[permaculture] mycorrhizae thread | Re: [SANET-MG] clarification on mineral and vitamin loss

venaurafarm venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Sat Mar 23 12:58:30 EDT 2013


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] clarification on mineral and vitamin loss
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 21:46:02 -0800
From: Lion Kuntz <lionkuntz at YAHOO.COM>
To: SANET-MG at LISTS.IFAS.UFL.EDU

> Charissa Smith makes the comment that "Many soils have
> produced food for years. The minerals in those foods were
> eaten long ago."

Not by a longshot Clarissa. Go back to school and take those
classes you ducked: chemistry, physics, biology, microbiology.

> on average each square mile of US soil is
> losing 121 tons of disolved minerals and 340 tons of sediment
> per year ... This breaks down to about 1400 lbs of minerals
> lost per acre per year via leaching and erosion.

What you are talking about is a pickup-truck load per year,
mostly Silicon (sand). Even that much does not leave except
where bozos let muddy-looking runoff escape their land, which
they should never do.

> A 150 bushel corn harvest
> removes less than 250 lbs of minerals (i.e. elements other
> than C, H and O).

In order of mass, Calcium leads the parade. Hardly a scarce or
rare mineral. If 200 pounds of water soluble chemical N is
placed on a cornfield, probably 60% of it escapes through
vertical leaching or runoff.

Less mobile minerals, like P & K go on in lesser amounts and
leave in lesser amounts.

Soil tests check the top 6 inches of soil. It is an utterly
meaningless measurement to somebody growing Alfalfa with roots
50 feet deep. Alfalfa is sold on the market by grades, which
means the percentage of protein, which relates to the stage of
harvest. Dairy feed grade is 22% crude protein. Crude protein
means every 1% by weight on N is multiplied by 6.25 to figure
the % CP or vice versa to figure the % N.

Alfalfa is also a champion at sequestering trace elements, drawn
up from 50 feet of strata. Anybody smart enough to use alfalfa
as the basis of their fertility program needs no soil tests ever
to keep perpetually fertile soil. Boron, at the rate of a shake
of a salt shaker per sq. ft., not really enough to even see, 20
pounds per acre, is probably the only enrichment one ever needs
to do, every few years or so.

Sure, one **COULD** use alfalfa meal or composted alfalfa as
mulch directly on the fields one wishes to enrich, with one acre
of alfalfa fertilizing three acres of heavy N crops per year,
but that would not be the smartes way to do it. There are much
smarter ways to fertile as much as 7 acres per acre of alfalfa
per year.

Feed the alfalfa to dairy cows first, or rabbits, and let them
mulch it and pre-decompose it, and enrich it with colonies of
bacteria from their guts. Then either your milk is free, or else
your meat is free, or else your fertilizer is free, depending on
how you want to look at it.

If one does the alfalfa-rabbits-earthworms-chickens/fish
rotations (or IBS = Integrated Biological Systems), then you get
even more meat and better balanced fertilizer chock full of
natural plant growth factors.

The ONLY test in this system is the guy eyeballing the alfalfa
to see what stage of growth it was cut. From that test alone the
guy knows how much fertilizer to spread on his land for each
kind of crop he wants to raise. The cost of that test is $0.00,
and it is 100% accurate every time.

Give me an acre of paved parking lots and in three years I will
grow more crops on that impermeable "soil" than Mr. Green
Revolution himself can with all the miracle-gro that he can
afford. In three years I can have potted plants doing better
than the richest bottomland ever seen, and I know how to do it
forever and ever and ever.

With walled raised beds, like I taught you six years ago
already, it is impossible to lose topsoil to run off. By the
time the beds drain down to grade level, and the lawn between
beds, nothing but clear sparkling water heads downstream. Plus,
you get out in the fields when the neighbors are to wet to
plant, and with season extenders over the beds you can begin to
approach the SEVEN CROPS PER YEAR that french market gardeners
got back in the 1770s.

All this crap about modern scientific agriculture, and
illiterate peasants in the 1770s raised food 12 months a year at
latitudes equal to NYC, and they did it in walled raised beds
with season extenders.


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Sincerely, Lion Kuntz
Santa Rosa, California, USA
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