Yield and Shield™: Probiotics for your soil, from your garden to your gut
Many years ago when my husband, John, was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s I instinctively knew that there was a connection to the food we were eating. This started a long journey for me, digging into our food supply and the herbicides, pesticides and preservatives that are used in our industrial agriculture operations. Most media was not covering these significant issues and in fact when confronted with the facts would simply brush them aside as insignificant.
When I started The BioCollective back in 2015, I was looking to use the gut microbiome as a map to connect the dots to issues in our food supply as one of the ways for us to find our path back to health. As I began to see the microbiome data from our population data, as well as the many published peer reviewed papers on the microbiome and chronic disease, my understanding regarding the difficulty of restoring our personal health without taking significant steps to restore soil, plant and animal health solidified.
In late 2019, I participated in a conference at Bard College called “Reimagining Human Health: The Microbiome, Farming and Medicine.” It was a small conference with many influential doctors and scientists in the fields of agriculture and medicine. At the conference, I had the opportunity to meet Dr. on M. Huber a retired professor from Purdue University who is one of the world's leading experts on glyphosate. We talked about the impact of glyphosate on plants, soil and human health. From this early meeting the idea for a soil probiotic to restore soil microbial health and breakdown glyphosate emerged.
Dr. Raul Cano, our Chief Scientific officer, went back to his collection of over 2,000 microbes and began to work on ideas for probiotics for the soil that could help seeds germinate, improve plant nutrition and yield and break down toxic chemicals from the environment. Raul was an early pioneer in using microbial guilds to clean up oil spills so this was “old hat” to him. He formed his company, PaleoBiotica, Inc. and started making formulas and field testing them for specific uses: seeds, growth and remediation.
We were working on products for larger scale farming when it occurred to us that many of our BiotiQuest customers are backyard gardeners growing some of their own food each season. We asked “Why not start in our own backyard?” and decided to make the product available for the home gardener. Some of us may have used weed killers in the past, before we knew better and there is certainly an ample supply of chemical lawn-spraying trucks in all of our neighborhoods as the grass begins to green up.
So we’ve decided to make Yield&Shield™ available on a limited basis this growing season to gauge interest in the market and get your feedback on how it helps your garden grow. The product is available for purchase through mid-June for your summer garden.
What is it and how does it work?
Yield&Shield is a microbial guild, just like Sugar Shift, only it is made specifically for the soil to improve your plant growth and garden health. It comes in an 8oz concentrate which is sufficient for 4-8 applications in the backyard garden. These bacteria were specifically selected for their abilities to make nutrients already in the soil more bioavailable, to capture nitrogen from the air and fix it in the soil and to break down harmful chemicals like glyphosate, which we even found in a Miracle Grow bag of soil. Grow healthier food in your own back yard with the help of this unique soil probiotic.
Yield and Shield will improve plant growth and vigor, evidenced in the image below from a small farm in Colorado that used our products for the last two growing seasons. You can see the difference between the with and without our microbes in the rows of pumpkin, beans and carrots.
Here’s what one Southern Colorado product farmer had to say about Yield&Shield:
“So, to what do I attribute my very successful 2020 garden crop?
I personally feel that the soil inoculant Judy applied during mid-summer had to contribute to the quality and yields of the vegetables grown in my garden this year. We enjoyed the largest spinach and lettuce leaves we have ever grown. I have never used any commercial fertilizers or pesticides in my garden. The only thing I have ever used is compost. I would be very happy to use the same inoculant in 2021. ” ~ Southern Colorado produce farmer
You can order Yield and Shield here to try it for yourself! It will be available for a limited time only and will start shipping in May 2022. If there is enough interest we will add the product to our permanent line up.
And if you know any farmers who might be interested given the rising cost of fertilizer this year, please send them our way. We are doing a large scale production run for farm scale and would love any connections you have to your local farming community.
Martha Carlin, is a Citizen Scientist, systems thinker, wife of Parkinson’s warrior, John Carlin, and founder of The BioCollective, a microbiome company expanding the reach of science. Since John’s diagnosis in 2002, Martha began learning the science of agriculture, nutrition, environment, infectious disease, Parkinson’s pathology and much more. In 2014, when the first research was published showing a connection between the gut bacteria and the two phenotypes of Parkinson’s, Martha quit her former career as a business turnaround expert and founded The BioCollective to accelerate the discovery of the impact of gut health on all human health, including Parkinson’s. Martha was a speaker at the White House 2016 Microbiome Initiative launch, challenging the scientific community to “think in a broader context”. Her systems thinking background and experience has led to collaborations across the scientific spectrum from neuroscience to engineering to infectious disease. She is a respected out of the box problem solver in the microbiome field and brings a unique perspective to helping others understand the connections from the soil to the food to our guts and our brains.