Creepy video of the month:

How to eat a bat.  Courtesy of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. 

In a very healthy soil, we have plenty of microbes at the most basic level.  These foster development of higher order microbes and thus create the foundation for a healthy ecosystem.  Imagine if the desert were filled with mice living in burrows.  What would happen?  Hawks, eagles, and a whole order of predators would show up.  Species diversity would increase in response to the food stimulus.

Your soil is the same.  Think about the microbes in your soil like the microbes in your stomach.
1.       Feed them nutrients so that they can thrive.  Food scraps are great, and fermented food scraps are even better (think sauerkraut for the soil).
2.       Don’t let the skin dry out!  If you use moisturizer, then you know how important it is to keep the skin from drying out.  Don’t let the top 4 inches of your soil dry out from the sun.  Use layers of mulch up to 6” thick to keep the UV light from killing soil microbes, and the wind from drying out precious moisture/rainfall.
3.       Add small quantities of high quality compost to your soil as an innoculant.  This helps increase the diversity of microbes in your soil.  Species will respond differently based on the makeup of your soil and past practices.  There is no simple formula here.  Diversity of microbes is your best friend.
4.       Diversity of minerals supports diversity of life.  Aim for maximum diversity of minerals in your soil, especially the trace elements which have been leached out the longest.

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