RockDust builds soil fertility. Which product is best?

(JOHN) This is John Kohler with
here in my front yard garden and I have a very special guest with me today so this is
the man and he’s eating my home grown strawberries. (DON) I thought you meant the strawberry…
Ok! (JOHN) That’s my special guest and it’s
going to get eaten. (DON) My special guest. (JOHN) Well, anyways, my good friend with
me here his name is Don Weaver and he literally wrote the book… I know he’s a modest guy,
but he wrote the book on soil remineralization and using rock dust and he got me into the
rock dust and that’s why I’m so excited about rock dust. So, I’ here now with the
expert, and I call him an expert he probably wouldn’t consider himself an expert but
I think he’s the expert he knows a lot more about rock dust than most people in my opinion. (DON) Tell them who the real expert is John. (JOHN) Nature is the real expert we want to
just model nature and people try to make nature hard by spraying toxic chemicals and, you
know, chemicals don’t appear in nature, MiracleGro don’t appear in nature, but guess
what? Compost appears in nature, things like rock dust and minerals should appear in nature
but are getting hard to find in nature so we need to maybe duplicate nature and use
technology to emulate nature. Does that sound right? (DON) Sounds like a plan, yeah I think that’s
pretty accurate. My perspective is nature has a pretty good design going and if we’re
wise we’ll study it, see how mother nature does things on the planet and then when it’s
productive and constructing and health promoting we should obviously imitate or cooperate with
those methods and those systems. So, as far as the soil life system which produces all
the vegetation and all the plant and animal life on the earth it’s all based on the
foundation of a healthy mineral base and a complete mineral base. The mineral are the
first food of the microbes in the soil and microbes are the first step on the whole chain
of life on Earth. So, our first responsibility in being good stewards, or caretakers, or
regenerators of the Earth would be to make the soil microbes have their complete natural
which is basically the rock minerals from the Earth’s crust plus the organic matter
that grows out of the Earth that needs to go back to the soil to replenish and build
it up, year to year potentially we could build the soil to a higher level of fertility each
year we’re giving more than we’re taking from the soil so I and other have been experimenting
with rock powders for the last 30 years and before that people were doing it back in the
1800s and some people even further back, as back as the Aegean cultures in the middle
east supposedly they used ground up rock to add to their compost to make a much more fertile
compost and produce the basis of their fertility and health back many centuries ago as Edmond
Bordeaux Szekely talks about in his book The Ecological Health Garden, very interesting
book. (JOHN) What’s the difference between the
Azomite that I have here the Gaia Green Glacial Rock Dust and here’s the Ocean Solution
or Ocean Grown Solution, basically minerals from the sea concentrated in a bottle, much
easier to ship, and then we have just an example here of some other kind of stuff that’s
sold as a rock dust but kind of looks like sand to me. So what’s all the differences
and why don’t you just start with that. (DON) Ok, sure. Well, Azomite has been around
probably 50 years. Now it comes out of Utah, the name comes from A to Z of Minerals, A
Z O M is A to Z of Minerals, “-ite” to make it a cute name. It has every element
on the Earth’s crust as far as we know it’s been analyzed extensively so it is a pretty
complete mineral fertilizer. Legally some of these things aren’t “fertilizers”
according to some state laws but in terms of the definition of creating more fertile
soil these are fertile soils. A lot of the chemical stuff out there called fertilizers
I think might be more accurately called de-fertilizers because in the long run they result in depleting
the soil of fertility because they’re adding maybe three elements or so back to the soil
to stimulate the crops to take out 60 to 90 minerals. So, does that make sense in the
long run? Obviously not, I don’t believe it makes sense in the short run either but
that’s been the habit of humanity since World War II approximately, the chemical forcing
of soil production by adding stimulating chemicals, akin to adding stimulants and drugs to the
human body to try to force out some expression of health instead of building it from the
same foundation upwards. Anyway, Azomite is a good product that’s
on the market. I don’t particularly advocate any one product or I think any of them work
well in one’s local environment and it’s practical to bring in, makes sense to consider
as a source. The Gaia Green Glacial Minerals is it this one? (JOHN) That’s that one. (DON) I’ve been using this one about the
last three years and getting really good results with it. Comes out of British Columbia, it’s
a natural glacial mix of rocks and usually the best rock dusts are from mixtures of rocks
which are mixed up by the glaciers. Hello white cabbage butterfly! They’re apparently
interested in this topic as well, as they should be. (JOHN) They like mineral rich foods too? (DON) They like the mineralized brassicas,
they’re by far the best. They don’t need to munch up all your plants, they can get
a few bites and they’re done and you got all plenty for yourself. Important principle.
Anyway, Gaia Green Glacial rock dust, “Gaia” being a name for the mother earth, is a very
good source, it comes out of British Columbia, and a lot of places are marketing this now.
Companies with value farm supply and Harmony Farm Supply out in this area, in Sebastopol
area, and quite a few others… Lyngso Garden Materials in Redwood City down near where
I live in the San Francisco peninsula. So that’s a good one. (JOHN) So does that have all the same…?
Well I can’t say “all” the same because it’s going to have a different spectrum
minerals but… (DON) Different balance but they’re basically
the same full spectrum is usually what’s found in glacial mixes because the glaciers
crush and grind rocks from a number of different strata of the Earth crust and mix them together
and spread them out over usually huge areas during the glacial periods and on a smaller
scale in the inter-glacial periods. Like in the Hunza area where people are reputed to
be the healthiest people on the world and among the longest lived, as you can read about
in John Robbins’ Healthy at 100 book. The Hunza people are benefiting every year from
the glacial melt water coming down out of the Himalayas above them and the glacial melt
water is full of the finely entrained rock powder ground by the glaciers, they call it
glacial milk in Hunza land and they drink it as well as add it to the soil in all the
crops so they have super high quality food there. Remember Jolene Tong from the San Francisco
Raw Food Group went there and tasted their produce, she was amazed, hadn’t really tasted
true organic mineralized produce. Big upgrade from standard organic produce growing off
in what’s slaughterhouse by-products and the animal manures and benign neglect, to
adding all the minerals and making the soil so much better. A lot of the taste compounds as well as the
health producing compounds are found in the trace minerals so if you’re lacking molybdenum
and zinc and manganese and many of these trace minerals the quality of the food and the taste
of the food goes way down. And there’s been studies showing since early 1900s it’s been
20-80% drops typically in most minerals measured from the foods back then compared to now.
So we’re saying accumulative demineralization of the soil; year after year or decade after
decade leading us to, if not total extinction which is possible, to a state of degeneration
where we’re not even consciously able to understand what’s happening to us, like
the frog in the frying pan where they gradually turn up the water and it doesn’t jump out,
it just stays there and gets boiled. The degeneration of the human brain body and spirit along with
the ecological degeneration seems to go hand in hand so we’re obviously part of the system
if we want to upgrade our health it’s not just human health we need to be concerned
of, it’s total ecological health that’s obviously the issue, or should be obvious,
I hope it’s becoming more obvious to all of us. Anyway, remineralization of the soil is just
a simple way to give back to nature potentially hundreds of years of depletion, in almost
overnight we can be generous give back to the soil what we’ve been taking for decades
or even centuries and repay this debt to nature that’s been accumulating and I suggest we
repay as soon as possible. John mentioned this Ocean Solution, there’s
a few products using sea solids or sea solutions which I think have a good place in advanced
mineralized organic agriculture. I haven’t tried them extensively myself but I’ve read
enough testimonials and results people are getting to know it’s a very helpful product
if it makes sense to bring this into your local garden or farm. John mentioned it may
be cheaper to ship this and that depends partly on the quantity, I think ideally we should
be shipping billions of tons of gravel dust all over in trains in trucks. (JOHN) I agree! (DON) Get it out there in generous quantities
so whether a truckload of this would be cheaper than a truckload of… actually they’re
probably roughly the same weight or volume, whatever it’s probably comparable but whatever
we need… I think everything that’s helpful we need to get out as soon as possible to
repay this debt before nature stops renewing our lease on life and kicks us off the planet.
Nature is the landlord and we haven’t been very good tenants as you probably all know
out there. So this last one John is showing me for the
first time, it’s a new product on the market that we’re not sure would be really as helpful
as these other because it doesn’t seem to be very full of fine powder and usually you
need something pretty fine to feed those tiny mouths of the tiny microorganisms, they can’t
eat big rocks obviously and even sand size particles tend to be big rocks to these tiny
microbes so it makes more sense to grind it fine and we’re a little doubtful this is
fine enough, it’s mostly sand size it appears but it really needs to go through what’s
called a sieve analysis going through different size sieves or screens to show how much will
pass, say through a 50 holes per square inch screen or a 100 mesh screen and a 200 mesh
screen. Usually you want something at least going through a 100 mesh and better a 200
mesh, even a 400 mesh screen which makes like a really fine like a talcum powder rouge kind
of fineness to it. So, that’ll feed the organisms really fast and generously. So,
we’ll have to do some growth test with this as will be the manufacturers if they haven’t
already and see if it will be a good one to use for some people. (JOHN) Another question my viewers have is
that I use these guys because luckily they’re available here but most people don’t have
a good farm supply store in their local area and most places actually don’t carry this
d it’s very hard to find unfortunately and I wish every farm supply… I wish Home Depot
sold this stuff, they should, I’d be making sure it would fly off the shelves and people
would get results and they’d buy more. So, hey if you work for Home Depot or Lowe’s
you guys should pick up this stuff. (DON) And I’ve written to the CEO of Home
Depot, did you get my letter and the articles that I sent you? Please re-consider, I’ve
heard nothing back. (JOHN) Evidently not. (DON) Not yet.
(JOHN) Maybe they’ll watch my video. But anyways, so if people can’t… (DON) Watch all his videos, they’re worth
your time. (JOHN) If people can’t get this products
I know another source of gravel dust is really a gravel yard or places that sell gravel and
rocks. So tell us about that and how people would get that stuff and get it by the truckload
and if it would be as good as this or if its better obviously than nothing, right? Don
why don’t you tells us about that. (DON) Sure! Forrest Gump might say sometimes
you get some really good fine gravel dust t these gravel pits, sometimes they’ll be
crushing and screening gravel to different sizes and most of their market is for the
larger gravels and cobble stones maybe and sand, there’s a big market for sand, and
sometimes they don’t really have a market for the very fine dust which might end up
in a big pile off to the side that just sits there often and you can buy that, sometimes
they’ll give it to you for free or you can certainly ask “Do you think I could have
a sample of your fines?” They often call them fines or rock dust or gravel crushers
screenings but you could ask what’s the closest thing to a rock dust or powder they
have and ask them if you might do some experiments to see how it work in your horticulture, agriculture
or forestry experiments growing trees or gardens or whatever and often they’ll give it to
you or maybe they’ll say “Well, we have to sell it for $10 dollars a ton or something”
and that’s a bargain $10 dollars a ton. If you can get something that shows promise
you might want to take a little bit first do some pot tests with and without it, different
fast growing vegetables like radishes grow fast or any fast growing plants you can think
of. So, that’s a good way to go about it, see
if it works and then you can establish a relationship where you can just get as much as you want
anytime for a cheap or reasonable price and then if they have a big amount, more than
you could use, you can tell your friends about it or go in with group purchases or tell your
gardener and farmer friends and this’ll take that pile sitting there and get it out
on the soil where it’ll do some good for all of us and also of course it’ll help
save the climate, which is deteriorating, it’ll make for much more biomass to suck
in the excess CO2 and bring it down to normal interglacial levels so we don’t totally
wreck the climate and throw us into either into fully chaos climate or another glacial
period which is very possible, you can read about that in The Survival of Civilization
book which I co-authored with John Hammond or a later book I wrote called To Love and
Regenerate the Earth. They’re both free online at, that’s the
soil and health library I recommend, a lot of good information there on human health
and planetary health and soil health, so along with John’s excellent website
is a good one and my friend Joanna Campi started 20+ years ago and that’s
an excellent resource for gravel dust commercial sources all around the world and also a lot
of good articles and information there you can tap into. So, I highly
recommend. (JOHN) Alright so this is John Kohler and
Don Weaver with keep on growing and use some rock dust! It’s
good for you, it’s good for the soil, it’s good for the planet, it’s good for everyone!
We’ll see you next time. (DON) Live long and prosper!

78 thoughts on “RockDust builds soil fertility. Which product is best?

  1. Thats a tough question. There are so many plants that are useful/beneficial. I would definetly say it is some sort of edible weed. It would be really hard for me to narrow it down.

  2. Thanks for this video. Azomite's home page has a search list to find your local dealer. The sieve analysis of fine and coarse aggregates can be found on the webpage for the Indiana department of transportation, and AASHTO, a professional associaiton of highway engineers at:

  3. @TheSoilsister Thetis, I see you guys redid your Azomite website… I can't seem to find the same informational videos you had on the old site. Does Azomite have a Youtube channel? Facebook?? if not, ya'll should!

  4. this was amazingly motivational! what a great grapevine to be building! Thank you John for having this guest! What great company you keep!!

  5. @SpikenAL Hemp hands down, it has over 1000 different uses. Paper, Rope, Concrete, Clothes, canvas, Plastic, Textiles, medicine, fiber, food, bio fuels, etc….

  6. @drchen054 I eat micronized AZOMITE, and it is a rock dust, or clay. All kinds of animals eat dirt when lacking minerals. Some of the longest living peoples on Earth drink water from glacial runoff mountain streams that contain large amounts of silt (rock dusts).

    Many native cultures from around the world eat forms of clay as a mineral supplement. It is also said to remove many toxins from the body. Many cultures also eat charcoal, and charcoal is in those "Chaser" hangover pills.

  7. Don makes a great Forest Gump. LOL
    Great info guys!!! Thanks so much for your expertise and generous sharing. :))

  8. No one should spend their money on this expensive stuff until they have a $10 soil test done by their local extension office. Why would you spend money for something that's already in your soil? People have had great gardens for a long time without this stuff – think about it. There is no magic new ingredient you need to grow vegetables. These fads come and go – don't get caught up in the hype.

  9. I absolutely do encourage soil tests before adding nutrients to your soil. If you want to learn if you have TRACE MINERALS in your soil, a $10 soil test will not suffice. If you want to learn if you have trace minerals, get a soil test from aglabs*com that will test for trace minerals. To learn more about how trace mineral supplementation is different than adding "minerals" please visit remineralize*org. Trace minerals are devoid in soils according to a 1936 senate document.

  10. University of Massachusetts:

    Routine Soil Analysis …………………………………………………………………..$ 10.00

    Includes pH, Buffer pH, Extractable Nutrients (P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B), Extractable Aluminum, Cation Exchange Capacity, Percent Base Saturation.

    People grow great gardens without adding expensive rock dust, so obviously trace minerals are not limiting. And relying on a 1936 senate document is silly.

  11. I'm on the East coast and no local distributors for Azomite. I just bought it online from Countryside Organics in Waynesboro, VA. They have a reasonable price for the 44 lb bag and also good shipping cost.
    I did inquire with some local garden centers and 1 said they might carry it next year. Just planting some seeds of awareness to see what will grow. :)))
    Thanks guys. :)))

  12. Well, technically, chemicals do appear in nature, even man-made chemicals, as we ARE a part of nature and the things we produce, therefore, can be considered a part of nature. But yeah, we all get what you're saying: man-made concoctions aren't always the best things for us.

  13. When Is a good time to introduce azomite and sea shells to my dirt for next years garden season here in ca. I want some good soil I have sandy loam. Was going to get a bounch of chicken shit and other crap litteraly from HD. Got any good ideas I dont have alot of money so I want a good plan. I have a 20 foot wide 4 foot deep 5 tier garden in my new house looks neglected. Although I did get some good corn and green beans this year and some mealons. Thanks for the info. Peace

  14. I have access to local basalt and granite dust… Where could I send a sample to have it analyzed for micro-minerals…
    Excellent video… One of your best…

  15. Anyone looking for Azomite go to their website. They have a list of their distributors. Turns out that one of the local landscaping companies carry it for about $1.00 a pound. I got mine in the granular form and it works just as well. You can also use it in your compost tea for faster results. The granular form is more of a slow release so you don't have to apply it as often. I followed the directions and my vegetables are very healthy and taste amazing. Tthanks John for all you do for us.

  16. Checked Home Depot and Lowes last week. They don't have any of these. Still looking for some rock dust.

  17. In tracking my family tree, I saw a rash of people die of goiters during settling the Chicago area, and some young children dying in Georgia and Virginia from what was written down as heart attacks.

    Turns out that there's belts of mineral deficiencies in the US, The rust belt is low in iodine, the south is low in selenium, and when people had to eat local, it caused health problems. I don't see why making sure you have a good mix of your trace minerals is a bad idea, especially with the results

  18. i am pretty new to this, but based on what alot of people including john in some videos, the maringa tree, or tree of life, would be an amazing plant, then maybe kale, edible weeds if you think about it, are so full of life, and able to absorb nutrients, that mowing doesnt even kill them. Imagine how healthy a garden is for you, yet if you mow it, its gone! Personally i wonder if that means the level of vitality in weeds is higher, and as john and others say, you are what you eat.

  19. how about pigweed/amaranthus…it is considered a major pest for cotton and soy farmers, it needs far less water than traditional crops and grows in crap soils…you can eat the leaves and seeds and its ridiculously nutritious.

  20. its legal commercially in Australia and the economics don't stack up, so no that definitely won't be the most useful plant in america….bamboo is more useful than hemp, similar properties but can be used for constructions as well.

  21. Well I'm just convinced enough to invest just $40 on 20 pounds of Azomite from Amazon. I've got (4) 4x12x8 raised beds, two of which I'll use the rock dust in. If it doesn't seem to make a difference between my "dusted" and "non-dusted" beds, then whatever. If I do see a clear difference, that will be better proof than some online document, site, hearsay, or manufacture propaganda.

    There's way too much controversy on this subject. Anyone can do a two pot test (same conditions, same, soil, same seed package, same water source, etc) but with one addition of rock dust and the other without. Anyone can do a scientific study to figure it out. That's what I'm gonna do.

  22. Great info. Loved this video. I first heard about rock dust in a book I read, "stone age farming". They had some studies from Australia.

  23. I know this is an older video & its probably been commented on a bunch but this "expert"  doesn't even know what the name stands for.  Said the "ite" in azomite is there for a cute name.  LOL   —   A to Z Of Minerals Including Trace Elements

  24. Rock dust does not add any significant amount of nutrients to the soil. The soil already is full of minerals just like rock dust. If you want to improve the soil grow a crop of winter rye and turn it under or if you have the money buy alfalfa and dig that in and give it time to rot. Rock dust is a total waste of money.

  25. I live in New England. Picking rocks out of your ground is common. I think a  Bio-active soil with massive fungal, a and bacterial growth break down the rocks. 

  26. I have a few questions about rock dust… 

    If it is so vital than how are there forests around the world that have been growing for millennia with nothing but more and more organic matter being added each year via plant waste to create more and more soil, than most of the plants wouldn't have access to trace minerals except for maybe large trees, right?  Now I realize erosion is going to spread these minerals around but only to a point.

    Second questions is if you need primarily iron, sulfur and calcium, and if I'm not mistaken this is found in most municipal water sources (in traces or more), than why couldn't you just water your garden with city water and add a bone char and activated alumina water filter to remove fluoride and chlorine?

    Third question is why could i not just go to a clean local stream and collect some sediment and add it to my garden?  Most areas would have some levels of these trace minerals which would seem to be just as effective. 

    It seems ridiculous to buy small bags of crushed rock for premium prices.

    Any thoughts?

  27. Hi John! Hey can you please put the books and links that Donald talk about in the description? My english is not that good to catch all what he said! 
    Thanks and like always, great video!

  28. hey brother, i was watching your video on the aquaponics system in hawaii again and it got me to thinking.
    you say you feed your soil trace minerals to give them what they are lacking. then you go on to say plants absorb food 2 ways: 1 via roots and the other via the leaves.
    well, i knew all this of course, however, i was wondering how and where one might introduce these minerals in a hydro/aquaponics system with worms/rocks/soil for biofilters. what if we took a spray bottle thats used for everyday cleaning or bbqing and put a small ammount of each traces you want to feed the plants and walk around once a week and lightly spray the leaves? would these minerals damage the leaves? should it be done via the root system only?

    anyway, i finally got things with the VA strait. we are buying a house soon and i look forward to starting my setup. will take lots of pics and who knows, once it gets going and if you're ever in texas area, be awesome to show it off and meet ya.


  29. I totally love your videos, they are very useful and informative. Is there one that kind of lays out a plan for where to start from the very beginning of spring to fall as far as building up soil nutrients in a raised bed? I have to use raised beds because of my soil in the rest of the yard being just terrible: there are black walnut trees on the back of the property.

  30. now, now, now. I, I, I , got. I mean I got Well what I mean is I got dust from the operation of crushing recycled concrete, and, and and , I've noticed how well sun flowers grow in concrete gravel. So,so, so, we'll of course, well from what type of rocks does dust come from? Any type up rocks ?

  31. Best explanation as to why we should be using rock dust. Your videos are awesome and you have inspired me to convert my lawn and GROW MY OWN GREENS!!

  32. The Hunza people have no proof of their claims of high longevity, and they are just as unhealthy as other less-industrialized regions. One Hunza man even said that age has nothing to do with the calendar, suggesting a less literal age and more of an age based on wisdom or experience than an actual numbering of years. They use fresh animal and human excrement on their crops, and they haven't clued in to washing their produce adequately to rid them of pathogens.

  33. If conventional synthetic fertilizer application doesn't provide adequate trace elements and the soil is being depleted and the plants aren't getting everything they need to be healthy, how do farmers grow plants? Plants will either not grow or grow very poorly if they do not have everything they need, so how come they can grow millions of tons (or whatever) of  healthy looking produce? Maybe because most soils are actually abundant in most trace minerals to begin with, and therefore you ARE getting them in your diet just by eating a balanced diet.

  34. If my avocado appears to have brown leaves due to lack of iron can I powder iron tablets and dilute it in water to feed my sick tree.

  35. Rock dust is for people making 100% of their soil from organic material. Rock dust is mineral broken down and available in ways compost is not. Depends on where you live, if there is occasional high to moderate wind and lots of Granite or Basalt where you in your area, you may have the right rock dust in your yard already. Just scoop it right off an upper layer of untampered earth. when i add this to my organic compost mixes, the difference in plant growth is substantial. But I do recommend checking the dust in your area before buying a $18.99 bag of dirt from a company. Yours might even be better. Ours in the high desert (Mojave) is awesome. It's high in calcium, granite and basalt among others.

  36. I have a very important question, is the rock dust tested for things that are toxic, where is the rock dust coming from and how is it made!

  37. I would like to know if there is a community out about in the state of mobile Alabama that will help spread the love and get everyone growing again. I'm wanting to start in my yard and follow suit!

  38. That Alberta Garden guy keeps posting videos against wasting money on AZOMITE. What are your thoughts? For me i feel like he isn't using the product to its full potential!

  39. John this is one of your very best videos you guys spoke so much truth I wish everyone in the world would have watched this video so they can learn how wrong they are in their ways

  40. I am a bit confused but very pleased to see OTG (off the grid)  technology explained so well. My initial complaint was the title. Learn  ORGANIC gardening.  Since there is no such thing and sales world wide have slowed to a drip seemed silly to keep using that word.  It is no ONE persons fault. But there is a (marketing) misconception that if food that is labeled and grown Organic is healthier for you.  Not true even a little bit. check it for yourself. 1. any organic food store, 2. get a refractometer and do a Brix test., 3. compare to regular food.  Result = delete the word organic from your vocabulary.  This video is where the health comes from. seasalts (rock dust), or specifically micro nutrients. The closer to the  actual ocean brine the better the nutrient density of your plants/food. But! A real big but. none of this helps without a microbial balance in the soil. In short: 2/3 RNA microbes, 1/3 DNA microbes. the 1/3 DNA should be equal amounts of Bacteria and fungus. The RNA of course is the Archaea.  When you do see a larger produce with a high brix it is because  of the microbial balance with the nutrient balance.  I'll answer the first complaint right now. "organic sales" are rapidly growing worldwide. exact opposite. That is why the big push by marketing firms to support their scams to those that spent time, money, major inconvenience switching over.  OTG everyone!

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