“The most powerful thing you can do in your system is put in a diversity of cultures,” he said.
It’s biblical, he said, quoting Job 12:7-8 – “But just ask the animals and ask them to teach you; And the birds of the sky and let them tell you. Or speak to the earth and let it teach you; and let the fishes of the sea tell you.
Once the seeds were selected, he said to “understand your tools” – referring to tillage, hay, pesticides and fertilizers. Each of them can be good or bad.
It uses the acronym FIST – which stands for Frequency, Intensity, Scale and Timing as tools to manage soil stress. He gave examples of each, such as alfalfa which is harvested over several years and several times a year. Time disturbances such as manure transport and plowing are best done during the coldest time of the year to disturb the least microbes.
Referring to manure, Archuleta said that in nature animal by-product is not stored under anaerobic conditions that produce toxins. Nature will break it down with the help of insects. If it is to be spread mechanically, it does not matter whether it is broadcast or with a knife. Too much will shock the soil system and the microbes cannot process it. So more travel across the terrain is preferable.
He suggested understanding the principles of biomimicry using good data to make good decisions. An important tool for doing this is the use of Haney soil tests alongside traditional tests. The Haney test measures biochemistry and is based on biomimicry. Traditional tests are based on inorganic chemistry and ignore the biological aspect. It uses both tests, without comparing them, but in addition to each other.