The Secret to Healthy Soil

Elevate Your Garden, Literally

If there’s one good thing that came out of the pandemic, it was a lot of home improvement! If you’re surrounded by concrete, sick of pulling weeds, or just looking for a fun family project – building a raised garden bed is a wonderful way to grow your own food.  

the importance of soil microbiome

Remember that time you tried to grow basil in the kitchen window? You watered it religiously but somehow it still wilted away. It’s because the microbiome of the soil was unbalanced and lacking diversity. What’s amazing about plants is they’ll pretty much grow anywhere with proper sunshine, water, air, and most importantly soil. It’s our job as farmers (and gardeners) to give them that! Raised beds allow better control over the soil content, so no matter what the surrounding terrain is like – you can create a rich environment to support microbial life within the soil. 

Living Soil Recipe

If you’ve visited the Farm Café, you’ve probably seen our colorful raised bed garden flourishing with a variety of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. 

Our secret is living soil. 

By mixing a diversity of microorganisms into the soil, thousands of colonies thrive and create a balanced habitat of life. Use this recipe to grow the happiest, healthiest plants in the land. 

Tools you’ll need:

  • 3’ x 5’ x 15” deep raised bed or similar sized container 

  • A small to medium  tarp (10’ x 10’) 

  • Optional: use cardboard to line bottom of bed to prevent weeds coming up from the earth underneath

Raised Bed Soil Ingredients

Note: Items 1-4 can be found in most garden shops, items 5-7 can be found online 

  • Peat moss - 3 cubic feet                              

  • Finished Compost - 18 gal                            

  • Black Cinder Rock - 18 gal                            

  • Worm casting - 25 lbs                                       

  • Fish Bone Meal - 5 lbs                                      

  • Agricultural Lime - 2 cups  

  • Crushed Oyster shell - 2 cups  


  1. Combine all ingredients on a tarp and roll back-and-forth to mix and distribute evenly. 
  2. Add ingredients to a wooden raised bed, measurements 3’ x 5’ and 15” deep. (optional: lay cardboard down first then fill with ingredients)
  3. Drench completely with water.
  4. Allow soil mixture to rest 10 days before planting.  This will allow the microorganisms from the worm castings to colonize and become active, preparing the perfect environment for your plants.

    Farmer Tip: After harvesting, add 16oz of bone meal and turn the soil. Finish by adding a 2" layer of finished compost on top, for best results.

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