The BEAM Team is a group that has formed to support and further test the research of Dr. David Johnson, a New Mexico State University molecular biologist who has been investigating the microbial life in the soil. Dr. Johnson has developed, applied and tested the results of a high fungal compost called BEAM – Biologically Enhanced Agricultural Management–with the goal of enhancing soil microbial community populations, structures and functionality to regenerate natural processes in soils of agro-ecosystems. His test plots have had very positive results in terms of the amount of carbon returned to the soil, soil nutrient availability, plant vitality and growth, and water retention. This research offers a different perspective than traditional soil science which has been focused on soil chemistry rather than soil life systems. The BEAM Team includes farmers, orchardists, grape growers and gardeners as well as climate activists. Current members are located in Sonoma, Marin, and Yolo Counties.
Our project goal is to build a number of bioreactors that produce a high fungal compost and then to apply BEAM to test plots in a variety of growing situations. These well managed test plots will be monitored for soil carbon, plant growth and water retention. As funding allows, there are a variety of further tests that will help to assess BEAM and compare its results with more conventional composting practices.
Interested in getting involved in this exciting project? Contact Anna.