turf in the Sonoran Desert.

    An Arizona Extension Service Master Gardener and lecturer on bio-sustainable methods, Tom currently serves as co-investigator on a cutting-edge scientific trial in Plant Pathology at the University of Arizona that explores mechanisms by which plants protect themselves and maintain defenses against devastating crop diseases. Tom initiated these studies, which use Merlin Organics’ formula of Aerated Compost Tea.

  • Troy Hollar

    Troy Hollar

    Troy is responsible for company operations and oversight of all client and research projects. He is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of diverse experience in management, brand-building, media production, and technology development. Troy designed the cooperative University of Arizona–Merlin Organics TRACT (Turf Response to Aerated Compost Tea) Trial, a multi-year scientific research project studying how aerated compost tea application affects soil and plant health in turfgrass.

    A lifelong organic gardener, he has cultivated small-scale crops in the Midwest, the heart of New York City, and now in Southern Arizona. Troy was awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanity Award in 2007 for his long record of community service and efforts in promoting positive social change. He earned a BA in history from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management.