[permaculture] Rock Dust

venaurafarm venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Fri Mar 8 11:37:58 EST 2013

On 3/8/2013 11:03 AM, Scott Pittman wrote:
> I have to disagree about using strip mined rock phosphate.  The first ethic
> of permaculture "care of the earth" is not vague and should be respected
> regarding destructive practices to satisfy immediate needs.

Organic/sustainable/natural gardeners and farmers should not be expected 
to do without adequate and non-chemically-synthesized phosphate
soil amendments. Feather and bone meal are hard to get, expensive and 
inferior to mined phosphate products. You disallow use of rock phosphate 
evidently based on mining practices in Florida. Rock phosphate also 
comes from North Carolina, Tennessee, Idaho and other locations around 
the US. I am sure many of the sources other than the one in Florida may 
possibly be using more environmentaly sound practices. Using 
superphosphate is not an option for anyone. Even if you use the Florida 
product (rock and colloidal) you will help offset the damage done by the 
mining processes carried on in that state as opposed to doing nothing. 
None of us will be able to change that industry one iota. The best we 
can do is use their products effectively, in a natural setting. If it is 
available to me, and it is through Fertrell and their dealers, I will 
use it on a regular, as needed, basis. If you farm or garden for a 
living you will need a quality, cost-effective source of natural phosphate.
Is there is a natural alternative to this product that is satisfactory
for a commercial market farmer? Very little of this product is needed, 
even over the long term, so gardeners and most farmers are not going to 
directly cause any significant amount of environmental damage by the 
mining processes used.

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