The Miracle of Minerals
Add Trace Elements to your Soil with Azomite Trace Mineral Fertilizer
by KK Fowlkes
The challenge with the soil in which most of our food is grown is that it has been leached of most of it’s trace mineral content over the years. As modern farming techniques have evolved, most farms fertilize with NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium), which will cheaply and dramatically increase crop yields. It is not cost effective for farmers to fertilize their crops with other trace minerals like selenium, calcium, copper, zinc and over 60 others that are needed by the human body for optimum health, so of course, they don’t. Over the years crops have depleted the soils of these vital trace minerals.
There is a great debate among wheatgrass gurus as to the best way to grow wheatgrass---using the soil method or growing the grass hydroponically. Some say that the wheatgrass berry has enough energy to form the first 7 inches of wheatgrass and that it takes no minerals from the soil to accomplish this. Those who have grown wheatgrass for a long time point out that after ten days of growing a flat of grass, that there is no soil left!! After cutting the grass, the only thing left is a mat of solid roots--there is no soil !!! This can only mean one thing.
The grass and roots did in effect take up the minerals... and the soil in addition. Looking back a millennia, or a long history of the agricultural activities of the earth think about how people have always grown their food. How? In soil of course. It is only in the last 50 years that we have had such things as hydroponic tomatoes, etc. And the jury is still out as to whether or not these hydroponically grown vegetables are any good at all. Growing healthy nutrient rich wheat and barley grass, that contains trace minerals so essential for good health is crucial for people who are trying to improve their health. The way to accomplish this is first begin with an organic compost and then to fertilize the soil in which you grow your grass with a good organic trace mineral fertilizer. So...we can add wheatgrass or barleygrass to our diets as they are among the best sources of vital life substances on the planet...but only when grown in healthy soil.
If we wish to regenerate our bodies, we can reduce consumption of refined foods, eat more raw enzyme-complete foods, and consider that when we ask for our ‘daily bread’ we remember that the material portion of that request is a direct product of the soil, and if the soil dies, we die with it.
Since we know that most soils are deficient, and we want to now grow some of our own foods in our kitchens (i.e. wheatgrass, barleygrass, sunflower greens, buckwheat greens) we will want to start out with the healthiest seed (organic), organic compost, and topsoil possible. Important! We can restore the trace minerals to our soil with an ancient product called Azomite.
What is AZOMITE®?
AZOMITE® is a natural mined trace mineral product. For over fifty years regional livestock and crop producers have utilized this unique material from central Utah to improve livestock and plant growth. Assays reveal that the material contains a broad spectrum of metabolically active minerals and trace elements.
AZOMITE® is a naturally mined mineral product that requires no mixing. It is odorless, won't burn plants and won't restrict aeration or water penetration. Unlike some products, AZOMITE® is not a manufactured, chemically prepared fertilizer. It is 100% natural with no additives, synthetics or filters.
Mineralogically, the material can be described as a rhyolitic tuff breccia, which is a hard rock formation formed from the dust of a volcano that exploded, much like when Mount St. Helens did in 1980. Its uniqueness does stem from the multitude of trace minerals found in the deposit. Thus the trade name, AZOMITE®, the "A to Z of Minerals Including Trace Elements". Chemically, AZOMITE® is a hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate (HSCAS) containing other minerals and trace elements which the National Research Council recognizes to be essential. HSCAS is listed in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR 582.2729) as an anti-caking agent, and is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.
The product is a very dusty, fine, free-flowing powder (-200 mesh) with a bulk density of 48 pounds per cubic foot. Upon securing control of the AZOMITE® mining rights, the new owners initiated a series of ongoing accredited research studies. These studies have been focused on broiler chickens because they have a 7 week life span and broilers are smaller and less expensive to grow than larger animals. Some scientific work has been completed on citrus trees and plants.
How can the addition of Azomite help us?
Scientists have long recognized the fact that adequately nourished plants (and animals) [and people] are resistant to infectious diseases.
Michigan Student "Discovers" Alternative Fertilizer
Jared Milarch, a freshman at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, has introduced a little-known, naturally occurring substance called AZOMITE® to the nursery industry for use as a plant fertilizer. AZOMITE® is a mineral-rich, powdery pink clay found only in Utah. "[AZOMITE®] is thought to be an ancient sea-floor bed that was heaved to the surface," Milarch said. "Chemically, the substance is hydrated sodium calcium alummosilicate and it contains 67 major minerals and trace elements. This makeup led to its name, which is an acronym meaning A to Z of Minerals including Trace Elements," he said. Milarch became aware of AZOMITE® in 1993 while he was growing sugar maples at this father’s nursery, E.L. Milarch & Son Nursery Inc. in Copemish, MI, to raise money for college. Milarch said he became impatient with the slow-growing trees and wanted to find something that might speed up the process. "Our farm is chemical-free," he said. "So I looked for an alternative method of fertilization." At the time, Milarch was reading a book called Secrets of the Soil by Christopher Bird and Peter Tompkins. The book included a chapter on AZOMITE®, which had been used primarily as livestock feed, but was also considered a soil amendment and often used by organic farmers. Milarch noted that the substance contained elements that were known to be beneficial to ornamental plants, so he decided to try it as a fertilizer on his sugar maples. Milarch decided to conduct a random experiment on his sugar maples to try to determine the efficacy of AZOMITE® Instead of applying the powder to all 500 of his trees, he only applied it to about 100. "Since it's never really been used before [as a fertilizer), we just guessed at the application rates," he said. He sprinkled two soup cans full of the AZOMITE® around each tree and then added dried cow manure as compost. The following spring, Milarch realized he had found the product he was looking for. "Instead of the usual only 1 foot of growth, I achieved 3 feet [on the trees treated with AZOMITE®]," he said. "That’s in one growing season. " The treated trees' calipers were also bigger than those of the non-treated trees. Milarch theorized that the AZOMITE® acted as a catalyst to help plants better absorb nutrients from the soil. The results of this initial experiment impressed Milarch’s father, who decided to begin using AZOMITE® on all 60 varieties of his nursery's shade trees.
A few years passed, when Jared was still in high school, he took a botany class over the summer term at Northwestern Michigan College. With the help of his instructor, he ran a controlled scientific experiment on AZOMITE® as his class project. He tested the benefits of Azomite on tomato plants: "The [treated] plants reached fruition almost three weeks earlier than the other plants and were noticeably taller. If farmers can get their plants to reach fruition earlier, they can get paid sooner. The AZOMITE®-treated plants also appeared to exhibit greater disease resistance." Several papers in Michigan, and the Michigan Nursery Association ran lengthy articles his research discovery, and the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association. Through his research, Milarch has shown that 1 lb of AZOMITE® powder per 10 square feet of soil consistently produces the same improvements as his initial research. In addition, his professor, Waterstripe, is researching the effects of AZOMITE® by conducting his Ph.D. work on it at Oregon State University in Corvallis.
The point? Add Azomite Trace Mineral Fertilizer to your vegetable garden, your houseplants, your herb garden, flowers and especially your wheatgrass! If the trace minerals are this good for the plants, just imagine the effect on your health when you consume mineral rich juice and vegetables.
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