How to Supercharge Your Soil with Minerals


| 11/19/2014 9:26:00 AM


Tags: gardening, soil, Melodie Metje, Ohio,

Ever wonder why we need added vitamins and minerals beyond what we get through our food? Over the decades, the food we eat has gone down in nutritional value as the soil has gone down in fertility. Truly, we are what we eat. The nutritional value of what we grow is part the type of vegetable it is and a whole lot of what the plant is “fed” from the soil in which it grows.

It really all starts with the soil. Plants grow to the lowest constraint. Like people, plants need a balanced diet with beneficial microbes, minerals and nutrition.

Saying all a vibrant, robust vegetable plant needs is NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium) is like saying all a person needs is carbs, fat, and protein. Those things are needed to survive, but you need much more to thrive. Life is much more complex than three compounds!

When we think of the bouquet of the vitamins and minerals we need to be healthy, where do we think this comes from? We can’t get it from osmosis! We have to get these from what we consume.

I read a book recently by Steve Solomon and Erica Reinheimer called The Intelligent Gardener; Growing Nutrient-Dense Food that does a nice job of giving all the details about how minerals affect the tilth of the soil and the ability of the soil to support healthy, robust plants. Steve is the guy that founded Territorial Seed Company.

ericareinheimer
11/20/2014 3:43:08 PM

Thank You, Melodie. Since I fully mineralized my garden, our food tastes way better! We Americans are in general undernourished and unfortunately often over-eat in search of missing minerals in our diets. Unlike those who's vegetables come from supermarkets, home gardeners are in a position to grow real, fully mineralized food (if they just knew how). We gardeners can grow nutrient dense food that farmers are unable to, because of the economic realities of modern agriculture. Erica Reinheimer


krisjohnson
11/20/2014 12:08:58 PM

If this seems a little confusing you might want to check out the book I have used to calculate mineral amendments needed for a good balance of minerals in the soil – The Ideal Soil, by Michael Astera. Michael developed this system from the work of William Albrecht at the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station in the 1920s – 1960s, work which has been mostly ignored by commercial agronomists. Michael has worked with farmers around the world, in a wide variety of soils, with very successful results. Steve Solomon has Michael Astera to thank for the system he uses in his book aimed at gardeners. My garden has made great strides using the system outlined in The Ideal Soil – plus, of course, encouraging healthy soil life with inoculants, organic matter, etc.





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