In fact, we can better skip this time of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, as a catastrophic mistake. It made farmers dependent of industries and banks.
At first it all seemed very sensible. At least, everyone said so. It kept the money rolling. But has it also proven to be valuable?... Now that the damage is apparent on the soil and the crops. There are interests who argue that genetic engineering will help agriculture to get better, but in stead it helps everything further down into the abyss...
What is valuable yet?
To start at the beginning...
Dr. Elaine Ingham talks about the interaction between plant roots, microbial life and the way these two work together to make the food into the soil absorbable as plant food.
Plants make, by means of photosynthesis, sugars that they take in, and also excrete into the soil. These secretions; mainly sugar, protein, and carbon, plants deposit around their roots. Microbes and fungi eat this and, meanwhile, aided by enzymes, they convert the minerals from the soil to absorbable food for plant life. Insects and worms profit from this, and take part in this process. In short, everything works with everything together to feed themselves and to let plants grow also.
|May 2016. Our soil contains many stones. These are our mineral resource, but awkward in the garden. So we sieve the soil and use the stones for other purposes.|
The bacteria and the fungi (micro-organisms) secrete acids and enzymes. They etch the rock, as it were; 'The crystalline structure of the rock, soil (sand, silt and clay)'. This makes the nutrients (minerals) absorbable by the plant.
Ingham about this proces of fungi and bacterium: "They pull the nutrients to themselves and keep it in their bodies. They do not dissolve, do not leach, they do not disappear."
So the soil life ensures that the minerals from the soil become available to the plant. And plants are only too happy to join in, through photosynthesis and secretions (exudates).
Source: Among other, from the video on You Tube:
Elaine Ingham: "The Roots of your Profits".
Find it at our post: 'Old knowledge. New insights'.
|May 2016. Our Portuguese red soil we mix with grass compost. |
Then plant life itself makes that the balance in the soil is restored.
This is what have seen and experienced.
In his book 'Microbiologie van den Akker en der Landbouwproducten', published in 1943, Prof. Dr. Jan Smit wrote about 'an ideal manure ': "The manure does not primarily is plant food, but must be food for microbes!"
This is what Smit sais as a microbiologist, in a thinking environment in which the general emphasis is on the adequate applying of fertilizers. Stable fertilizers or chemical fertilizers, it did not matter, they were considered to be needed and it was a capital case in order to obtain as much as possible, because otherwise, the entire agricultural sector would not survive.
It was the time, standing at the cradle of a major agricultural reform. N.P.K., these were the magic letters that would bring progress. Between the lines of the texts by Smit (and also that of microbiologists like Waksman and Gerretsen) we can read the doubt, the second thoughts, but also the need to adapt to the standard. In fact, at that time all the information was already available. Information which we still have to work out for a still marginal organic farming.
And now, at this point, Elaine Ingham says we do not need manure at all, and chemical fertilizer even less. The only thing with what we can do the soil a service is decomposed organic material, with compost. Ingham: "So compost your manure and use it to restore your soil."
She stresses the fact that plants do not need water-soluble nutrients. A plant effectuates the cooperation with microbes, fungi and other soil life, it selves. Thereby ensuring its own food intake.
Ingham: "Turn your dirt into soil with a bit of compost."
|May 2016. Often we do beans as a first crop on 'new' soil.|
The logic of reasoning of Ingham affects us. Since we have read Smit, Waksman and Gerretsen... long ago... before we founded our compost company in the Netherlands... we know something about the rhizosphere of plant roots:
It is so that plants make sugars. It is so that plants secrete substances into the soil. It is so that microbes convert those substances into plant food. It is so that a plant benefits from this. And it is also a fact that the soil is better off then.
It is true that soil is stone dust, originally. Our Portuguese red soil is made of rock, shale rock. The Dutch soil, in which we used to make a garden, consisted of clay and silt from floods from the distant past.
'Soil is sand, silt and clay.' Soil is mineral. And if this mineral can be converted into absorbable plant nutrient, than soil is fertilizer. Then, it is so that soil has no need for anything else, but sufficient organic material with sufficient microbial life. It is a fact that Mother Nature herself can cope with this just fine. She does not need us, to dig into her and bother her with chemicals. And if we do so, we must understand that we have disturbed her balance.
It is true that plants designate, what is wrong with them. They indicate if there state is flawed or wrong. When a potato sprouts it wants in the ground. There are several signals that we humans must learn to understand. And that is more than the calculating of fertilizers and pesticides percentages, which have to be applied. We can skip this calculating easily.
Understanding the biology is not a complicated mathematical formula. It is an obvious process and it is there for the taking. You need a bit of interest. You should read a book and you do some thinking, a little look around at the things that happen. You do not have to be exceptionally smart to understand indicating the nature. Even we can do it :)
In fact, we can better skip this time of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, as a catastrophic mistake. If we had put that same time and energy into the cultivation of organic food, we were now even been able to cultivate the deserts. The so-called 'Third World' could have been a food container. Indeed it is decided in the logic of nature. It just had been the people, who have denied this process and blocked it.
And even now... we have to defend our position. Just as we still have to talk about the dangers of fossil fuels, about the danger of the manipulation of our food and the additions thereto with colorings and flavorings, about the danger of the unnecessary use of medication for diseases that have yet to be invented, in short... about the long list initiated by our monetary system where money-flows and opportunities go in only one direction... to only that one mountain of money and opportunities, that huge volcano, that eventually should erupt and drain.
What is valuable? Understanding what nature can teach us is valuable. It is actually the only thing that allows us to exist. Everything else we can forget, for the time being.