Eugene F. Monaco EFMonaco at compuserve.com
Tue Sep 16 23:11:04 EDT 1997

>In a good organic soil, rock powders can become
reasonably available pretty quickly..... <

There's a lot of difference between organic farming and permaculture.  To
me, using rock powders as a method of making inorganic minerals available
to crops, misses the point of permaculture.  It's more of an organic
farming technique which is okay in its own right, but is expensive in
permaculture terms.

The permaculture princilpe here, I think, is that the plants--acting as
translators between the element 'air' and the element 'earth'-- among other
things, mine minerals from the bedrock below and make them available in the
soil for other plants and animals.  I have heard these refered to as
'dynamic accumulators' of which there is an extensive list.  I'd post it
but I don't have a scanner and it's too much to type, (perhaps it's on the
web already somewhere).  No matter how poor a soil you think you have,
underneath it is rock, and some plant can mine that rock and make it
available for something else.  The problem occurs when we don't accept
nature's gift of that particular plant at that location in time.  But if
for discussion's sake we did, we'd find a 'weed' at work which was setting
the stage for later succession.  Perhaps the application here is to
encourage dynamic accumulators by weed seeding, then slash and mulch in
place making the minerals in those plants VERY available to the next group
of plants--bootstrapping your way up to good soil health so you can then
grow your corn or tomatoes, wringing out the soil until next time.  I'm
thinking that learning to eat wild accumulators would be a good skill.

Phosphorous generally comes in nature from animals.  Better to get those
ducks and geese to shit on the field than to haul powered phosphorous which
is strip mined, transported using fossil fuels, and contains high levels of
cadnium and uranium.

Some food for thought.

Gene Monaco
East Tennessee Permaculture  (EFMonaco at compuserve.com)
Herbs, consultations, & training for total health and environmental
PO Box 11851, Knoxville, TN  37939      (423) 457-4354

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