When I first started growing food in Ecobeds, I realised that it might take more than mainstream organic gardening methods to maintain a fully effective soil ecosystem in them.
I began to read about soil microbiology and came across an article by Mike Amaranthus and Bruce Allyn. Healthy-soil-microbes-healthy-people . When this article was published Mike Amaranthus was the chief scientist at Mycorrhizal Applications, Inc., a company working on innovations in soil biology. Bruce Allyn was a senior fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard Law School.
This article joined the dots for me, and made me realise the overriding importance to us all of micro-organisms in our environment. I urge you to read it.
The picture above is truly amazing. It shows a symbiotic relationship formed between Mycorrhizal Fungi and a plants roots. The fungal hyphae can forage for plant nutrients and water where the plants roots can't reach, and in return the fungus receives sugars and other carbohydrates synthesised by the plant.
Its not the only mutualist relationship plants engage in with micro-organisms, and in my garden, I try to maximise these benefits for the plants to enjoy. More about this in The Living Soil.