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A question about the transfer of materials in subsequent generations of plants.  RSS feed

 
Sander Boskma
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Hi, My name is Sander, The Amazing Gardener, I'm 28 and I'm about to start my own farm as soon as I find some land. This process will undoubtedly be difficult and disappointing, but I'm doing it anyway and believe disappointment is only for quitters . I have a question about the transfer of materials in subsequent generations of plants when growing from seed and I hope to find some people who can give me an fulfilling and interesting answer:

0: When you grow vegetables for seed that was originally produced inorganically meaning with chemicals of any kind be it in fertilizers or chemicals additives to kill soil life. And lets say these chemicals have been absorbed into the plant, even into the seed, would this also mean that the subsequent generation will be infected with chemicals, and in the case of growing from seed, does this mean that the entire new plant will have chemical residue? (and if this is true, that what will be the dangers for consuming this second generation plant, would it be save for human consumption? As I would like to quite zealously get rid of chemicals in the food chain altogether and don't know if I would even be able to consciously sell any of it if I knew it was contaminated.

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1: Is it true that in production/growth of plants that some nutrients are lost in the process or is the plant the sum of its parts and all building materials that went into the plant are regained when the plant dies and turns back to compost?
1.1. And the only thing that is lost is the fruits eaten by animals and humans? That's not put back into the soil as compost or seeds blown in the wind?


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2: What is the best and most productive way to get enzymes into the soil? And are there alternative ways to do this by copying processes already present in nature? E.g. creating your own enzymes without buying a packet from your local enzymes store?

3: What is the fastest and most efficient way to get a thick black layer of humus?

4: I would like to do a no-til/dig version of gardening as I don't want to get bad worm karma . What is the best way to do a no dig and why would you do a no-dig or why would you recommend against doing a no-dig?

-----------------

Lots of questions I guess, I hope there are some people out there who are able to help me , no worries if you are not able to answer all of them, but Q:0 is really the most important for me as I don't want to be guilty for putting chemicals in the food chain by using inorganic material and hope to find some people with experience and expertise in this .

Thank you for reading this and hope you are well,
Sander, The Amazing Gardener

P.s. This is me in my old Garden in Denmark WA (Australia)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33nEUAl6At0

P.s.2. I'm actually looking for land in Denmark WA so if you are from there or know somebody who is please contact me . Enthusiastic young Earthling looking for land share . Looking for at least .25 acres of land, hope to find 2 to 5 and will need some sort of water supply. Please contact me with what you have to offer.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1378
Location: northern California
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With most agricultural and industrial chemicals, by the time a generation goes by; that is, you are saving seed from a plant that was grown from conventionally grown seed; any residue present, if any, would be comparable to the residue inevitably coming into your system from the air, rain, wind-blown dust, etc. Ultimately there is no closed or perfect system. Even certified organic means, usually, that no chemicals have been deliberately or accidentally applied to the soil or the plants for a stipulated interval before said crop, or seed crop, was planted. I think this period is three years.

Concerning soil and plant nutrients, once again, a completely closed-loop system would be difficult or impossible to attain. There are always inputs and outputs.....the goal should be to maximize the beneficial inputs, and minimize the losses. Theoretically at least, a plant or an animal, upon decaying and composting, should return all of the mineral nutrients to the soil.....but that is theoretical. It would assume no leaching of minerals by water percolation from the composting mass, no volatilization of nitrogen into the air, etc.
I like to think of a homestead or a farm as ideally becoming a nutrient (and water, and organic matter) trap, where the inputs and the ability to usefully retain and recycle all of these on-site is maximized, and the exports or losses minimized. On a small homestead focused on subsistence...that is, no large amounts of anything being exported...such as to market, simply stopping the other exports or sequestrations of nutrients (such as, for instance, organic debris and human waste) will quickly lead to improving soil fertility and ratchet up productivity. On a market farm the situation is more challenging....here we must see to it that an equivalent amount of nutrients, and preferably nutrients and biomass of some sort, is brought on site to balance out what is sold off site. And for the budget's sake, hopefully those resources are cheap or free and nearby. Before the age of mega-farming and cheap fossil fuel, most market gardens were fairly near their market towns or cities, and city wastes were brought back to the farms for composting. This is increasingly happening again.
 
Sander Boskma
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Hi Alder,

0: I actually made a spelling error but there is no edit button that I can find? To edit my original post, I'm new to the forum maybe you know how to edit your post once you made it?

I meant ''From'' seed not for seed. What I mean to say is that lets say I buy inorganically produced seed, and I use that seed to produce a crop. Will the chemicals present in the original seed spread to the entire vegetable? And what would be the health concerns related to producing vegetables organically from original inorganic seed.

I guess let me rephrase, does it spread from one generation to the next and is it viable to use inorganic seed at all?

---------------

1: About the cycle, ok I guess I would be exporting A LOT of produce out, so it would be worth it to get people to bring their compost bins, or garden waste. That's a good idea actually thanks. Just keep adding things to the soil so I don't have to worry about the soil getting less fertile over time. I guess I feel like using cover crops here as a large part of the cycle and putting things back into the ground.

Yeah homesteading feels like my future thanks for reassuring that. Nice market garden next to the house. The house, the car, the wife and the morgage, euhh I mean the yurt, the market garden, the dam and the chickens .



 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2839
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
233
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
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Sander Boskma wrote:Hi, My name is Sander, The Amazing Gardener, I'm 28 and I'm about to start my own farm as soon as I find some land. This process will undoubtedly be difficult and disappointing, but I'm doing it anyway and believe disappointment is only for quitters . I have a question about the transfer of materials in subsequent generations of plants when growing from seed and I hope to find some people who can give me an fulfilling and interesting answer:

0: When you grow vegetables for seed that was originally produced inorganically meaning with chemicals of any kind be it in fertilizers or chemicals additives to kill soil life. And lets say these chemicals have been absorbed into the plant, even into the seed, would this also mean that the subsequent generation will be infected with chemicals, and in the case of growing from seed, does this mean that the entire new plant will have chemical residue? (and if this is true, that what will be the dangers for consuming this second generation plant, would it be save for human consumption? As I would like to quite zealously get rid of chemicals in the food chain altogether and don't know if I would even be able to consciously sell any of it if I knew it was contaminated.

Hau, Sander, When you start with seeds that have been treated with chemicals, it can take several generations to clear the residuals from the seed stock. An example; A long time ago I worked for a seed company and was involved with creating new seed strains, we used a variety of methods to create a state of polyploidy (multiply the chromosome count) to get stronger, more viable plant strains. Once this was done we had to grow at least seven generations of seeds to make sure the new plants would not be poisonous. If you are starting with new seeds, and want to be sure you have an unadulterated seed stock, you will need to grow and save seeds at least three times before you would have started to remove the effects of adsorbed chemicals.

-------------------
Sander Boskma wrote:
1: Is it true that in production/growth of plants that some nutrients are lost in the process or is the plant the sum of its parts and all building materials that went into the plant are regained when the plant dies and turns back to compost?
1.1. And the only thing that is lost is the fruits eaten by animals and humans? That's not put back into the soil as compost or seeds blown in the wind?

The quick answer is; everything that is in the plant will go back into the soil upon the death of the plant and subsequent decomposition of said plant. The truth is; the decomposition of plant material releases the nutrients contained so that they are leached into the soil. At this point the recycling of nutrients begins, microbes in the soil break down the newly available nutrients into portions they can use for food and this releases some for the use of other plants, microbes, etc.

-------------------

Sander Boskma wrote:
2: What is the best and most productive way to get enzymes into the soil? And are there alternative ways to do this by copying processes already present in nature? E.g. creating your own enzymes without buying a packet from your local enzymes store?

Enzymes come to the soil from living plant roots, dead plant roots, fungi, microbes, worm castings. You can make compost and this also has enzymes in it, buying enzymes to add to soil is not necessary nor is it really good to do so. If you make a manure tea, let it ferment and then add that to the soil, the biology of the soil will create enzymes that are more beneficial to the living soil and all that depend on it for life. Tip: new sprouts are chock full of enzymes.

Sander Boskma wrote:
3: What is the fastest and most efficient way to get a thick black layer of humus?

The fastest method is to make great amounts of compost, both vegetative and animal manure types, incorporate these into the top foot (30 cm) then let this rest for a full year under a thick layer of mulch. The best method is to sheet mulch the soil and continue additions as you plant, harvest, and recycle the leftovers into the mulch before starting the cycle again. Trying to rush soil development tends to be counter productive since it requires disruption of the continuity of the soil, which disturbs the natural order of microbes within the soil.

Sander Boskma wrote:
4: I would like to do a no-til/dig version of gardening as I don't want to get bad worm karma . What is the best way to do a no dig and why would you do a no-dig or why would you recommend against doing a no-dig?

no till is the best way to improve soil. Plant cover crops, chop and drop them, plant directly, and mulch deep enough to prevent volunteer plants from coming up. Keeping the soil from being exposed to the elements directly by always having something decomposing or growing at the same time, builds soil and provides crops with greater yields, it also improves moisture holding abilities of the soil and prevents soil erosion.
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Sander Boskma wrote:
Lots of questions I guess, I hope there are some people out there who are able to help me , no worries if you are not able to answer all of them, but Q:0 is really the most important for me as I don't want to be guilty for putting chemicals in the food chain by using inorganic material and hope to find some people with experience and expertise in this .

Thank you for reading this and hope you are well,
Sander, The Amazing Gardener

P.s. This is me in my old Garden in Denmark WA (Australia)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33nEUAl6At0

P.s.2. I'm actually looking for land in Denmark WA so if you are from there or know somebody who is please contact me . Enthusiastic young Earthling looking for land share . Looking for at least .25 acres of land, hope to find 2 to 5 and will need some sort of water supply. Please contact me with what you have to offer.
 
Sander Boskma
Posts: 10
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Hi Bryant,

Thank! Those are some really helpful answers!

0: Mkay so you say at least 3 generations of plants are required before you are STARTING to remove the chemical residue inside the plants. And by your example you say about 7 generations before it would be completely gone. Because that I think answers my question, then its probably a better idea to grow from organic seed stock.

---------------------------------

2: Why is it not a good idea to manually add enzymes to the soil?

2.1: I guess I like the idea of compost tea. It kinda makes more sense since it feels more like a natural way of 'feeding' the soil and sort of dissolving it in a way that makes it available strait away for plants. Would you for instance sprout a batch of beans (or?) (chop it up?) and add it to a compost tea? Is that a good way of adding beneficial enzymes to the mix? I read a book once about sprouts and it said the levels of vitamins can increase 400% to 800% while the seeds are sprouting (was about beans and alfalfa I if I remember correctly).

------------------------

3: I've heard about letting the compost sit for a year but I never really understood apart from not disturbing the soil why not to plant directly in it the first year. Lets say I do as you suggest but also add a small layer of soil on top of the manure, if you go from bottom to top 1: greenwaste, 2: manure, 3: soil, 4: mulch. Would it still be a bad idea, to direct/transplant something in there the first year or would that be ok/acceptable for the composting process? I mean the soil with be disturbed by plant roots, but is that acceptable for the process or would that be to much disturbance?

4: Thank you these are some great answers.

5: Hey B.t.W. I see you edited your post? How can you do that I can't find the button for it (I use firefox).

Sander

 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 715
Location: Zone 5
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I plant into new beds. Most stuff does ok if I give it a pocket of good soil to grow in. Sunflower, squash etc will sprout right up out of manure piles. I have many horses and goats so lots of barn scrapings to build beds with. I do not know much else of help to you. Every so often I add more scrapings (waste hay, wood shavings, and manure/urine) to all my planting areas. In new areas a dump a cart and let it sit. Later when I go back to put in a tree the ground under the pile (which has shrunk considerably now) is MUCH easier to dig.
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2839
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
233
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
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hau, Sander,

0: By generation 3 some residuals will already be gone, not just starting to go, but it is always better to err on the safe side. Generation four would be where I would start thinking about analysis to check for levels of residuals ( I have the equipment to do that though and the credentials to get the reagents). Time for this to happen is very dependent on what was used and what it was used for. Colchicine, for example, is used for genetic modification and takes seven generations of seed to be reduced to safe levels for human consumption of produce. Radiation is another method used and seeds from this method usually test safe around five generations of seed. If the method used is unknown, always go with the longest term just to be safe. If the seed was modified by gene splicing, then it was done in a lab, and clones were the method of propagation. Seeds from this method are safe at first generation.

2: Expense is the main reason. 2.1: I make teas and then use sprouted beans to add enzymes, just the sprouts in some water, run through a blender and add to tea, then water the ground with the mix. Works like a champ.

3: Yes you can plant right after laying the materials down with out any issues. I like to let things sit just so there has been some leaching into the soil before I set seeds. If you are using transplants, no worries at all either.

If you look at the upper right hand corner of the post, there will be an "Edit" button, just click it and it you can edit your post. Almost all my edits are because I catch a misspelling or I left something out that I wanted to make sure was in the post.

Let me know if you need more information. (BTW, hau is my native language (Dakota) for hello)
 
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