Merlin Organics applies 100% organic, biology-based land stewardship systems to restore and maintain large-scale landscapes. » Learn About Our Services
“A healthy agriculture can take place only within nature, and in co-operation with its processes, not in spite of it and not by ‘conquering’ it.”
Sir Albert Howard
Merlin applies smart biology to create landscapes that are healthy, safe, and sustainable
The Science: Why Healthy Soil Matters
Conventional methods of fertilizing plants and managing pests and disease involve the use of potent chemicals that destroy the natural biology in otherwise healthy soil. These chemicals, which are generally salts-based, send the microorganisms that live in the soil into osmotic shock and kill them rapidly. Almost instantly, the plants that live in the soil become chemically dependent. The effect is similar to a human consuming an energy drink — the drink produces a short-term boost, but in order to maintain or regain that energy level, the person must drink more.
Organic methods for fertilizing plants and treating pathogens and pests work in consort with the living system, creating an enhanced and supportive environment for all creatures in the environment and particularly the microbes that cycle nutrients for uptake by plants.
In healthy soil, nitrogen-fixing bacteria are fed by sugar exudates that are produced and secreted from the plants roots. Protozoa then eat these bacteria and release the nitrogen and other nutrients in a form that is easy for plant roots to absorb — much easier than the form these elements take in chemical fertilizers.
How Aerated Compost Tea Works:
Deploying beneficial microbes to restore life
Aerated compost tea (ACT) is a solution made by “brewing” compost with organic additives that serve as food for beneficial microbes. The compost and additives are submerged in water and subjected to vigorous aeration for an extended period. This brewing process creates an ideal environment for the microbes found in good compost to multiply at a rapid rate. Once brewing is complete, the concentrated compost tea solution is applied to soil and plants to infuse them with a large population of beneficial bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and nematodes that are normally present in healthy soil and plants.
Once unleashed in their native environment, the microbes set to work naturally cycling the nutrients needed by plants — in particular, protozoa consume bacteria to generate nitrogen in a molecular state that is ideal for plant consumption. The plants take up these nutrients produced by the microbes, and in turn deposit exudates back into the soil that serve as food for the microbes.
This elegant, natural system — with its symbiotic relationship between soil and plants — creates a stable environment in which plants can thrive.