Dennis Dierks, featured in “Kiss The Cook and The Farmer Too,” owns and operates a small organic farm in Bolinas, north of San Francisco. What’s special about his way of farming is that he practices the cultivation of beneficial indigenous micro- organisms—called BIM for short. Each spring, to build the farm’s soil, he collects a small amount of debris from the nearby forest—material that is rich in microbes that ease the transfer of nutrients from the soil to growing plants.
His crew mixes the debris with some cooked rice and lets it ferment. Then it’s blended with other fermented ingredients collected locally—seaweed, nettles, comfrey, lactose, and fish guts. The result (which stinks to high heaven) is simply called “the brew.” Seedlings are soaked in it and then transplanted to the field where the beneficial microbes continue to multiply, sending out white filaments called mycelia. These serve as microscopic conduits for nutrients between the soil and the roots of each growing plant.