Remineralize Your Garden Soil with Rock Dust & Compost

Alright! This is John Kohler with
! Today we have another exciting episode for you. And I find myself today sitting on a
tractor here in the middle of Vermont, a place that I never probably thought I’d visit
in my life, being from the West Coast, growing up and raised in California. Here in the middle
of Vermont, first time in this great state, and it is beautiful here. I’ve been missing
a lot, you know, just staying in the West Coast and not ever coming out to this part
of the country. But the reason why I’m here today is a very important reason. Where I’m
sitting on, I’m sitting on a tractor and I’m sitting on 30 acres. And this property
was basically starting to get farmed 30 years ago by the current home owners that are growing
food here. And 30 years ago this was nothing but grass, where everything you see here was
a field. You know they built a barn, there’s also a house and a shop, and they, you know,
put in, you know, fruit trees and a vegetable garden. And, you know, they’re just working
people too, like you and me, you know, they got regular jobs, regular day jobs and their
garden, you know, they set it up properly and they’re growing food successfully. So this family is depending on this one locally
sourced, you know, nutrient that’s probably one of the most nutritious, best fertilizers
you can add to your garden, which should be a foundation of your garden as it is here.
And they’re kind of taking it to the extreme, you know, they haven’t imported or used
any soluble nitrogen and have only put down, you know, things like the compost and, you
know, composted materials for nitrogen, in addition to these minerals that they’re
adding. And they’re having some amazing growth here. Which kind of proves, in my opinion,
you know, standard agriculture wrong. Where you go down and you have to buy 10-10-10 fertilizer
and you’re focussed on three main minerals, like they’re really not adding in any significant
amounts of those three minerals that most people say you need. And so let’s go and
head into the garden and show you guys some of the growth, some of the things they’re
growing. And then actually at the end of this episode we’re going to actually introduce
you to the gardener here but also one of the first and foremost rock dust advocates in
the entire country. His name is Tom. So anyways, let’s check out Tom’s gardens first. So here on the property you guys could see
they have a nice grassy area, you know. They got kids so the kids could play and it just
creates a nice open space. And all this grass, you know, they don’t spread down like, you
know, fertilizer and things like that. They just put rock dust on here and look at how
green this is here in Vermont. And, you know, they don’t water this stuff. They let the
natural rain come and this season has been a hard growing season for them as they explained.
And, you know, no matter where you live you may have hard times growing things because
of the climate, it’s quite erratic during these times of climate change. Because, you
know, it’s too hot, too cold, you know, it rains too much, the ground gets drenched,
and it doesn’t get too much water. And so, you know, one of the things I like about the
trace minerals they’re using in the rock dust, it really gives you some more extra
buffer. So it gives you like, you know, I actually had just the other day I had one
of my viewers contacted me and said hey John, you know, we’re growing some tomatoes in
the middle of the country and it’s been a horrible year for tomatoes for everybody
around us and all the farmers they don’t have any tomatoes but we got bumper crops
of tomatoes like nothing’s going on. And he’s like, I’m like well what are you
doing? He’s like well we’re using the rock dust like you said. And so, you know,
he’s getting better results. And now is that because the rock dust, I don’t know,
is it doing something else special? Are they blessing the plants, are they putting some
magic spell on it? I don’t know, but you know, I think the rock dust can only be beneficial
and help you guys to be more resilient against the weather and also, more importantly, grow
higher quality, more nutritious food, you know, that will well we’re going to show
you guys that’s been proven. And so this is the garden here. And they have
different raised beds or kind of like, you know, mounted up beds, not really raised up.
And they have a nice really rich bed of basil here. And they’re growing a lot of, besides
just the food crops, they’re growing a lot of medicinal crops that I’ve learned about.
Like the mullein and the mugworts and they got some comfrey and all kinds of cool stuff,
they got catnip. But what I want to show you guys next actually
is the tomatoes. Because one of the things that they really believe in here is doing
experimentation. And that’s what I believe in too. I believe you guys should always experiment,
you know, not only in the bedroom but also in your garden to do different things. This
year they did an experiment with growing tomatoes. So over in this area they grew some tomatoes
like these guys. And you guys could see, I mean, these plants are not very huge but yet
they’re loaded up with all these tomatoes that will soon be ripening. So in this area,
they planted the tomatoes, you know, at the appropriate time for this climate zone, and
then actually they of course added the rock dust and then they mulched. So then these
tomatoes are really nice stout plants that are growing really well. And then over yonder,
let’s go over here real quick, these tomatoes actually were planted a little bit later and
not mulched. And because it was so dry, you know, the water was not being retained in
the soil and these plants just did not fare as well and aren’t as large or productive.
So, you know, so that’s cool that they’re doing experiments. And they’ve been experimenting
now with rock dust for 30 years and using it to see how it grows so that they could
educate others about, you know, the possibilities and how to use rock dust in the best and most
efficient way. One of the coolest things here is, you know,
I really like the rock dust and some of the largest leaves that I’ve ever seen in my
life, you know, for vegetable wise was actually at my friend’s place in Portland. The video
is titled, which you guys should watch if you haven’t, it’s titled ‘Supersize
Your Vegetables With Wood Chips and Rock Dust’. So while they do use some wood chips here,
I think they should personally use some more, but they are using the rock dust. And I had
a dinosaur kale leaf, which are usually long and slender, and I picked one at my friend’s
place in Portland and it covered my head. And here they’re growing one of my other
kind of favorite kales besides the dinosaur kale, it’s actually the red Russian kale.
And these guys are pretty large and just about cover my head. Peek-a-boo, I see you. So yeah,
I mean, so this is what can happen when you’re using rock dust. I mean, their tomatoes are
nice and large, juicy, sweet and delicious. Not only will the rock dust make your leaves
larger, they’re going to make them, you know, more disease and pest resistant. They’re
going to make them more nutritious and they’re going to make them more tolerable to, you
know, the elements and to different weather and climatic conditions. So yeah that’s
a really cool thing about their garden. They’re just pretty much adding rock dust and other
minerals and you know, of course some compost in addition. I think, you know, most gardeners
get it somewhat backwards, you know. Everybody thinks compost compost compost, if I add compost,
make my own compost, that’s all I need. But the problem is, if there’s not the trace
minerals especially in the compost you’re making, then your soils are going to be deficient.
They’re only going to have what was in there originally in the food and the material that
you’re using to make compost. Whether that’s from a manure source or tree scraps and yard
waste clippings, if that wasn’t grown with the trace minerals then your compost will
not have those trace minerals and then subsequently your plants will not have those minerals as
well. So, besides just the plants, they also have
some animals on the site. So next let me go ahead and show you guys how they’re using
the rock dust as well as biochar to feed their animals, to increase their animal’s health
and consequently their health when they eat the eggs or by-products of the animals. Chicken, chicken, chicken, you know what’s
for dinner. Alright, so anyways as you guys could see
we got some chickens here and these are free, truly free range chickens. They just, you
know, stay in the cage at night for protection from, you know, different animals and what
not. But in the day time they just get to wander around, they get to eat and forage
for their own food here. And one of the things that they’re feeding the chickens are actually
the biochar and the rock dust. So I’ve heard of feeding rock dust to animals. I mean this
is really good for the animals because they’re getting their trace minerals, which are essential
to them. And, you know, although I would like to grow, you know, vegetables and things for
my chickens that have the rock dust, you could also feed it to them directly, as we can also
directly ingest rock dust for our trace minerals but the absorption is very little. But some
minerals are always better than no minerals in my opinion. But the best way is to get
it, you know, run the trace minerals, you know, in the inorganic state through your
plants and then get them in, the minerals in a organic state that we can better assimilate
and digest once they’ve been, you know, consumed literally by the plants. Now one of the cool things that I’ve learned
about this time, you know, with the chickens. Let me see if I could catch a chicken. Hey
chicken chick chick chicken. So basically what I found out this trip is
by actually including biochar in your animal’s diets, it’s going to minimize the amount
of gas for example, or flatulence, or toxic by-products it creates because charcoal will
bind it up instead of, you know, animals such as cows releasing it into the atmosphere,
which can be a major issue in this day and age, you know, that may be playing a significant
factor in the climate change that’s going on. So yeah I just want to give you a little quick
synopsis of biochar and rock dust with animals. Something new I learnt. But now I want to
really go off into the coolest part of the farm, which is the field where they’re growing
a lot of different fruit trees. So now we’re in the fruit tree orchard.
And as you guys could see we got apples trees and I mean, an amazing thing for me is that
these apple trees are actually quite productive, you know, being that they’re actually not
even adding any, you know, fertilizer in the bag or anything like this. You know they’re
not using like fruit tree fertilizer, apple tree fertilizer, citrus tree fertilizer, or
anything like that. They’re simply like, you know, heavily mulching with wood chips
underneath the trees and then they also add the rock dust. So I want to take you guys
over here. And I mean, look at the production on this tree. I mean, I haven’t seen production
like this in quite a long time. If we look at this, I mean, normally these apples would
be thinned out because this is just way too many apples for one tree. And normally they
might have branches breaking that they’d have to prop up and do all this stuff. But
the amazing thing is by using the rock dust minerals, you know, they got like large harvests
a lot of fruit plus the branches are nice and strong because one of the major elements
in the rock dust is something like the silica. Like we have bones that are made of calcium,
you know, the trees and the plants and all this stuff they need this silica. Very important
to build strong branches and healthy branches. And you know, because these apples start growing
a little bit at a time and getting heavier, that puts excess demand on the limbs to grow
stronger. Much like if I work out my muscles and I’m lifting weights I’ll build muscles,
right. And this is what the tree does. But the tree can only build strong limbs if it
has all the right trace minerals and the soil is, you know, nutritious. So without using
any kind of chemical, you know, synthetic water soluble nitrogen like most farmers do,
they’re simply using rock dust and other mineral sprays to get this amazing bounty
of apples. I mean, look at all these guys. They have so many apples here that the majority
of them actually just get pressed out. They make apple juice, which then they freeze and
then they’ll, you know, drink throughout the year. And I can say that I have had some
of the apple juice, and don’t tell anybody I had a little bit of their hard apple cider
last night too and it was delicious. And they’re some of the best apple juices I’ve ever
tasted. I mean, because the only other thing besides the tree being healthier because of
these trace minerals and besides yielding more, besides being more bug and disease resistant,
I’m not going to say they don’t have many challenges with insects or anything like that,
but overall it’s going to be healthier. We get to eat the apples and then we’re
going to be healthier because now we’re going to get the trace minerals that were
not normally, you know, occurring in the soil. And also, you know, everything is going to
taste better. It’s going to taste sweeter. Because many people know that we have sugar
receptors on our tongue, that we love things that are sweet. Unfortunately most people
are eating the wrong kinds of sugars like refined sugars and processed sugars. We also
have salt receptors on our tongue. So when we eat things that are salty, wow that’s
good. So, you know, people dump tons of salt and most Americans eat far too much sodium
or salt in their diet. So I don’t recommend that either and I don’t recommend the refined
sugars. I recommend naturals sugars as found in fruits, in a balance that nature would
provide naturally. But we also have trace mineral receptors on our tongue, and these
are the receptors in my opinion that are not being activated. So when I really eat, you
know, high quality fruits with all the different trace minerals, that lights up these receptors
whether they are the sugar receptors or the salt receptors or the other mineral receptors,
it’s like oh my god it’s almost like an orgasm in your mouth. And you’re like oh
my god this is like the best kale ever. Like I was just snacking on on the way down to
film this video. But yeah so yeah really good apple juice they got here. Alright, so here’s yet another apple tree
that they have in their orchard growing. As you guys could see this tree it’s also loaded
up with tons of apples. Now one of the things I want to recommend to you guys if you do
have fruit trees, and I do encourage you guys to have fruit trees especially if you have
a lot of acreage and space to plant fruit trees. Plant as many fruit trees as you possibly
can. And my tips would be to, you know, for your nutrients for your trees, rock dust and
wood chips. Keep feeding your trees rock dust and wood chips, as well as other, you know,
sprays to spray on minerals and other things on the leaves. Like these bio assimilates
that actually we’re going to talk about in a minute. And your trees are going to be
super healthy, super productive and yield lots of food for you. So well, what I would like to do for you guys
next is actually, you know, well maybe show you guys a little bit more of this tree. But
actually we’re going to walk up to the open area over there and we’re going to go ahead
and talk with Tom Vanacore. And this is his beautiful garden and orchard that I got to
show you briefly. And I mean, the reason really why I came here besides to show you guys some
cool stuff growing and how well it’s doing, is because Tom is probably the number one
rock dust advocate and researcher and knowledgeable person about rock dust and who sources the
most rock dust of anyone that I’m aware of. He has like rock dust connections all
over and can get you the best kind of rock dust. And I know there’s videos online that
say rock dust is not that good, I did a test in my garden, it didn’t work, and all this
kind of stuff. And we’re going to find out why sometimes rock dust actually may not work. John: Alright, so here we are, so this is
Tom, Tom Vanacore. And how’s it going Tom? Tom: It’s nice to meet you John: Thanks for having me out. Alright, Tom,
so I have a lot of questions for you today because I know you’re like the rock dust
expert here and you probably one of the most biggest experts I’ve had on this subject.
Because you’ve been playing with rock dust now for the last 30 years. I mean, how did
you get into all this rock dust stuff and know so much about this? Tom: Well, you have to understand that I worked
in the trades all my life as a mason, a stone mason and a stone cutter. So I was working
with rocks, different types of geological materials in the trades. And I had an interest
in both that and also growing food, because here in Vermont we raise our own food to the
extent we can. So I started combining those interests and one thing led to another. And
that’s, you know, that was many years ago. John: Wow. Well yeah, I mean he has some amazing
carvings and stonework around the property here. But, you know, I know since then you
know, you’ve been a lot into rock dust and actually you started a company,
. And tell us what does. Tom: Well Rock Dust Local is the first company
in North America that’s specialises in sourcing regional rock dust for remineralization primarily.
So what we do is, and we have for the last 25 years is look to identify good sources
of agro-minerals or agricultural minerals in the form of pulverized or crushed rock.
And we work to identify those sources, do an analysis of them to figure out (too much
background sound, words can’t be heard) agricultural use. And then at that point figure
out the logistics of getting those materials to professional growers. Or of late we’ve
put these things into packages so that avid gardeners and people who have interest in
growing in their backyard could have access to these materials. And we ship out of a warehouse
that we maintain in Massachusetts for that purpose. So the rock dust local is about regional
sourcing of rock dust for remineralization. That’s it in a nutshell. John: Cool. So no matter where you live, you
know, while Tom is here in the Vermont and North Eastern United States, he has, you know,
people he works with all over the country, you know, from Oregon, California, Wisconsin,
all over. So no matter where you live there is likely a local source of rock dust for
you. So that doesn’t have to be shipped as far if you’re ordering in large, you
know, tote quantities or truckload quantities. If you’re like have acreage or a large farm.
So yeah that’s how he’s been involved with this and he’s researched and worked
with many different universities and things to provide them products to get the results
with the rock dust. So next I want to go ahead and talk about
different kinds of rock dust with you. Because I see back here we have like all these different
jars and, I mean, this is rock dust haven. Like I went crazy when I got here and Tom
showed me his shop and he has, like these are just a fraction, he has at least over
a hundred different samples of different kinds of rock dust. He has more rock dust and minerals
than anybody I’ve ever met in the world. And these are just a sampling of different
kinds of ground up rocks. And what’s the difference between these
and are some better than others for agricultural use? And could somebody use some “rock dust”
and get little or poor results? Tom: Sure. Well, every type of geological
material, every kind of rock dust will be different depending upon the source and the
parent material, how the rock was formed, what kind of environment formed the rock.
So as an example, some rock dust will be volcanic in origin, some will be magmas which is basically
the molten, under the mantle of the earth there is molten core that comes up through.
You’ll have rocks that have come out of the earth in the form of lavas. You’ll have
glacial rock dust which will be rock dust that are derived from basically sediments
or mixed up of all different sorts of types of rock. You’ll have rock dust which are
shales, which are basically laid down and it sediments and formed into large beds, sandstones
which are a glomeration of silica sand and other types of smaller rocks into larger rock
forms. So, you’ll also have some of the most well known rock dust would be lime, your
agricultural limes, which are carbonates; calcium carbonate limes, magnesium carbonate.
So these will all be derived from sea shells and other maritime creatures that were laid
down and sediments and formed into these large beds of stone over many, many millions of
years. So as in every rock dust will be different. Also the type of use that a grower might find
for the rock dust would be different. And depending upon what they’re using, that
will determine not only the rock dust type but also the gradation, in other words, the
particle size. What’s the most ideal particle size for that particular use. That’s what
we concentrate on, the type of the rock and what sorts of particle size for the particular
application. We’ll look at soil samples, we’ll look at what are the crops you’re
growing, what kind of crops they’re growing, we’ll look at whether they’re just avid
gardeners or whether they’re professionals growing indoors or out, and then we’ll start
making choices on what’s their nearest best rock dust and we’ll see if we can get them
rock dust at reasonable prices. John: Cool. Yeah so, I mean, I want to really
differentiate here, because there are so many different kinds of rock dust. You could get
some, you know, lime or gypsum which also could be, you know, mined rock. But when I
talk about rock dust and say rock dust, the term, what I specifically mean is rock dust
from rock that actually has a wide spectrum of trace minerals. This is really what I mean.
So I really want you guys to get the rock dust with wide spectrum of trace minerals
and not just a specific rock, you know, that’s ground up for specific reasons like increasing,
decreasing pH, you know, or whatever. So you want to talk to this factor, Tom, on
this? Because so many people get confused, they just think they could get any kind of
ground up rock and it’s going to be the same as what I have talked about. Tom: Sure. We talked about the best rock dust.
And best meaning broad elemental spectrum tectonic. And the last word tectonic means
forces that shape the earth. So when I mean the best rock dust, I’m talking about rock
dust that comes from geology that has a very broad spectrum of macro and micro nutrients.
Everything from the major elements, your calcium and magnesium, those sorts of elements, all
the way to the micro nutrient traces such as boron or molybdenum, zinc, nickel, things
that you don’t really hear about but are essential for high functioning plant life
and also human functionality in your own system, biologic system. So the best rock dust for
remineralization are going to be the broad spectrum rock dust such as the basalt, that
would be a gold standard for rock dust, proven. There are other types of rock dust out there
but we go for those types of rocks that are volcanic in origin generally or occur in regions
of high geologic diversity. I mean, they may be volcanic rock, they may be a rock that
has marine sediments that are of interest to us. And you’ll find in every part of
the country there will be interesting rock types. Some are move diverse than others.
In the north-east we have a tremendous amount of diversity for choosing rock dust and we
source many rocks in the north-east. Out west, the same thing. Generally in the mountain
building regions you will find those sorts of best rock dust. And we also gravitate towards
some of the carbon, the carbonaceous rock dust materials that are humic shales or black
shales and materials that will have some of the building blocks of life intact that still
have that carbon forms, life forms, still intact. And nearby here we have a, we’ll
go may be visit a quarry later on today and we’ll show you some of these quarries that
source these black shales or dark shales that have the carbon and nitrogen and sulphur compounds
that are derived from life forms that were trapped in the rock. John: Alright Tom, so I had a few more questions
for you actually a whole long list, but I mean, one of the biggest things that come
up, I know a lot of you guys are already using the rock dust that have watched me in because
I believe in it and I know it works based on my experience that I’ve had with it plus
visiting other places that are using it. And you guys’ testimonials I mean, you guys
that are using it know this stuff works and it does make a difference. But a lot of you
guys and the majority of you guys are probably still not using the rock dust yet. And that
makes me kind of sad because I really want you guys to not only grow your food but grow
the highest quality food and have the easiest time at gardening. I mean, Tom is a working
man and they just spend minimal time on the garden but yet it’s still, you know, doing
pretty good despite the, you know, the minimal amount of effort they’re putting into it
because they have healthy soil. And to me rock dust is an essential part of building
healthy soil. And so the question I get a lot Tom is, you
know, “ I’ve never used rock dust, I use compost, compost, compost, manure, whatever,
and everything is growing great, why do I need the rock dust? “
Tom: Generally the rock dust is going to provide the macro and micro nutrients, especially
the trace minerals which compost unless it’s made from mineral rich feed stock is not going
to provide those. It’s really the garbage in garbage out syndrome. If you’re going
to remineralize your compost as it’s being digested and apply that sort of compost then
you’re going to get the full spectrum of nutrients. If you don’t do that, you’re
really only growing with a limited alphabet especially, you’re not going to get the
full spectrum of nutrients unless you have that sort of feed stock to begin with in your
inputs. So that’s really the main thing that needs specially crushed rock dust sources
to provide the broad spectrum of nutrients that are necessary for vital plant biologic
systems, which, you know, plants are basically complex biologic systems as are human beings.
So that’s really the objective. And it’s fairly simple. You apply broad spectrum pulverized
rock, microbial populations in the form of composts or inoculants, a good carbon source,
and you will ultimately end up with a self regulating growing system in your garden without
too much extra effort, as long as you have water and sunlight you’ll actually grow
healthy plants for the most part. John: Yeah I mean, I totally agree. And one
of the things is if you’ve always grown a certain way and you’re doing it and it
works great, that’s great. And you know what the results are. But what if you add
rock dust and things are better? I mean, the worst thing that’s going to happen in Josh
of Boogie Brew’s famous last words is you’re going to be fleeced by buying rock dust that
doesn’t do anything, but it will, it does and will work. And it is an investment, you
know, in your soil making your soil healthier plus an investment in your health. So that
you and your family could have healthier food because it is more nutritious, you know, by
documented studies that we’re going to talk about in a little bit. So Tom, I wanted to ask you about the problem
with like just using synthetic chemical fertilizers and like 10-10-10 fertilizer as well as, you
know, like major universities out there say that you only need like sixteen to maybe twenty
minerals , that’s all the plant needs right? And there’s gardening methods, Mittleider
gardening method online. You know, for example, say your plants only need, you know, sixteen
to twenty minerals and that all the other ones are a waste because your plants doesn’t
use them. It’s like is it a truth or a, you know, is this true or what’s the story
on all this? Tom: Well, to take your questions in the order
that they come. First of all, there is a distinct difference between well you mentioned triple
10 which we’re talking about soluble NPK fertilizers. These are generally soluble sulphates
or acid salts that are going to create a condition where the plant will need to uptake nutrients
in solutions essentially. And there’s a big problem with that in that much of what
you put out is going to be lost into the water system, into the ground water, contamination
of wells, into the ditches and lowlands will produce algae blooms. There’s a big effort
right now to control phosphorous run off, nitrogen getting into water wells, complicates
respiratory systems in human beings by replacing oxygen essentially. Because nitrogen and oxygen
are very similar, look and appear similar in the respiratory system. So that those are
problems of actual function in the soil and in the plant. The other downside is when you
apply soluble fertilizers in high doses, you’re going to kill microbial populations and you’re
also going to start losing carbon. It’s well documented that the use of soluble fertilizers
has caused a depletion of carbon in the soil from the top soil. So instead of the carbon
being sequestered or captured in the top soil, these practices actually cause a depletion
of carbon in the form of CO2 into the atmosphere and other volatile compounds. So there is
a lot of downsides to it. You’re also supporting the fossil fuel industry, which is a major
producer of chemical fertilizers. Now there are some growers that use both, that judiciously
use soluble fertilizers and micro nutrients in the form of rock dust and other inputs.
And they are successful. So there is some middle ground there. We don’t use soluble
fertilizers. We don’t use any nitrogen, soluble nitrogen, here. And we have vigorous
growth in our orchards and in our garden. So you can grow plants without the use of
soluble fertilizers if you have minerals, carbon and microbes. John: Cool. So what about the, you know, some
plant biologists and all this and universities say you need sixteen to twenty odd minerals
and that’s all the plant needs. Like is that true or is not true or what’s your
research uncover? Tom: I think to some extent it’s true that
there are major elements that are necessary. They’re acknowledging minor trace elements
but most of the agronomists now are starting to open their eyes to the need for trace elements
such as boron as an example. And boron will regulate pollination, yeah the pollen function
of plants, it will regulate cell wall structure. For instance they’ll talk about nickel.
No one’s ever spoken about nickel in the past, about the need for nickel. And we’re
talking in traces. This is not a red flag for people worrying about heavy metals. This
is the fact that human and plant biology relies on some of these nutrients and trace, without
them you don’t your system won’t work well. Cobalt as an example is another one.
Chromium is another one. In addition to the majors which are your phosphorous and potassium,
calcium and magnesium, and so on and so forth. So it’s very important to acknowledge not
only the role of the major nutrients but also the roles of the trace elements, not only
for plant health but for the human body. I think that some of the decline in the health
of the population especially in the modern world, and I’m sure you can speak to this
very well, is the lack of trace elements and trace nutrients and available nutrients in
the food source. And that’s one thing that we’re trying to work to change. At Rock
Dust Local and a bunch of the people who are growing biologically and organically using
these mineral inputs are raising the nutrient density, nutrient content of the food. That
in turn is going to create a healthier population. So we say health care starts in the farm,
it starts on the farm and in your dirt. And I don’t think there’s really much dispute
about that anymore in terms of the science. John: Yeah I mean, I saw this book that you
have here. It’s actually called the Mental and Elemental Nutrients by Carl Pfeiffer,
PhD MD. And this actually, what does this book talk about and, you know, how can this
be beneficial for you guys if you guys are looking for more information on actually different
trace minerals and the use in the body and some of the things that it can cause or not
cause? Tom: Yeah, this is actually a book written
by Carl Pfeiffer who passed away a while ago. This book was actually published in 1975.
There have been other editions of it. But essentially he pioneered, he and his group
in an institute called The Brain Bio Center in Princeton, New Jersey, pioneered the treatment
of degenerative conditions such as schizophrenia and other neurological problems through use
of vitamin therapy and whole food therapies. And he did a lot of work that at the time
the pharmaceutical companies didn’t appreciate and there was a lot of resistance to some
of his findings. But Pfeiffer and others have long promoted the use of whole foods and vitamin
therapy to treat a number of different diseases. And I think this is sort of speaks of the
idea of creating a healthy condition in the soils for both plant and also animal feed.
So that’s something that we’re working on to bring to the public; not only to professional
growers but also to avid gardeners and people who have potted plants and such on their balconies.
Everybody has access to this if they just look hard enough. They can come to our website
or some of our other partners make these available to people at very affordable prices now. John: Great. Great, so we’ve talked about,
you know, the mineral connection with human health and how that could enhance, you know,
your health. But what does it really do to the soil and what does it do to the plants,
you know? I mean, how are plants affected by adding in these broad spectrum, you know,
rock dust minerals, like what will happen? Tom: Well, I’m going to read a little bit
from, because you know I can’t remember all of this stuff every day, Paul Storer,
who is an agronomist, a long time agronomist for a company called Australian Mineral Fertilizers
in Australia. He did a lot of research over the years and he put down some of, a list
of things that some of these nutrients will affect in plants. And I’m just going to
read it quickly. And nitrogen, most people heard of nitrogen, nitrogen affects the formation
of amino acids, nucleic acids. So we’re talking about DNA and RNA. If you don’t
have available nitrogen of the right form, you’re not going to be able to synthesize
proteins and chlorophyll as an example. Sulphur, something that many agronomists don’t talk
about, but sulphur is needed for nucleic acids, protein acids, coenzymes, necessary for energy
storage or structural integrity. These are in cell walls. Phosphorous is considered a
major nutrient. Phosphorous creates sugar, sugar phosphates, it carries chemical energy
in the form of ATP, creation of nucleic acids, coenzymes. Boron is something that we’re
hearing a little bit more about and we look for rock dust that has boron. Some of our
best rock dust have appreciable amounts of boron. It complexes with mannitol and other
constituents of cell walls. So we’re talking about the actual structure of the cell, involved
in pollen germination and pollen tube growth. So without boron you’re going to get poor
pollination. And without pollination you’re going to get poor, uh, poor, John: fruit set Tom: poor fruit set. Silicon, in the form
of silica deposited as silica in the plant cell walls. It’s increasingly being seen
as a vital nutrient. It improves cell wall structure and rigidity, strength, plant architecture.
Potassium K, which is shown as the letter K, it’s a cofactor for over 40 enzymes including
soluble starches. Sodium, used by sea floor plants which are high carbon plants. Magnesium
is a cofactor in many plant enzymes. Calcium, considered by many to be the kingpin of elements,
a major constituent of cell walls, a second messenger in metabolic regulations and cell
permeability. Manganese is a cofactor for some enzymes required for photosynthesis and
oxygen evolution. Chlorine regulates osmotic balance, which is pressure balance within
cells, is a component of photosynthetic reaction. Iron, a cofactor of cytochromes, which has
to do with electron transfer and proteins, respiration required for chlorophyll synthesis.
Copper, a cofactor of photosynthetic electron transfer. Again we’re talking about electron,
the difference of cations and anion exchange, respiratory electron transfer proteins and
other enzymes. Zinc is a vital element missing in many foods, a component of alcohol dehydrogenase,
copper and zinc super oxides. Molybdenum, again if you’re missing molybdenum in traces,
you will not be able to fix nitrogen from any source. Nickel is a plant enzyme cofactor.
Nickel is required for iron absorption and seed germination, so without nickel in appreciable
amounts you will not be able to germinate your seeds. Nickel depletion is linked to
necrosis of the leaves and stems, so that would be the yellowing of the leaves and the
stems, is the lack of grain viability so poor development of grains, depressed vigour in
seedlings. And then there’s many others that aren’t listed here. These would be
the rare earth elements that are only now being seen to be vital in the formation of
germination of plants, early growth, the ability of plants to breathe or you know take oxygen
and CO2 out of the air and things like that. So these are the sorts of elements that are
found in rock dust minerals, a broad spectrum rock dust, as well as in some of the crop
synergist that we’re putting out with the rock dust. The fulvic and humic acids, the
flavonoids which we’re feeding to the top of the plant and also when we water. When
we irrigate or water our plants we’re putting out these cofactors which help synthesize
or chelate the plant or assist in the plants own chelation and assimilation of these vital
nutrients. John: Cool. Yeah I want to definitely talk
about that in just a little bit. But I want to get back to like kind of keeping it real
for my gardener people out there. Because I know a lot of you guys aren’t super technical
and frankly that was getting a little bit technical, you know. But I want you guys to
remember this, you know, like for me my gardening style and what I teach for you guys is something
that’s really easy to do without having to like be the expert and know what specific
trace mineral does what. So, for example, like if a burglar was breaking in to my house,
I wouldn’t have like a 9mm and shoot him right between the eyes and take him down,
I’d have a shot gun and just blast the shot gun in the general direction and just splatter
the shot everywhere and I’m bound to hit him. And so that’s my gardening approach
and with things like rock dust, you don’t got to know how it all works, you just got
to get some good rock dust and spread it down and that’s the end of the story. But, you
know, it’s sad that most people are still not doing that. And I know there’s videos
on YouTube that say oh rock dust doesn’t work because there is this one guy did one
study with a certain kind of rock. And Tom, why is it that sometimes rock dust just simply
don’t work? And I know that there’s more than one reason.

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