How to Best Build Soil to Increase Profit When Organic Farming


Alright, this is John Kohler of growingyour
greens.com, today I’ve got another episode for you; i’m traveling, i’m here in Warren
Vermont; I think. Almost standing in the middle of nowhere and I have no idea of where I am,
I followed my GPS to get here and where i’m at is the Kingsbury Market Garden and they
sell their produce through CSA, the muddy boots CSA and Some other CSA’s as well as
the local outlets. The reason i’m here today is to show you guys a different kinda farm
or garden that I usually visit because this is a commercial operation driven by profits
to make money, because if the owner Aaron doesn’t make a living, he can’t pay us more,
you know all this kinda stuff. So, I want to show you guys some of his growing practices
that allow him to be successful; whether you want to have your own farm, be successful
or whether you’re just a home gardener, you can gain knowledge from this information to
adjust what you’re doing, so that you can be as successful as Aaron. One of the first things I want to talk about
is the fertility that he brings to the land here: its next to a river, with silty and
sandy soil, that’s definitely not optimal but he has being bringing and adding fertility
through local and inexpensive resources, to build fertility at the lowest cost so he can
keep his profit’s up. So that’s what I want to show you guys first, what he uses to fertilize
and add nutrients to his garden. So let’s go ahead and check it out, I think we’ve got
some piles right over here. So, this is the fertility that he uses primarily, right? He
wants to get local resources and use them on the farm here, so that there’s minimal
cost for his imports. One number one is actually the Wood Chips, the wood chips gets dumped
here by abreast, that need to get rid of them and normally would dump them. In the olden
days, there is an area actually over near the farm where people just dump the chips
and they’ll just build up and build up overtime, and they’ll actually just harvest the well
decomposed Wood Chips for a good fungal rich compost. So he continues to add Wood Chips
for this fungal activity, but also for the cabin that the wood chips contain. Now more
of them are just the Wood Chips, another thing that he uses; that actually, we don’t have
any piles of is actually the chicken manure’s. That stuff would stink and he said its composted
chicken manure, so we don’t have any raw stuff to show you, that’s two; and so the you’ve
got the cabin sauce, you’ve got the nitrogen sauce and the manure, then you’ve got this
sauce right here, and this is the stuff that he’s banking on and really he believes, made
a difference in his garden. This stuff is known as the Bricks Brand (Rock Dust), by
Rock Dust local which he gets delivered here by under $70 a ton. So he gets a lot of this stuff and he’s being
adding this to his soil for the last four years, he’s being farming on this property
for like five years or something like that. So he’s being using it almost from the beginning,
and he has seen a difference in his growth, because the soil is not so fertile and he
believes by making fertile soil, and from what he’s seeing , he’s getting higher yields
and less disease on his land so that it can be more productive and more importantly, more
profitable. So once he’s got this three imports, what he does is he actually combines them
over here and there’s a parking sign; but obviously, he combines the Rock Dust here
on top, with the Wood Chips, with the manure, so it’s all mixed and harmadronized together
in a compost and then he spreads it out on he’s fields, maybe using the fall or something
like that. This adds to the fertility, plus he also uses some foliar sprays of *4:02*
and some other minerals as needed. Epsom salts to add further trace minerals into he’s plants,
so that they could grow healthy because he’s formally a believer in the power of trace
minerals. He believes unlike standard organic farming and garden that “compost is the answer”,
keep throwing on compost, everything will work itself out. Well I have seen challenges
where just adding compost and compost, especially if it’s good quality compost, can cause
challenges and you’re not going to get the best growth. He believes that by adding the
minerals, the plants are going to be healthy because after walking through some of his
garden, I could definitely vouch for that because of all the farms and gardens I have
visited in my time in Vermont, this one truly looks like the healthiest by far. So what
I’m going to do next is to actually walk through and show you guys some of the field’s, some
of the crops he’s growing, how good they look and the production he’s able to achieve here
in Vermont. So here you guys are seeing a nice couple
of rows of carrots and he really parks this guys in; really tight, tighter than you’ll
normally plant carrot’s and actually this are some hybrid carrots that’s growing really
well and he’s not quite ready to harvest this guy’s yet, but you can still harvest them
and pick them. Check this guy out; we could pull this guy out of the ground, look at that,
that’s one nice beautiful carrot. Now, he’s growing hybrid style carrot and you know although
he is certified organic, you know there is an organic standard that says “to be organic
certified, you have to grow minimum: 51% of crops grown with organic seeds, but the other
49% or smaller percentage can be from conventional seed stock, if they are not available organic;
so that’s what he does. I want to encourage you guys, whether you’re a market grower like
Aaron here or whether you’re a home gardener, you would want to pick the right varieties
because growing the right variety of crops can make you or brake you and as much as I
like the heirloom’s for certain treats; which are part of our home gardeners, On a commercial
scale after talking with Aaron, it has become evidence to me that heirlooms are not always
the best crops to grow for him, from the trials that he’s done. This carrot here are more
resistant to certain diseases that he would be prone to getting, plus with the rich soil,
he doesn’t have any diseases on this carrot’s, this carrots looks absolutely beautiful. I
could vouch, that one sweet, delicious carrot; I think, it’s the best one I have ever had
in Vermont; hey! I think it’s the only carrot I’ve ever had in Vermont. So what we are looking
at now is actually some of the Beet’s planted next to the carrots, and actually one of the
core thing is; you know, when Aaron moved onto this farm and started farming on this
land, he actually couldn’t grow beats because they’d get a lot of disease and problems and
I’m sure some of you guys out there have problems growing some crops, it just never seems to
work. Once he started adding the Rock Dust and building his soil, he didn’t have a problem
and this beet’s look fabulous. This is a soil right here, we could pick this
up, look at that; I mean this is like sand, not very nutritious but he’s adding the right
minerals to allow him to do this. Now the other thing about Aaron is if you look at
this field next door, you would see his nice huge, big tractor tracks. Now as much as I
would like to know a few gardening styles, I want to always let you guys know that they
are pros and cons to every garden method, he uses the tilling method and he has a couple
of three maybe four tractors now, and he really cuts he’s labor cost to a minimum because
he’s fully automated. He also is very efficient in how he works, So he has minimal labor working
at this farm with him, and just with a man and a tractor; I just saw him drive off right
now, almost into the sunset. He’s able to manage he’s farm with little labor cost. As
compared to farmers I’ve spoken to, they do the no till and actually their labor cost
is sky high but because they do no till and their labor cost is sky high, they are also
more productive than this maybe; they still make good money. Aaron had to keep it simple,
he does the tractor, the tillage and continues to add organic matter and the trace melts
in the soil and gets amazing result. So no matter where you guys are at, you guys have
got to figure out what’s right for you. Now for Environmental reasons and for nutrient
reasons, I believe still, no tilling is the best but yes, it’s going to be more labor
and this comes into play in a big business. When you’re trying to run a business and if
you’re at home just gardening, I believe you guys should be doing notes to a garden at
home on definitely smaller scales, because it’s a lot easier. Anyways, I want to go
in now, into one of the hoop-houses here that’s right behind me, and show you guys what he’s
got growing. Now, he uses this hoop-houses because I want to remind you guys that we
are in Vermont, it does rain a lot and some of the peppers and the tomatoes, they don’t
like too much water so they kip the water off of it; plus, they can control the environment
better. So it’s warmer inside the hoop-house than outside the hoop-house, the base looks
a bit warmer, they also got some tomatoes growing. In addition, this also allows them to start
the season earlier and end a little bit later, due to the covering overhead. Once again,
I’ve visited a hand full of farms this trip to Vermont, and Aaron’s stuff looks like the
healthiest, most bountiful; due to his practices so, they must be working. But if we walk down
this row here, you guys just see a lot of greeny there but I want to get down a little.
If you get a little bit lower, if you look a little closely, you guys see all the peppers
in there? I mean this thing is loaded up with peppers, i’m scared to say that this pepper
plants are more loaded up than my pepper plants. So he’s actually growing better peppers than
I. I mean this is really impressive, how much yield his able to harvest off each plant,
when you give the plant the right nutrition they need. So yea, this whole thing has a
lot of peppers in these two rows, basil, tomatoes, and let’s goes ahead to the other greenhouse
to shear with you guys, the tomatoes. Now we’re in the hoop-house with the tomatoes
and this plant look like they are super healthy, super vibrant and once again just come down
a little bit. Look at this, look at how much yield you get on one tomato plant, growing
the right variety and actually have good nutrition in the soil. I mean, those this look better
than your tomatoes? That’s why Aaron’s in business and he’s doing this day in day out
and he’s being doing this since his first job. He’s first job as a kid was working at
a farm, he’s growing all this years and he’s improving his skills over the years so now
he could grow healthy plants like this. Now, Ill let you guys know one of his secrets
besides having good soil, he has this red mulch down here, at the bottom of his tomatoes.
I’ve not seen that anywhere else in the farm, he uses some black plastic mulch on some other
plants, but the other thing is that he’s using grafted tomatoes. So this tomatoes, they have
being grafted, they’re on our wild work stock with tomato plants up top and he says they
are more productive, and more resistant than standard ones. You guys might want to look
into that and you know, I’ve experimented with the grafted tomato before, they are kind
of a little bit expensive and I didn’t notice too much of a difference when i grew them
at home; but, he totally vouch his performance, he says “he wouldn’t really go any other way”
because as you guys can see, this is tomato heaven right here. So now I’m going to go
ahead and enter another pepper hoop house here, and Aaron really features and focuses
on growing peppers for few reasons: number one, you guys could see, there’s a lot of
pepper on here and he appreciates peppers, he actually grows less tomatoes than peppers,
he grows more peppers than tomatoes and I want to encourage you guys to grow more pepper
than tomatoes. So he sells this fresh, which command’s greater dollar than the tomatoes
but, the secret on why he grows too many peppers is that he also roast’s them and then freeze’s
them. So, this allows him to maximize his income during the winter months you know,
so he could harvest this guys, process them throughout the winter to still have income,
when other farmers that are growing fresh vegetables and try to sell fresh stuff, are
long gone. So that’s one of the reasons why he grows all this peppers and this plants,
they just simply look amazing, I wish I had all this peppers, I could grow more on less
space, if I use his techniques. So, now one of the things I’m going to show
you guys really quick is how Aaron is staking up his peppers, he doesn’t stake every plant
so this is kind of cool. What he does, he just puts this stakes in about every couple
of (3″4″) feet and he basically just ties some strings, to make like a little fence
on the edges because the middle plants support itself, but the edge plants are held up by
the string, they stay out of the walk ways. So, looks like he has only actually per bed
which is about 2ft wide, he has about two plants. So the strings help hold the plant,
keep them in growing towards the center, so that he could easily get in there and harvest
all the delicious peppers. So he always encourage you guys to grow vertically and use some kind
of support system that works for you, so that your plants don’t fall over and they don’t
get crashed or stems broken; when you’re walking by because that will cut your yields. So another
way Aaron improves his soil and brings and adds fertility is by planting some cover crops.
So we’ve got some legume crops here, behind me he also likes to plant the buckwheat which
is also a good beneficial plant for insects and he builds fertility in this soil by planting
the cover crops and turning them under, to add more fertility to his soil. Now on a big
farm I think this is an excellent idea, especially when you have so much land, you have fallow
land and you know that’s not always planted. He has like six acres under cultivation in
this space, plus he has another off-site space that he’s growing food but in a home space
like for me personally, I live in a standard American tracked home, my lot is less than
ten thousand square feet, eight thousand square feet, and I don’t have a lot of room. So if
I’m planting cover crops, that means I’m giving up space that I could be growing food crops
and the most important thing for me to do is to eat, and I would rather bring in inputs
to add to my garden, to add the nitrogen, add nutrients as I need to, instead of (in
my opinion) waste space for cover crops, in confined growing like I’m in. So I think I’m going to go for the one more
section of his farm where he’s actually growing lettuce mixes and show you guys how he’s doing
it and how beautiful it looks. So this are the baby salad greens that they grow here
on the farm, they’ve recently plucked this guys all mechanically, and they see them really
closely and basically they come through with a harvester and just clear cut them. After
they clear cut them, they grow back again and Aaron believes that this is due to the
fertility in the soil, a lot of growers would grow stuffs, they’ll cut it and it will not
come back but because of the fertility, Aaron believes that this stuff comes back so he
could actually continue to harvest more and get more yield, out of the same amount of
space. So, has things like the really good looking Spanish, different colors of lettuce’s
and it looks really cool how he has it all laid out. Without being said, this is really
labor intensive form, you’d rather grow some carrots or you literally plant something once,
it grows then you harvest it, so it’s like minimal time dealing with the crops. Here
he has to come out like every couple of days, plant new seeds, having the next round growing,
come out with the harvester, he has to harvest his stuffs, take it inside to wash it and
process it, bag it and then cash. You just take out, wash, sell them and you’re done.
So he’s really trying to get more efficient and hopefully one day he’ll be able to actually
cut out and leafy green business, and get into things that he can be more efficient
at and even make as much or even more money from because after all, this is a business
form and that’s when it comes down to dollars and cents. Another part of Aaron’s operation that I really
want to show you guys here, is actually how he runs his after harvest processing. He has
a couple of really cool tool’s that I’ve never seen before in my life, so I want to shear
that with you guys and how they work and how he’s more efficient even in after-harvest,
and processing the produce he offers into the public. So now I want to show you guys
into one of his green-house’s here, he has tomatoes growing in the back but in the front,
this is a harvest processing area and basically he’s got a lot of onions in sheds, you can
see some sheds here, he’s got onions over there and he’s got some machinery; some of
them looks kind of old but still works, in other to save him time. For example this machine
right here, you don’t want to get your finger stuck in this one for sure, this is an onion
topper, it takes that top off the onions, we put it in here and it just literally pulls
them all out because I do them by hand, but I don’t have a ton of onions literally, like
he does. So once he pulls of the tops, then he has this old-school machine here, that’s
an onion bagger. So it basically rolls up the top here, and then he bags up his onions
in a bag and sells them at market. So you can see, so here’s the total onions that are
now harvested, topped and waiting to be bagged and being able to get sold; and they really
like the onions because the onions you see here, he has a couple of powers for them;
well stored, they’ll store a full year and he will not lose his investment and his time,
the nutrients he’s put in, the fertilizer or anything with the onions whereas the tomatoes.
They go bad relatively quickly and if they’re not sold and he doesn’t dehydrate them and
sundry the tomatoes, he’s going to lose his investment. So as with the peppers, he could
actually sell them fresh or he could actually roast them, and then he freezes them and he
could sell them through out the winter time. I want to go actually to his little shop there,
where he does some other processing; and show you guy’s some of the cool equipment he
uses and how it’s actually quite efficient in his set up. So when its come to farms and visit peoples
gardens all over, i always learn something new and part of the most important thing I’ve
learnt here is: he actually has a washing machine that he uses to spin dry his salad
greens. You know the fresh salad greens that you guys saw, anyways; more important than
that: he uses this (washing machine) to spin his salad greens, he actually has all this
one wheels. So this could move in and out and if noticed, everything in this room is
actually on wheels, he can stand up in this room the way he wants to. Some days its processing
carrots, some days it’s used as a CSA pick up, some days it is used to make tucker and
all those kind of stuffs and it’s really cool that he putted everything on wheels and he
has no motor and you guys can see the shelve newly built above. If something is not used
every day in this room, it doesn’t even belong in this room, it belongs somewhere off-site.
If something is used every day, it needs to be a little bit higher up and if it doesn’t
get used maybe more than once a week, it gets higher up and things that are used not as
often are even higher up, and this is the way that I believe I should try and organize
my house. You guys might want to organize your house and even minimal your garage or
your garden storage shape, this will make it a lot easier and try to keep your space
clean. Put things on wheel, so you can move them in and out of the way, you can have maximum
flexibility with your space. I think I’m going to head outside now and show you one more
cool tool that Aaron uses to save time, here on the farm. So here’s yet another tool that Aaron uses
to save time on his farm and be more efficient so he can save time and labor cost, instead
of having one man spray down carrots like most farms might do, he actually has a specialized
tool to do carrot washing. This is not a compost *21:32* or something like that, this is basically
just a large wood slot or something like that actually spin around. It takes the carrot
in there and will wash all the dirt off, with the water coming out of this PVC pipes, the
dirt’s goes the bottom, it gets washed down and he adds that back into his farm and the
carrots come out clean. Once the carrots comes out, he has a little converter belt thin that
rotates the carrots, so you can easily identify the carrots that are bad or good and pull
out the bad carrots with bad sprogs so that they don’t make it into the ones that are
being sold to the customers. So we really like that Aaron is really working
efficient here, not only with post-harvest but also pre harvest. I mean one of the most
efficient things I believe gardeners at home and farmers is add the Rock Dust, because
it hits some of the work load off you and this is what he’s found. This is why I want
you guys, whether you’re a commercial farmer, you’re a home gardener, just start using a
Rock Dust. What I want to do next is interview Aaron and shear with you guys, some of he’s
things he has learnt about Rock Dust, some of the tips and techniques he’s learnt over
the years farming since he was a young lad, so you guys can approve you’re garden or your
commercial operation, should you have one. John Kohler: so now we’re with Aaron Locker
from Kingsbury Market Garden and he’s the owner and also the farmer here, you guys got
to see this amazing garden. I wanted to go ahead and take him aside, and tell him about
a few things. The first of which actually is, where we are right now, we are on your
property, this is part of the farm, and you have a beautiful river, stream. Aaron Locker: yes, so this is the Mad River,
right now it’s pretty calm but it gets mad from time to time. It’s a very narrow drainage
in here, so it’s not uncommon to get a couple of inches of rain for this water that makes
this river to go up several feet’s, and then back down over the course of a day. John Kohler: wow! This probably affected the
quality because this river has being here for quite a long time, and this affects your
farm because a lot of the stuff’s in your farm is the salty like stuff that was partly
deposited by the river, thousands of years ago potentially. Aaron Locker: yes, that stuff was washed out
of the mountain sides. John Kohler: yes, you were telling me that
your farm is not that really fertile, so you had to bring in things, I showed you guys
what he’s using. So I specifically want to ask you about bringing in the rock dust, why
you choose to bring in the rock dust and what you saw before and after using the rock dust? Aaron Locker: well I choose to bring in Rock
Dust because, I felt like I needed to do something aside from adding compost and fertilizer which
I was having very good luck with, and read something’s about Nutrient Intense Farming,
Balancing Nutrients and particularly about trace elements like cobalt and Boron, things
like that. So four years ago now, I did my first Rock Dust application, three different
application, 10 tons the acre of each. I’m now starting with my second round with ten
one *24:53* of Tom Beneca’s Brick Blend Basalt. Next year, I think it will be some port sight
from mountain, which is just over the mountains here, and probably some *25:08*. John Kohler: yes, so he’s using different
kinds of Rock Dust, they all have lots of different minerals to balance the soil. So,
how important is that for you that you’re soil have a balanced amount of minerals in
the right proportion for your plant growth? Aaron Locker: I think that the idea behind
this Rock Dust is that you’re applying relatively large amounts of relatively unavailable nutrients.
So you’re building mineral depths, so you’re conventional agriculture and your conventional
organic agriculture, you tend to apply relatively small amounts of relatively available nutrients.
So the fact is that once I apply the *25:55* which has high levels of potassium in relatively
unavailable form’s, but it will slowly be available to plants 26:04* or sulphated potash
that has readily available potassium in it, that would not necessarily be way to available,
could leach, leaching is a big issue here with the sandy soils but the idea is to make
a soil that plants exude their acids and actually weigh up potassium and make it available,
instead of having just like a kind of free flowing in the soil solution. John Kohler: he does not use any water sibal
nutrients because obviously he has a river right here, and if he uses water sibal nutrients
like many conventional agriculture do, you know chemicals, nitrogen’s and all that stuff,
there’s going to be contamination and run outs or wrecking of water supplies and contaminating
places. I’m really glad that Aaron is doing gardening and farming, the smart way. So Aaron,
what differences have you seen, using the Rock Dust, or do you believe that you’ve seen
from using the Rock Dust? Aaron Locker: well, I believe I’ve seen a
big difference from using the rock dust, and a couple of other things, the Rock dust are
a big part of it. The health; the health of my produce have very few diseases anymore,
apart from diseases, I don’t have very many pest issues, things are brighter, they grow
faster, they are heavier, they tend to taste better and yields have gone up significantly. John Kohler: yes, I mean I’ve seen really
health stuffs here, in this farm I’ve tasted some spinach, some carrots and they are absolutely
good. I guess the only thing I want to ask you is, would you recommend the people out
there, the farmers and home gardener’s to use the Rock Dust? Aaron Locker: yes, I absolutely would. One
of the things that’s actually interesting about it, is that the price per pound, like
different nutrients like for instance the Berry Graner which is local potassium, local
Garner source is high in potassium, it ends up being like 20 cents a pound versus maybe
a dollar a pound in like sulphate or potash form. So it’s a really good bang for the
buck, as long as you’re able to make that long term investment in your soil. Which I
think it’s really what makes sustainable agriculture; sustainable agriculture. I guess
it’s still not really sustainable because it’s a byproduct of a mining industry, but
it still a relatively available by product and it’s also the kind of thing that will
have an effect for a long period of time. So it’s not a reactionary thing at all,
it’s a very pro-active approach which was the way that I want to do things. John Kohler: awesome, I think a pro-active
approach in life is really good. I mean before you get a heart attack, stop doing the things
that will cause a heart attack. Eat fruits and vegetables like the one’s Aaron grows
here, highest quality, so you could not eat the bad things and displace the bad stuff
and just like you know, grow a garden, not using the chemical fertilizer that gives you
an instant reaction but then have negative consequences in my opinion. Use something
more long lasting, what I believe Aaron is doing is beyond sustainable because he’s actually
regenerating, the land here is better than when he came, do you have any comments about
that? Aaron Locker: no, I think it’s true, it’s
definitely true, I pride myself on that and it makes my life a lot easier. I’ve got hopefully
another couple of decades of farming on this property, and I would like to think that it
would continue that way and I’ll continue to have really good tasting carrots that everybody,
every mom in the town wants to feed their kids, and that would allow me to grow old
farming, basically. John Kohler: awesome, this is really the new
farming, chemicals and GMO’s (in my opinion) are not the answer, it’s getting back to
roots, you know the old school days when we used things like Boucher, rock powders to
mineralize the soil but we’ve lost all this knowledge, and all those stuff. Many of you
guys may not even have heard of Rock Dust, maybe even before this video which is quite
sad but, another thing I want to talk to you about Aaron that you’re really into and a
lot of my viewers may think hybrids are evil. I personally think that any plant that is
not genetically modified through man made, artificial means is good. Whether its hybrid
or air loom, I don’t think they should be this fight because there’s more important
fish to fry or whatever they say. Why do you choose to use some hybrid in your production
and how has that made you more profitable actually? Aaron Locker: well, the profit example I think,
is determinant habit. On things like tomatoes and in some degree even pepper plants, if
we are here in Vermont I’ve got 120 days growing seeds. So to grow in determinant tomato plant,
it’s going to be 10 feet tall and the potential has like 25 tomatoes on there but, September
20th comes and I get to frost and I pick and I pick the first 10 pounds, that doesn’t make
a lot of sense to me. So I’m more choosing to grow determinant tomatoes that grow to
about chin height, and produce a lot of tomatoes; I mean, we are going to pretty much be done
by the time the frost hits them also. I’m choosing peppers, they tend to have more of
a determinant habit so I can actually get more fruit because, no matter how nutrient
intense my produce is, once it gets to the 20’s, it’s going to die and I want to be
able to harvest as much as I possibly can. John kohler: awesome, I always encourage you
guys to not only have the most nutritious soil but also grow the plants that are going
to do well in your area, that’s something a lot of people miss. If you just go down
and buy plants from your local nursery or big box store, you might just be getting the
exact right ones that are actually going to do the best and perform the best so that you
and your family could eat more from the garden, than out of the grocery store. Speaking of
grocery stores, where can people buy this produce that I’ve tasted that is absolutely
amazing? Aaron Locker: just basically here in Vermont,
for the most part I sell the Mehuron’s market, our local independent super market, Easton
community market our local co-operator and through CSA programs, one of which I’m a part
owner and the stuff primarily goes around the Boston area. John kohler: so yea if you live in Boston,
you could get one of this good stuff that Aaron is growing. So Aaron, do you have any
last comments you would like to shear, messages out to my viewers, about anything happening
to do with gardening, farming or maybe the direction the industry should be going, in
your opinion. Aaron Locker: well, I don’t really like to
speak on the industry so much but I would like to say that this whole Rock Dust thing,
the whole remineralization thing is really the best way to get the highest quality produce
that you can. I do think that from the industry perspective; eventually, I think it’s going
to go this way where they’re going to be able to tell you, what kind of quality it is. Like
they’re going to say this carrot are bricks ten carrot’s or brick fourteen carrot’s, and
that’s going to be fantastic because you’re going to go into the supermarket and be like
“oh! These apples are really good for me and it’s proven”. In a short term, the way that
you can do that is by applying lots of organic matter, lots of Rock Dust to your home garden,
around your food orchids, around your asbars, all that kind of stuff and yes, you can grow
some really high quality food. John Kohler: yes, I definitely recommend doing
what he’s saying and I totally believe it’s true, I also want to encourage you guys to
go out and get a bricks *34:12* where actually tested bricks from. Watermelons from my local
farmers market and actually they weren’t that good, the ones at whole foods where better.
Kind of insane because not all farmers know what they’re doing, I’m glad Aaron is one
of the people that knows what he’s doing so, hope this video goes out to even some farmers
that are watching this and works to improve the quality of the stuff they are growing,
because not all of it is good I mean there’s a lot of crap out there. Most farming is done
for profit, this is Aaron’s life, this is his business, he needs to make money or he’s
going to get out of business because this is his life. So he’s really doing the smart
things as you guys saw, he’s using some really cool techniques and being efficient with his
time, his labor and also efficient with his soil by adding the Rock Dust and I believe
you guys should also be as efficient as you guys can, in your garden and as well as with
your soil. So hopefully you guys enjoyed this episode,
if you guys enjoyed this episode, me here at the farm with Aaron, please give me a thumbs
up, let me know and I’ll be sure to come back and visit Aaron next summer in town, to see
how his farm is doing in the future. Also be sure to check my past episodes, I have
over eleven hundred episodes now in all aspects of growing food at home, especially when I
get to visit farms like this which I learn a lot of stuff’s too and be sure to click
that subscribe button down below as you get updates and notified when I put new episodes
out, I should try and get an episode out every three days for you guys. So once again, this
is John Kohler coming at you from Vermont and we’ll see next time but until then remember,
keep on growing.

100 thoughts on “How to Best Build Soil to Increase Profit When Organic Farming

  1. The wood chips are the secret sauce to the garden. Check out Back to Eden gardening. Paul Gautschi is the man! You too John. 😉

  2. Cool video. That soil looks like it has so much rock dust, it literally looks like sand, yet he has extremely uniform high growth. I'm not sure if I buy it that he doesn't use chemical fertilizer. U have to have compost (organic matter) for steady lvl of nutrients, and i'm not seeing it unless it's buried below all that rock dust. Grafting is not good imo. The plant that's grafted is expecting certain exact lvl of certain nutrients, and the base plant is not going to provide that.

  3. All the garden centres around here (holland) are sooooo dusty and oldfashioned, they don't pick up on ANY of the alternative gardening trends at all. I mean i want to BUY all this stuff, but they don't have any of it so they just lost a great potential customer who once again leaves with just a bag of cowmanure pellets (the only useful organic thing i can find in there) and leave without spending the money i brought 😀 It's so frustrating! guuurrrr…. >.< Then i just carry on putting more and more compost on it, because thank heavens my neighbor has a pile she doesn't really use. HALP! What can we DO when we can't get our hands on any of these fancy organic products you keep showing?

  4. Success, this operation is very professional I am impressed. The only thing that would make it even more optimal is to spray the compost tea to help make the large amounts of trace minerals more bio-available to the plants!

  5. Nice to see you filming in my beautiful home state of Vermont. Growing up in a town of 500 people, it seems that everyone had a garden in their backyard. And, they took pride in that fact. Thank you for showing us how great Aaron is doing with his organic garden.

  6. i wouldnt eat that carrot without washing it first, from what i can tell the farm is beside a major road. The vehicle exhaust particulate is exponentially higher than rural farms that arent on highways

  7. should I use rock dust in my garden because I live on the Sand Mountain Plato and we have rich black dirt with lots of sand and I asoom that the ground is full of minerals?

  8. great video John! your emphasis on trace minerals and rock dusts is legend. I would forward that not everyone discounts the manure and wood chips. If the wood chips were inoculated with mushroom spawn they could be fungal dominated and the supply of manure is not certain in all areas.

    Having many tractors requires many gallons of fuel and adds to our planet's demise.

    leave the tillage to the plants! use daikon radishes and other deep rooted species to mine the soil and break the hardpan. add raised beds (like your garden) saves your back and allows for your own mix of soil and additives. tillage destroys soil structures and pulverizes clays into smaller and smaller drainage clogging particles.

    Thanks

  9. I have use river sand and manure mix over 20 years ago. The best veggies and fruits grow ever with the method. This year I did use wood chips and got a wonderful result.

  10. I was at my local Armstrong Garden Center yesterday and asked if they had any rock dust like Azomite and the lady looked at me like she had no idea what I was talking about. I need to find a good local source of rock dust in San Diego.

  11. John it seems to me if you had shorter videos you would have a larger turn out. More people watching each video, maybe splitting them up, like this video for example, could do a few 5 minute videos on each plant, a interview etc. just a thought. Love the channel regardless.

  12. as an urban farmer myself ….ive definatley seen the benefits of micro minerals and rock dust ….my area sells a product called turbo grow …its glacial rock dust and has something like 86 minerals ,including soluble silicon ,…to make my own high brix mix ….i follow the dr carey reams ratio of 6-5-3……6 parts calcium carbonate ,5 parts gypsum,and 3 parts rockdust …mix that all together and add one to two cups per bag of soil…its the minerals that increase the sweetest or brix of the fruit and calcium is the king of nutrients and allows this to all happen ….

  13. great garden high brix veggies for sure.. I add biochar and rock dust and some compost on my raised beds then go thru with the broakfork to get some of that deeper into the soil i hope to grow some fine carrots like Aaron does someday

  14. Just thinking, perhaps the reason is soil is so poor is because he destroys the soil biology and mycorrhizae every time he tills. The food looks great as long as he keeps adding supplements. Looking at his garden does make me hungry !

  15. If he were a farmer here, I would definitely buy his produce. Mineral rich vegetables, are very rare these days with commercial non-organic growers.

  16. I love your perspectives and videos. I am wondering if you could post more educational based gardening videos. Videos like here is what to do when….or here is how you create soil and what blend to use and explain more how and why videos….thanks! I'm new at gardening and really want to learn. Please use simple wording and don't assume we know what you mean.

  17. يعني التربة العراقية ليس سهلة الزراعة نفس ماتقول ياغبي نزرع اي شيء نحتاجهة لا اكتب بالانكليزي حتى تترجم كﻻمي ﻻني اعلم انك جاهل ﻻكن الاصح ﻻيخفى انتم اناس تستحق الاحترام ونحن العرب نكرة بعضنى بعض هذا سبب واضح يدعنى ﻻنتقدم الى الامام

  18. يعني التربة العراقية ليس سهلة الزراعة نفس ماتقول ياغبي نزرع اي شيء نحتاجهة لا اكتب بالانكليزي حتى تترجم كﻻمي ﻻني اعلم انك جاهل ﻻكن الاصح ﻻيخفى انتم اناس تستحق الاحترام ونحن العرب نكرة بعضنى بعض هذا سبب واضح يدعنى ﻻنتقدم الى الامام

  19. I just called  my local COOP started telling the guy what I wanted and he transferred me to an older Gent who seemed to understand this was for organic. I said yep that's what I'm doing. I told him I mostly grow peppers and tomatoes but other stuff as well, he is going to check on it for me and call me back. So guys even if they don't have it or know what you are talking about that don't mean they can't source it for you. So give the COOP a call, tell them what you need, they should be able to help.

  20. Hi John, how is no-till easier for home gardeners but more labor intensive for commercial farmers? Seems it would be opposite. Guess we need to invent machines to assist no till market farmers

  21. hey bro i need your help , plzz tel me the garden soil substitute for plants to be grown in platic container ,, recently iam using perelite , vermiculite and cococ peat mix  it do well but after some time the seedings become yellow and died ,, plzz tell me what kind of nutrient i will give them ,is mixing vermicompost in this mix is coreect or what npk sprays are not working mm,,, iam stuck help me bro bro bro bro bro where are you

  22. Work on your subtitles lol. The cabin sauce(carbon source). Great informative video though. Thank you for posting this. I'm not interested in profit as much at the moment, but looking for ways to build my soul for my home food forest. Thanks for the vid.

  23. You talk about the benefits of rock dust then in my que is a video you produced called why Rock Dust Doesn't work. Have you changed your mind?

  24. Tried improving the soil (actually, "sand" is a more appropriate word), but it's an uphill battle here in Australia, and expensive to boot.

  25. haha Pseudo-Organic Scum. Same as any other Monsanto-farmer where ONLY $$$ and profit matters- and "Organic" is just a title to the business. Bare soil without cover, mulch or anything, next to the highway offering yummy "organic carrots" at triple the cost, using heavy machinery everywhere- what a BS. THUMB DOWN 100%

  26. Beware lab engineered soil and worm castings. This is the biodiversity and sustainability hoax. It's a new industry and is designed to take over. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160816182622.htm –  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160714110749.htm

  27. Yes soil is important, but everyone's soil is different. You should address your soils needs based on local conditions, and possibly a soil analysis, before just adding stuff at random just because you saw it on a YouTube video.

    Maybe this guy needed rock dust, but in Florida for instance they are on sandy soil and need to add organic material. Phosphate is mined by the shipload on the east side of Tampa Bay, in fact lawn fertilizers for Florida are formulated with no middle number for example 16-0-8 because they are sitting on literally tons of phosphate down there!

  28. I'm a big fan of the hoop houses and green house. I'm also new to organic farming, so thanks for raising my interests. I'm thinking that the growing season can be extended by defending against those cold temps. Even if the cost of growing produce out of season is ridiculously high, there is not much competition in that local market when no one else can grow tomatoes, right? If you are the only one with fresh tomatoes, how much are they worth? Does importing produce into the US effect local market prices?

  29. So after you harvest plants like peppers or tomatoes, do you just add more compost around the plant? How do you keep the soil healthy?

  30. Heirloom seeds aren't the only non-gm seeds. Heirloom is weaker than hybrid non-gm's. Why didn't you make this clear John? I love your videos John but confusion ensues when pros like you leave things out. Heirloom is great but they aren't the only non-gm 's

  31. What is the best way to contact you? I have an idea and want to start my own organic farm and raising grass fed free roaming animals with dignity to sell for food and expanding that into a sustainable community aimed at helping disenfranchised people, and I have no base or anything to help me run a successful crowd funding campaign and I deeply love your channel battling cancer myself I have so much respect for you and you've inspired me so much and I understand why you do what you do so others hopefully don't suffer, and im hoping maybe when I get something going you could help by telling people about the campaign so I can get the funds to accomplish what I need to so I can start helping people and make food that's as free of toxins as possible which it will be in a very rural area and make it affordable for people and build a community through that, and I have no idea who else to ask

  32. really enjoyed this episode! thanks for what you do. I will incorporate rock dust in my gardening .thanks again , keep them coming. Lets grow organic!!!!!!!

  33. this was a great video – informative, educational, and warrants consideration of non-water soluble nutrients like bio char and rock dust, thank you for making and sharing your videos!

  34. Idk if people here know this, but if you live in an area that 1. Doesn't have city ordinances against it and the noise resulting from it and 2. Doesn't have zoning laws against it.. an outstanding source of nutrition for your soil and garden is duck manure and seems the best delivery is from the soiled water that you would be dumping from their pool, which you can get kiddie pools for them that are very inexpensive. Even better they eat slugs, snails and bugs! They are good weed eaters and normally do not eat domestic plants! (but you might want your lettuces, some micro greens and grasses off limits, and ice berg lettuce makes them very sick, and raw beans are toxic to them). The other obstacle is giving them a safe area to sleep. What you might do is is a multi level duck house to save on space and a small but space enough yard for them to use the bathroom but you have to lock it up well and never assume in states or parts of the world where raccoons are native that just bc you're in a high population city there are not predators in fact it's worse in areas that are crowded because your garden and ducks will be a utopia to wildlife than most people would rarely if ever see in the area. Also, for non vegans the eggs are EXTREMELY more nutritious than store brought eggs, and they are even healthier than chicken eggs. They are richer which usually people prefer but some don't care for them. If you're limited on space I recommend keeping your male or males separate from the females except in situations where they are still young enough to breed, but are getting old and you may need to have some new ones for when they pass or you decide to cull them and eat them. You can buy them online if you have to, but try for a farm that's in or near your state to cut back on the extremely steep shipping fee. And certainly research raising ducklings first and work on getting the things you need ahead of time so it's not a huge rush or financial strain to prepare, and research the breeds too. I'm getting Pekings because they are good layers and are friendly.

  35. "…cuts his Labour cost to a minimum because he's fully automated…"

    This isn't do great because this reduces jobs when we need them AND uses much more oil which is less sustainable and send money overseas, mainly to the Saudis, i.e. the home of ISIS!

    This is two reasons why the organic certification isn't really a panacea aiming with the use of hybrid seeds and ACCEPTABLE use of plastic, pesticide, etc Honestly I believe it's really a scam because people don't understand it and think it is as they would grow at home, which it isn't.

  36. Potting soil, cow manure compost and leaf compost…..is that good? I put powdered egg shells and coffee grinds in it too.

  37. Yes! I've got a field that's gone to sand over years of use and I'm planning on hitting it with a combo of wood chips and manure to help bring it back…

  38. John I don’t wanna stomp on your ideals, but soil holds all the trace minerals. All of them I shit you not however they’re in mineralized crystalline form. Check a man on YouTube with a channel named “I am organic gardening” he is higher scale and can’t afford to use rock dust or full compost. He listened to great pioneers in the big scale agricultural industry like ray artuleta or Gabe brown and he showed me the way: don’t build soil GROW SOIL! That’s why most benefit from rock dust because they don’t have the fungi in cooporation with plants constantly to secrete organic acids breaking down rocks and pebbles into their mineral constituents. You touched on michorizzal fungi, but you don’t use them to the max. I understand you don’t have enough space to use soil and you have to use compost, but maybe try a bed. Look this guy up he’s a genius.

  39. you could do both cover crop with soil ammendments on half ur farm, then just cycle each year or two between the halves.

  40. This is a beautiful and efficient farm. I love how organized and neat the owner keeps everything.

    Thanks for the tour John!

  41. If ye love me, keep my commandments.
    John 14:15 KJV

    Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
    Exodus 20:8‭-‬9 KJV

    Saturday is the day of the Lord

    The claim that Christ by his death abolished his Father’s law, is without foundation. Had it been possible for the law to be changed or set aside, then Christ need not have died to save man from the penalty of sin. The death of Christ, so far from abolishing the law, proves that it is immutable. The Son of God came to “magnify the law, and make it honorable.” [Isaiah 42:21.] He said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law;” “till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law.” [Matthew 5:17, 18.] And concerning himself he declares, “I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart.” [Psalm 40:8.] GC88 466.3

    Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV
    Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

  42. You guys heard of waste decomposer just type waste decomposer india you will find it is cheap for us Indians too it is widely famous in organic farming just see its an micro nutrient which requires water, used for nitrogen fixation in soil 1 bottle of it cost around 40 cents max in india after adding in water one can again reproduce it no need of buying it again it is been developed by government to promote organic farming in india

  43. How would you go about planning fruit trees in the soil that is next to your neighbors but your ground is lower, and your neighbor uses chemical fertilizer on his grass? I want to plant some fruit trees in that location being that's the only spot with good sunlight, but my ground is lower than his. How can I keep my trees organically grown? Can I plant my trees inside a big container and bury that into the ground? So that it's protected in the harsh winter being in ground rather than in container above ground? Thanks in advance for your advice

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