Groundbreaking research project with rock dust and biochar at New Harmony Farm in West Newbury, MA. [VIDEO]
Tso-Cheng Chang is a small-scale farmer in Amherst, Massachusetts. His popular restaurant, Amherst Chinese Food, attracts people from all over the Pioneer Valley to its fresh, organic, delicious Chinese food. Dr. Chang is a strong believer in soil remineralization; he has been using rock dust on his organic farm since 1995 in his determined quest to eliminate the need for pesticides and to grow nutrient-dense food. At this point, his soil has become so rich that he has not felt the need to add rock dust in the last five years.
After the success of last year's course, Dan Kittredge will be presenting another series of workshops for the 2010-2011 growing season. The goal is to engage and build on what you already know and are doing.
Beginning in the 1950s, America’s farmers were told to get big, or get out. It wasn’t just a slogan, it was USDA policy, a mantra recited by several secretaries of agriculture. That mindset, combined with a post-WWII explosion in chemical fertilizer use, made our farms larger and more productive than ever — but at a high price, with many small farmers vanishing and the introduction of new kinds of environmental challenges.
Barre, MA – When more than 100 farmers converge this February in Barre for a 3 day seminar, they'll be focusing on a topic of serious concern to a growing number of consumers: the nutrition and taste of our food. The Northeast Organic Farming Association, Massachusetts Chapter has arranged for the worldwide farmer consultant, Dr. Arden Andersen, to give this intensive seminar to farmers on how they can increase the nutrient density, taste, and yield of their crops.
I met Joanna Campe at the NOFA Conference 2008. I use Azomite in my garden along with my compost and have no need for fertilizers.
Going back in time, our soil was rich with minerals, which found their way into our foods in healthy doses. Mineralized soil grew healthier crops providing the vitamins and minerals we now need to take as supplements. Additionally, hardier plants were capable of repelling insects and other pests that are now a constant and costly threat to growers.
Spencer Brook Farm, Concord, MA
Tomatoes in full bloom and lush growth going through third flowering/fruiting cycle in MA. growing on soil that was last year not much more than low pH sand and gravel. A mix of rock powders was used to bring the plants to this state. Locally available granite schist, highly paramagnetic blacksand, high trace element spectrum summa minerals as well as high calcium lime and colloidal soft rock phosphate. None of the traditional fungus or wilt diseases struck or hornworms as can be easily seen by the lush growth and numerous fruiting cycles. Tomatoes grown on nearby soil were struck down by black wilt by mid August.
Click to enlarge images
Founder and Manager, Many Hands Organic Farm CSA, Barre, Massachusetts
Executive Director, Northeast Farming Association (NOFA)
After success with some small scale testing with Ashfield Stone last year, we applied Suma Minerals this year (2007).
I have had over the top harvests of sugar snap peas. Last week we harvested over 200 pounds of peas from about 420 row feet of plants that rose to 8 or 9 feet in height. The leaves on things like chard, beets, flat leaf parsley are stronger and more turgid than I have known them to be. There are many fewer old and ratty looking beet leaves than in the past. The cut flowers have more brightness to their hues than in the past. The petunias in the flower boxes are magnificent. Three days in a row when I woke up this week I woke up with a new sense of physical power that I have never felt before. I figure it is from eating the vegetables that we are growing here. Good stuff!
Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st the nutrient density in our food crops has been consistently declining. USDA studies show that an average apple from the 1960's had 5 times the nutrition of that same apple produced today. This is an average of course, and there are many farms who have figured out how to produce high nutrient density crops even while the national average has been plummeting.
Remineralize The Earth has just embarked on a research project in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts to document the effect on nutrient density of crops with the application of rock dusts and biological amendments.