Guest: Steve Solomon
Big Idea: Our Human Health depends on the health of the soil we grow our food in. Mineralize soil and grow the best possible food for health and happiness.
“I have often thought that our farming system is basically a system of mining. And what we have removed from the soil actually creates a sort of debt – we’re borrowing from the soil.
And we’re not putting it back. And so the debt that we owe to the soil is actually greater than the price of the soil.”
Steve Solomon tells us about soils and about foliar feeding plants plus updates since his book was published. He tells us that Ag Lime is insoluble at pH 8.2. But because all plants still need lime – he suggests adding Gypsum to high pH soils on the prairies.
Steve learned to garden by reading Organic Gardening magazine but today Solomon says J. I. Rodale and the organic method are leading us down a crooked gardening path. “I read a lot of books that were published mostly by Rodale press. And so I assimilated and believed the basic message. Which was that you can take any tip or gravel pit and turn it into a garden of eden if you just put enough organic matter into it,”says Solomon.
So if you think compost is the answer to better gardening, think again. Steve puts his thumb down on old rumours that more compost is always better. He says better food definitely leads to better health, and growing your own mineralized food is the best thing any gardener can do. He is opinionated and fun and irreverent and I loved talking to Steve in this way too long podcast! Listen up. Good on a long walk or while weeding. This podcast is controversial and breaks a few rules.
Tips on adding foliar trace elements from Steve who has recently learned that micronutrients have more impact than you can imagine on plant health and human health: “You could put in a teaspoon full zinc sulfate, or manganese sulfate, or Borax and dissolve it into a litre of warm water. Then spray it on your plants and see what effect, if any, it has. (be more careful with copper and only use 1/2 tsp of Copper Sulphate per litre of water.)
I love it when Steven says Health = nutrition divided by calories. And then he says we are talking about nutrient density and says “I know that my food is better than most of what I find at the farmer’s market.”
In his book Steve says we have to stop adding so much organic matter and start replacing the minerals our plants and erosion have removed from our soils. He also has an interesting idea for better composting: add Bentonite clay.
Book: The Intelligent Gardener (New Society Publishers)
Resources Mentioned: The Plant Health Pyramid by John Kempf, William Albrecht, Dr. Robert McCarrison (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_McCarrison), Albert Howard, Erica Reinheimer (https://growabundant.com/)
, Weston Price (Steve’s website has many of these resources)
Lab Tests: Melich 3 soil test at Spectrum Analytic or Logan Labs in the USA