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Rock Dust  RSS feed

 
Jeremy Bunag
gardener
Posts: 231
Location: Central IL
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I was just perusing my local landscape recyling center and saw that they had red granite fines, categorized under compost stuff.  Not knowing much about it I thought I'd do a little research on what is was, how it worked, and why one would want it.

Here's an interesting article I thought I'd share:  http://www.activecompost.com/Co-utilization%20of%20Rockdust,%20Mineral%20Fines%20and%20Compost.pdf

I did some heavier reading in some places, and skimmed in others.  I'll have to go back and give it my full attention later...

-Jeremy
 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
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If you get a good soil test done, it should indicate if you would need it or not.  It's probably beneficial to most soils, as it tends to contain quite a few trace minerals. 

No soils are perfect as they are found, and most of the soils have either been overgrazed, chemically farmed, or the topsoil scraped off to build on.

Most of our foods have been tested and found seriously lacking in minerals, much of this due to government-backed farming techniques that have concentrated heavily on chemical-based NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potash) and totally ignoring the lesser elements that are required for nutrient-dense foods and good health.

Here is an interesting site called Remineralize the Earth: http://remineralize.org/joomla/

Sue
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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from time to time i think i should add minerals to my soil too...although it was never really robbed of it's nutrients in the past ..as it was an organic celery farm for a long time before we moved here..but the celery wasn't really grown where we use the soil..but on the neighboring property..there is one area that was an old vegetable garden that is kinda spent pretty bad..im building this up with lots of organic stuff..and possibly some minerals might be called for there..

in the past i have gotten a few small bags of minerals to throw out here and there..but neve really did much research on it..probably should..

our soil is very very dark black in most areas..Michigan peat, grey clay and some sand..and the topsoil varies from very thick to just a few inches..esp where the clay is 4' deep.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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sorry to bring up such an old post but i thought it was relevant.

i use rockdust in my garden. i collect it from the local rivers. Ive found it builds up along the side and in banks. when the dry season comes most of it is above the water line, the finest stuff is usually at the top. one other benefit from collecting in rivers is the diversity of rocks that i get vs. using one rock type. so i get lots of minerals for healthy food.

so its free, its local, its always replenished, and it grows great food.
 
Jeremy Bunag
gardener
Posts: 231
Location: Central IL
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No topic is too old to bring up!

That's a great idea for getting some amendments!
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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My long-term plan includes a careful choice of the grit I feed chickens: A mix of small stones with minerals they, or the soil, lack, and hard stones to make dust more quickly.

Unless there's a lot of fly ash mixed in, I think some sorts of concrete waste would work.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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there are very few sources for any rock parts or dust in our area..we would have to ship most of it in..i think that maybe if i was to find a place that processes rock, such as cemetary headstones or something..i might be able to locate some..i do think it would add a lot to our soil.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Brenda Groth wrote:a place that processes rock, such as cemetary headstones or something...


The cutting tools often contain some cobalt.  I have no idea how quickly they wear, I suspect it couldn't be too rapid or it wouldn't be profitable, but I might want to send some of the dust for testing in case the level of cobalt were enough to be a problem.

If not cobalt, nickel...which isn't quite so bad.

Brenda Groth wrote:
there are very few sources for any rock parts or dust in our area


I guess deep roots are the most elegant answer, then?
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 21477
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I wanna endorse both ideas of:

1)  getting your soil tested first, and

2)  know what is in the stuff you are adding to your soil.

It is possible to have toxic levels of something and then compound it.

 
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