In Florida, we are presented with unique growing condition challenges. The soil is often very sandy, flooding/puddling is common, and small pests and pesky insects are abundant. By layering a multitude of organic materials into the soil, we can work through these challenges to transform our land into an agricultural wonderland.
There are many natural ways to fix soil without chemical additions. By adding layers of dead plant matter, compost, bio-digester slurry, and worm castings, we are able to greatly improve the vitality of the soil. These amendments add lots of nutrients to our dirt and plants without the use of chemical fertilizers, increase water drainage, and attract all of the microorganisms we want beneath the surface of our gardens and trees.
Composting is a process in which organic materials (food waste, plant matter, manure) break down in a pile over time and slowly transform into black, odorless, beautiful soil that is full of thriving microorganisms and nutrients. At Fat Beet, compost is our primary “soil builder.” Compared to our inherited Florida sandy soils, it has more oxygen flow, more lively microorganisms, and is overall better for plants to grow in. We are always adding more compost into all of our growing spaces to continually mend the soil into black gold.
Vermiculture, or worm farming, creates another form of compost that significantly helps the quality of our soil. We have designed a system in which we can recycle cow and horse manure from our surrounding farms that would have been thrown away, and use it as food for our worms. The worms breakdown the manure along with farm waste products to create worm castings. The worm castings are packed full of nutrients for all of our crops and are considered a “living soil”. We also often add some live worms into our growing soil, which allows the worms to continually produce more castings for us beneath our crops!
Learn more about our big, beautiful bio-digester; the heart of Fat Beet Farm.