Catalyst BioAmendments, compost
EcoJustice Radio

The Art & Science of Microbe Farming


Hear Keisha Wheeler & Casey Ernst of Catalyst BioAmendments, as they speak on Microbe Farming and regenerating the soil with compost that contains the complete Soil Food Web to support microbial interactions with plants!

Catalyst BioAmendments, compostWhat is the Soil Food Web and How Can We Support It?

With growing interest in farming and regeneration of the soil using compost, now is the time to get back to the land — and simultaneously mitigate greenhouse gases by utilizing excess food waste and yard trimmings. Nevertheless, with most people residing in cities, largely disconnected from Nature coupled with the inter-generational loss of ancestral traditions and practices around growing food and tending the land, many of us now seek to reclaim that lost knowledge.

Much of the soil on this continent has been degraded by industrial farming, monocropping, overgrazing, rototilling, the use of pesticides, herbicides and toxic chemicals, negligence and ignorance. It is a great undertaking to nurture and sustain soil as a vital, thriving ecosystem and we would do well to undertake it as a species. Hear the insights of Keisha Wheeler & Casey Ernst, co-founders of Catalyst BioAmendments as they share how you too can become a Microbe Farmer and regenerate the soil!

STORY: Soil and Nutrition: No-Till Organics and Carbon Sequestration

Keisha Wheeler and Casey Ernst are microbe farmers with a strong background in permaculture, a love for food forests, and an obsession with microscope adventures. They spent many years off-grid building earthen structures, growing plants, creating compost, and teaching travelers how to bring regenerative principles into their own lives.

The two shifted their life path to study under the amazing Elaine Ingham. Her teachings include to identify groups of microorganisms lacking in soils. Then feed/compensate them using compost and microbe-infused liquids. Finally to adopt natural farming techniques using less chemical fertilizers to ensure the biology survives.

After graduating the Soil Food Web courses, they began to discover that most commercial compost was lacking of beneficial life. From this revelation, Catalyst BioAmendments was born, a biologically focused compost company in Nevada City, CA. They produce diverse soil microorganisms to be used in soil regeneration. It is a working model of how composting practices can be altered to quickly produce diverse microorganisms at scale.

Keisha and Casey are founding members of the Sierra Soil Biology Association. A non-profit organization of biology focused soil food web consultants, compost producers, lab techs, and community influencers who promote the regeneration of soil. They aim to raise the quality of food through increasing microbial biomass in agricultural soils.

They also started Catalyst BioLogical Solutions, a consultation company where they help small to large-scale farmers, homesteaders and gardeners understand how to create, apply, and increase soil fertility on-sites with waste materials from the local area.

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Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Interview by Carry Kim
Intro by Jessica Aldridge
Engineer: Blake Lampkin
Show Created by Mark and JP Morris
Music: Javier Kadry
Episode 114
Image: Catalyst BioAmendments

Updated 28 October 2021

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