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Is it enough to get life into your soil in order to have good soil and great results ?

 
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I think the better approach is a total ecosystem design, permaculture design, which includes a tremendous diversity of plants (and animals) and not just a handful of crops.

 
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I don't really believe in Mr Solomon approach ,

So can any body tell us who else have a better approach ?



Why don't you?
 
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Actually, many soil minerals DO come straight out of the air.

One of the things that trees do is collect dust from the wind as it blows past them.  Wet leaves and cool moist understory plants in the morning are a dust trap.  Rain and normal daily condensation wash those micro-particles off the leaves and drop them to the soil below.  A forest is a giant dust trap, which over the years collects a tremendous amount of mineral diversity.  It may not seem like a lot (unless you're in a dust bowl where it piles up by the inches) but over the years, a significant amount of of trace nutrients are accumulated and fed into the soil food web.

Where there are no trees, the soil blows.  Where there are trees, the soil accumulates.  

So in response to the original post, yes, in a general way, just having healthy soil and good cover crops are all you need . . . IF you've got a 500 year timeline toward regeneration of denuded soils.  If your timeline is quicker (as in, I think I'll be hungry for salad greens in 5 weeks), then you'll need to initially add some rock dust and a few other amendments if your soil has a deficiency.
 
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Tyler Ludens wrote: why don't you ?



why don't I believe in Mr Solomon ? because once I read two of his books and felt like it didn't help me ,

because all along history and up to 150 years ago or so , there was nutrient food and sufficient one  most of the times with out adding N P K or minerals ,

because there are forests on this earth and huge trees that grown well without human interference , because there was a time when there was no oil , and there
will come time when there will be no oil , or oil would be so dear , that we have to find ways to make things easier from now on
 
Tyler Ludens
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I did not write that, Gilbert did.

 
Gilbert Fritz
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why don't I believe in Mr Solomon ? because once I read two of his books and felt like it didn't help me ,

because all along history and up to 150 years ago or so , there was nutrient food and sufficient one  most of the times with out adding N P K or minerals ,

because there are forests on this earth and huge trees that grown well without human interference , because there was a time when there was no oil , and there
will come time when there will be no oil , or oil would be so dear , that we have to find ways to make things easier from now on



In one of Steve's books, he states his opinion that episodes like the Black Death show nutritional deficiencies in the population, caused by lack of soil minerals.

In any case, soil vary. Have you ever tested yours? Maybe your soil has plenty of minerals in it. Some soils do, particularly in river valleys. Some soils, on the other hand, are almost totally lacking in particular minerals. The vast majority are somewhere in between.

Giant trees are mostly made of carbon and hydrogen got from the air. In their wood, only a few minerals are found in large amounts; that is why there is only a small amount of ash when wood is burned. And just because a tree grows really tall on a given soil, it does not mean that the soil is really good. Trees can grow on bare rock in the Northeast cost of the USA, and can grow to giant size on leached sands in the tropics. So tree height is not entirely relevant to food crop production.

Finally, adding a few pounds of ground up rock per acre does not need tons of oil; and, more importantly, now is the time to do it, before the oil goes away. Once a soil is balanced and a closed system is established, it could persist for thousands of years. A much more beneficial use of oil then others I could think of.

And Marco is right about the dust; if you have 500 years, the soil might be able to balance itself. We don't have 500 years, but we can haul in a load of dust!
 
Tyler Ludens
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Mostafa Ismail wrote:

because all along history and up to 150 years ago or so , there was nutrient food and sufficient one  most of the times with out adding N P K or minerals



There's good evidence that agriculture in the past severely damaged the soil where it has been practiced the longest, depleting the soil and turning the land to desert.

Examples of damage done to land by agriculture over time, and how to repair it:  https://vimeo.com/174613872
 
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mycorrhiza are important and fairly easy to add to plants
 
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what is azomite and why is it a good insurance? is it available in Australia?
 
Mostafa Ismail
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Blaze Gorski wrote : mycorrhiza are important and fairly easy to add to plants

 

 How mycorrhiza is easy to add to plants ?
 
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One thing not yet added to this discussion is the fact that different crops prefer, and will grow best in soils of particular fungi to bacteria ratio. That's another part of the picture.

Solomon's contribution was an excellent addition to my understanding of the functioning of soil life.  Having high pH soil, renders the conventional soil testing protocols less than  useful for me.  Ingham and Solomon both say soil tests are not what we assume they are.  Solomon because the pH of soils is going to skew the overall results, Ingham because the pH in different locations in the soil differs greatly, from one centimeter to the next the pH changes.  Fungal hyphae actively dissolve rocks such as feldspar, and the compounds dissolved are carried within the hypha directly to the plants.  The amount of dissolved feldspar soup available to the plant is not going to be accurately represented by any soil test.

As for knowing the whole picture, it's an ideal, but I don't wait for that complete understanding before taking action, and planting.  I  put myself into the picture right next to the nematodes, bacteria and worms.  My capacity to understand it completely is limited by being human, while the universe and the functioning of it are infinite in breadth and complexity.  I just try to discover what works on my own plot.

I am aware deficiencies may exist, despite the fact that every mineral on earth is (supposedly) present everywhere, in the rocks.  If it is not getting through to the organisms living off that plot of ground, then it will be indicated in the health and condition of those organisms.

There are some great books on animal care and mineral deficiencies, which some people feel comfortable extrapolating to their own needs:  copper deficiencies show up in goats as impaired reproductive function, hoof health, coat color, bunches of things.  I have a friend who, believing she had a copper deficiency herself,  dissolved the tiniest fragment of copper sulfate (poison, can kill people) in water and took it with food over a 3 day period, then waited 3 days and did it again.  She reports that after following this procedure for some time her symptoms were alleviated.  She also said "I know what would indicate overdose-- a copper taste in my mouth"

I am not so bold.  I might have a copper deficiency, but began eating kelp, a teaspoon a day, believing that sea plants live in ocean water which must contain every mineral on earth, because the rivers all have been carrying minerals to the sea since time began.

I don't think any one is capable of having the whole picture, and that those who say they do are suspect.   I don't think the diverse conditions of our wonderful planet can be summarized into one theory that will fit all situations.  As we seek to understand things, I think oversimplification is one of the greatest sources of misunderstandings, mistakes and errors.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I still think there needs to be carbon (organic material) and moisture in the soil for fungi to function in making minerals available.

 
Thekla McDaniels
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My understanding too, moisture needs to be present.  Some fungi are fed directly by the plants, through root exudates, which might mean they could survive in soil without other carbon, but carbon in the soil whether decomposing matter or in the glues that form the aggregates make a much nicer place for fungi to live.  The de composers definitely (IMO ) need carbon in the form of decaying plant matter.

Wonderful to know is that when the soil is drying out mycorhizae can carry moisture from moister to dry regions of the soil.  I have no idea how far...
 
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Gilbert Fritz wrote:In the USA local extension services often do soil testing, for about $50.


Or free. Our soil tests through the extension agency are free most of the year and a very small fee during the busiest part of the spring.
I live in NC.
 
Gilbert Fritz
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Another thought here; some books claim that compost and mulch will generate soil life, which is all one needs for a healthy garden or farm. They claim that this is because one is imitating nature by just mulching and letting natural processes work. But they miss two things; one, nature is usually not growing apples, tomatoes, kiwi vines, or whatever else they are planting, in their back yard, or they wouldn't be planting it. Two, their compacted, construction fill yard or eroded farmland is far from what nature would make of it in a thousand years of development.
 
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Gilbert, I think Tyler was right when she wrote...

Tyler Ludens wrote:I understand Su.  Even though Hawaiian basalt lavas contain Calcium, doesn't mean it is available to plants in the short term.  Though vigorous soil life may unlock these nutrients eventually (per Elaine Ingham) most gardeners won't (or can't) wait for that.  


And if you take her thought about "most gardeners won't (or can't) wait" for the 'soil life' unlocking what minerals may be in the soil and couple that with the fact that many soils will have a low content of certain plant macro- or micro-nutrients, then the wisdom of supplementation may be apparent.  That is, in order to have: a) pest-resistant crops, b) good yields, c) nutritious human or animal food.

Given good permacultural/organic practices, there's usually no real point in supplementing for minerals that are in your soil.  But to me if your practices are good but you're finding some evident deficiency and it's hampering your plants, then supplementation makes sense.

Now for us on our place, we'd feel deprived not to have blueberries from healthy bushes – not everybody would, I suppose.  So a little application of sulphur every year or two makes it possible for us.  We're growing on sand which has been built up by cover cropping, mulching, compost, etc.  A bit of potassium (for example, some greensand) gives us better potatoes, carrots, beets, raspberries.

But we're growing just for ourselves and to trade a little produce with friends.  If we were trying to make our living from selling crops or meat or something – depending on harvests for $$ income – it would be an even more compelling situation.  Information about options is readily available these days, and with experience, I believe people figure out what makes sense for them.
 
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Just curious here, for those who've experienced poor results with just cover cropping and compost/compost tea usage, did/do you till the soil? And what type of mineral soil do you have, clay, sand, or loam?

I would believe there are so many variables at play we'd need to know them before we can assume anything or declare a solution. But the folks who's soil simply lacks a mineral, not just plant available, are a minority. And in which case, it makes perfect sense to add the lacking mineral as an amendment.
 
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Mostafa Ismail wrote:

Dylan Mulder wrote : I love Elaine Ingham's work,





  So do I , I love Elaine Ingham work , and her approach is more convincing  to me more than any body else .

now what is missing ? or what is wrong ?

Is dr Ingham  wrong ? is she missing something ? is she keeping something to her self, and not telling in her lectures ?

I don't really believe in Mr Solomon approach ,

So can any body tell us who else have a better approach ?



This whole thing seems to be looking for the answers that I am working on in my current research project.

I have begun to address this complex issue in "the Search for Super Soil"
and I am about to begin a new thread that will try to give the complete picture of how this part of our ecosystem works (the planet is one ecosystem, not a bunch of little bits as we have to study it to understand each micro part that makes up the whole).
I will be posting this new thread "What does Complete Soil do for the planet" in the Soil forum.

Redhawk
 
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Health is made up of three most basic elements. Physical health, Emotional health, Spiritual health. If you ignore any one of them, you will inevitably suffer the consequences. If a person has no core belief, almost always they will try to fill the hole with something, ...these days often drugs or harmful habits. If a person has no greater "power" or Spirit in their life, they may find their last moments on Earth to be lonely indeed. If your food comes from the richest black soil, but has no Spark to it, its ultimate nutrition will be lacking.

You asked, "Is it enough to get life into your soil in order to have good soil and great results ?" If by "life" you mean soil nutrition, then no it is not enough. Soil fertility alone is not enough. For thousands of years we Walking Upright People have done Ceremony, and recognized Spirit in all life. It is only in the last few years we have walked away from the Connectedness and Circle of all Life. We can pour all our blood, sweat, hair, finger nails, ...and minerals, into our soil, and it will still missing our Soul. Add your Soul and Spirit to your soil, then you will truly have "great results".
 
Gilbert Fritz
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Add your Soul and Spirit to your soil, then you will truly have "great results".



How would one go about doing this?
 
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Jim Fry wrote:Health is made up of three most basic elements. Physical health, Emotional health, Spiritual health. If you ignore any one of them, you will inevitably suffer the consequences. If a person has no core belief, almost always they will try to fill the hole with something, ...these days often drugs or harmful habits. If a person has no greater "power" or Spirit in their life, they may find their last moments on Earth to be lonely indeed. If your food comes from the richest black soil, but has no Spark to it, its ultimate nutrition will be lacking.

You asked, "Is it enough to get life into your soil in order to have good soil and great results ?" If by "life" you mean soil nutrition, then no it is not enough. Soil fertility alone is not enough. For thousands of years we Walking Upright People have done Ceremony, and recognized Spirit in all life. It is only in the last few years we have walked away from the Connectedness and Circle of all Life. We can pour all our blood, sweat, hair, finger nails, ...and minerals, into our soil, and it will still missing our Soul. Add your Soul and Spirit to your soil, then you will truly have "great results".



There used to be a person on this forum that posted very regularly.  I haven't seen him in quite awhile, so I don't know if he still comes around or not.  Near the end of his time of posting regularly here, he seemingly made every post about vegetarianism.  No matter how the topic started, or what it was about, he turned it into a talk about the horrors of eating meat, and how much better the world would be without meat eaters.  I believe he had the best of intentions and meant well but it quickly became tiresome.  I fear that the same thing could happen if you make all of your posts about spirituality.

 
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Angelika Maier wrote:what is azomite and why is it a good insurance? is it available in Australia?



Azomite is basically clay taken from a particular deposit in the US. I think it's from Utah. It is basically just an especially rich and diverse source of minerals, I think they claim it contains over 70 different elements. I'm pretty sure it's available globally but you might also be able to find another source that is similarly rich in trace minerals. I'd bet there are similar deposits anywhere there is an ancient sea bed that is now dry ground.
 
Angelika Maier
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It is probably  not very sustainable to ship azomite from the US, but if it's a clay we might have a similar thing here which is called differently...
My experience so far is: I am gardening on land which is fill (building rubbish one meter) over a swamp. When I came seven years ago there was maybe 5 cm of poor topsoil.
That means everything has to be brought in. I used everything I could get hold on woodchips if they came for free and bought in mushroom compost and cow manure trailerloads full.
I use as well my used potting soil which I buy bulk. In a situation like this there is no known regional soil were I could go to another gardener and be told what to use. I finally have to get a soil test.
There are obvious signs of deficiencies or excesses: beetroots won't grow, problems with cabbages.
Many gardeners today garden on these kids of 'soils'. I believe there is no way to go without buying anything. But there are free sources like spent coffe grounds etc.
I wonder if there are free sources of phosphourous?
In former times people often had regional diseases like gout, because of soil deficiencies. Of course there are more technologies available these days like EM but would it make up for any deficiency?
 
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Mostafa Ismail wrote:

Dylan Mulder wrote : I love Elaine Ingham's work,





  So do I , I love Elaine Ingham work , and her approach is more convincing  to me more than any body else .

now what is missing ? or what is wrong ?

Is dr Ingham  wrong ? is she missing something ? is she keeping something to her self, and not telling in her lectures ?

I don't really believe in Mr Solomon approach ,

So can any body tell us who else have a better approach ?



السلام عليكم يا مصطفى.  

 You do need soil life and composting and manure.  As you know Egypt's ag land is desalinating ever since the high aswan dam was built and the floods/mud/silt cycle was disrupted.  As for water harvesting in Giza, unless you have mountains to centralize and direct catchment, your best bet is the nile.  
 
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