Soil is alive, and we need to keep it alive if we want it to help us produce food.
Many cultures have seen the soil simply as a medium to exploit in order to produce crops. In this way, rich soil is consumed and transformed into dirt... and then into a desert. This process has happened in the past and is currently happening in many farming societies today, but at a greater rate than ever thanks to modern mechanical methods.
Conventional farmers generally deal with dirt, rather than soil, and are forced to add fertilizer in order to be able to get a decent yield. They have to use fungicides, pesticides and herbicides, in order to give their crops a chance to compete with weeds and pests.
However, if the life in the soil is well balanced there are plenty of nutrients present for any crop, and at the same time there is no room for unwanted fungi, pests and opportunistic plants, eliminating the need for constant intervention.
One way to infuse new life into dirt, in order to restore it to soil, is by adding beneficial organisms, found in well-made compost, or compost tea.
At the moment at the Pura Vida Eco Farm we are working on several different approaches to compost: compost piles (hot or static), compost windrows, compost on site, and vermicompost on site.