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  • From: Lawrence London <>
  • To: mailing list at ibiblio - Northamerican Allied Fruit Experimenters <>
  • Subject: Re: [nafex] fertilzing
  • Date: Tue, 19 May 2015 19:10:54 -0400

On Tue, May 19, 2015 at 5:32 PM, Lee Reich <> wrote:

> Not to keep entering this soil fray, but hauling around ground rocks seems
> like a waste of time, money, and fuel. We all have ground rocks in our
> soils; it makes up about 50% of the soil volume. If some micronutrients are
> lacking, the easiest way to add them is via compost made from a variety of
> feedstuffs or with kelp. My not-very-scientific use of kelp rests on the
> assumption that since we all came from the sea, the sea has all the
> minerals that we need. Anyway, kelp is a lot lighter to haul and contains a
> wider spectrum of readily available minerals that do ground rocks.
> Lee Reich, PhD
> Come visit my farmden at <
> <>
> Books by Lee Reich:
> A Northeast Gardener's Year
> The Pruning Book
> Weedless Gardening
> Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden
> Landscaping with Fruit
> Grow Fruit Naturally

Fruit and vegetables grown in well mineralized soils have: better flavor,
larger size, better keeping qualities and are more disease and insect
I have applied hundreds of tons of 4 different kinds of quarry rock dusts
to 5 acres of my open land. You can see the difference. Talk about weeds!

Mineral amendments include, as you mention, seaweed meal, greensand, wood
ashes, crab and fish wastes, azomite, high calcium and dolomitic limestone,
shell meal and aragonite. PPM for PPM rock dusts applied over an area
larger than a small garden are cheaper and have sustained release over a
longer period of time.

I would suggest using all amendments in my list plus having any size
truckload(s) of quarry dusts deliver and just dumped in a pile. Shovel a
wheelbarrow load and spread it on your gardens and tree and bush plantings
annually for balanced plant nutrition.

Here is an interesting exchange in another forum:

Frank Schultz owns TPSL, Texas Plant and Soil Lab.

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Frank Schultz <>
Date: Tue, May 19, 2015 at 6:19 PM
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] American Consumers Cynical About 'Organic' Food


"... but if you don't pay attention to the mineral content of the
soil/plant, you may be missing a key mineral that is limiting the plant's
potential. That happens all to often, with the notion floating around that
all you need is excellent soil life."

EXACTLY!!! QUITE WELL SAID! Conventional wisdom seems to say that lots of
organic matter with good biological activity is the panacea to growing
nutrient-dense produce.

We've just come out with a Fruit and Vegetable Mineral Nutrients Analysis
but here's the problem: Establishing Standards. While we can easily report
mineral content numbers, we can't tell the client what those numbers should
be, as we normally can with soils, plants and irrigation water. I've done a
little poking-around (although not exhaustively), trying to find nutrient
levels in various fruit and vegetable as they existed by no later than the
early 1950s to form initial benchmarks, without much luck.

To make the problem more interesting, we can't tell the client what the
mineral content of the produce - fruit / grain - should be at the particular
stage of development, as we can with the plant. There are differences.

While there are a number of references to percentages of [dramatic] decline
for various elements, I'm having a hard time coming up with the actual
numbers of the original assays. Further, it appears that some trace
elements which are now known to be essential or at least beneficial, may not
have been known at the time and were therefore not assayed. Additionally,
we can now measure down to parts per billion which was not possible back

Of course, this is an over-simplification, as not many varieties from back
then are much seen today. The new varieties (not even GM) seem to have been
developed first for yields and other qualities, then maybe for taste.
Mineral nutritional quality seems to have been little considered, if at all.

Additionally, at least some new varieties seem to be unable to take up much
of certain elements and are intrinsically mineral-deficient (especially true
for GM), regardless of the amounts and forms of the elements applied -
whether to soil or foliar. In scanning the material I've seen, this seems
to be particularly true of the grains generally available today.

Our idea is to be able to give the client some approximate benchmark for
produce mineral nutrition content compared to what he's growing now.
Perhaps unrealistic and impossible, but will continue poking.

Thanks for your post! Frank-

-----Original Message-----
From: Sustainable Agriculture Network Discussion Group
[mailto:SANET-MG@LISTS.IFAS.UFL.EDU] On Behalf Of Kris Johnson RR
Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 8:53 AM
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] American Consumers Cynical About 'Organic' Food

And of course the reason why consumers might have doubts is because of the
propaganda from the industry. But there is another issue - certified organic
is not a guarantee of top quality. You can use all the compost in the world,
cover cropping, etc., but if you don't pay attention to the mineral content
of the soil/plant, you may be missing a key mineral that is limiting the
plant's potential. That happens all to often, with the notion floating
around that all you need is excellent soil life.

Lawrence F. London
Ello: @ecoponderosa <>

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