The World’s Most Important Message
by Gary Kline

Presentation to the San Juan County Master Gardeners
on April 21, 2012


Good morning. Suzanne and I want to thank you, and Bob Levinson in particular, for inviting us to the lovely San Juan Islands. I’ve been into the San Juan’s before, back in another life when I was a biologist in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but never to Friday Harbor; so now I can cross that off my “gotta see” list. You know, of course, that you have about the most beautiful place on earth to live. It would be easy to be pretty care-free living here.

Bob gave me free-reign to select a topic, and I told him I didn’t want to miss the rare opportunity to pass on to Master Gardeners the most critical information I have. Actually, it’s information that all gardeners, farmers and everyone else should have, and it is, in fact, The World’s Most Important Message. It’s most important because it’s so vital, but also because it is so little known.

The message is a two-sided coin. It has its heavy side and it has its marvelously hopeful and helpful side. I call it the Missing Mineral Message. This message is highly relevant to gardening success and to growing healthy, quality plants and crops. It involves unfamiliar science, but I like to think I make it understandable. It’s far too important to be dummied-down.

Since you have also invited Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet, to address your workshop, I presume it is consistent and permissible for me to talk about fine food and what makes it fine. In contrast to common belief, there is no contradiction in asserting that the healthiest foods are the best tasting foods and, certainly, you are not going to get fresher, healthier produce than that properly grown in your own home garden.

To restate my central point, there is a critically important aspect of gardening and to growing foods that is missing in most endeavors for supplying ourselves with sufficient, satisfying and nutritious foods. That aspect is the widely unappreciated role of 16 out of the 20 necessary elements, in the form of earth minerals, that plants need in order to grow properly.

Without those 16 minerals, and a half dozen more that humans require, plants are unable to supply us with the highest quality proteins, vitamins, enzymes and other essential compounds building sound bodies and maintaining reproductive capability. If we don’t do that, we eventually join the dinosaurs. Furthermore, the plants themselves will be deficient or defective, more susceptible to diseases, and produce less viable seeds or offshoots. This same principle applies to the growing of ornamental plants. There is no more basic principle of life; but few people realize this.

Simply put, we have a problem; and it is a problem much more of quality in our diet, rather than enough quantity for everyone to be fed. You can have enough to stuff your belly and still not be well fed, or as healthy as nature and evolution intended you to be. In other words, the quality of life, and ultimately the survival of our species are at stake. We have to get this right.

By eating the wrong foods, rather than correct foods and nutrient-dense foods, we are left with unsatisfied or hidden hungers, causing us to crave and overeat misfit foods, and thereby causing obesity and all kinds of serious health problems, including the very kinds of degenerative metabolic diseases that top the list of killers in America today. Another word for this is malnutrition, which is not the same thing as starving. You can be scrawny or greatly overweight, or in between, and be malnourished, or, literally, badly nourished.

But this problem can be fixed. The solution, in large measure, is to apply the kinds, amounts and balance of mineral nutrients to our soils that make optimal health possible. And the marvelous thing is that this remedy applies throughout the entire biotic pyramid, from microbes through plants, through animals or livestock, on up to people. It’s the same thing. In a sense, there is a universal right diet.

It all begins in the soil - - - in its physical texture and structure, and its fertility. What we need to strive for is a fully-fertilized, well-drained loam. It’s that simple. Nearly anything you want to grow will grow well in such a soil. The plants or crops will be superbly healthy, as well as will whatever eats them. And, I will add, have the best taste and keepability, because minerals largely govern that.

From my years studying soil fertility, growing plants, and learning the ramifications for human nutrition and health, I am convinced that the need for soil mineralization is the most important message and needed measure for the world. If you reflect upon it, you will see that enabling the growing of highly nutritious food in abundance is the best thing that could be done to solve a majority of the world’s problems. Everyone needs to know how to do it and be able to, or have the land and means to do so.

For all practical purposes, this is the secret to truly ending hunger, bringing food security, furthering world peace, sustaining the health of our species, upgrading horticulture, and greatly improving agriculture. I might add, curing cancer and the common cold, in all likelihood.

Furthermore, by implementing correct mineral fertilization (along with adequate organic matter applications), we can greatly reduce plant diseases and insect problems, thereby greatly reducing the use of toxic pesticides, and the frightening medical and ecological impacts currently being experienced. Here’s the interesting part; most pests and disease organisms aren’t interested in eating or attacking healthy plants; their job in nature’s scheme is to take out the unfit. Thus, the simplest way to curtail contamination of our environment from toxic pesticides is to eliminate the need for them through nutrition that creates immunity in plants, animals, and people. Minerals are indispensible to doing that.

Additionally, correct and full fertilization is the key to true sustainability on into the future, and a remedy to agricultural soil depletion and destruction. If our agriculture is not made sustainable, we are never going to get to sustainability for the nation and our planet, even if we manage to get population growth under control. There’s no better place to start the change than with savvy Master Gardeners. My hope is that this will connect with you and you will spread the message.

So, what is correct and full fertilization, and how do we achieve it? I’ll come back to that. Before getting into what gardeners and farmers need to do to correct the prevailing situation of widespread nutritional deficiencies in plants generally, and food crops in particular, I want to make clear that this same remedy applies not only to the vast majority of farm acres, but to home gardens as well. What about organic farmers and organic gardeners, you may be asking. Aren’t organically grown crops automatically of high nutritional quality? Unfortunately not, for the most part, because most organic growers have not gotten the mineral message or taken the steps needed to bring their soils up to par, fertility-wise. Plants do not live by organic matter alone; not healthy plants, anyway. There is such a thing as organic matter overdose. The approach I take (and teach) differs from ordinary organics in a crucial way.

The absence of a negative is not a positive, it’s a zero. Just cutting out chemicals doesn’t raise nutritional quality; nor does piling-on and tilling-in huge amounts of organic matter. Unless one lives in a region (or a particular location) where soils are naturally mineral-rich (with the right kinds and proportions of minerals) there is no getting around the requirement to provide them in order to have nutrient-dense crops. Our rainy maritime region is generally mineral-poor because key minerals are leached out of topsoil and have gone off to the ocean. That’s why the ocean is salty. Therefore, we generally have to bring the minerals into our gardens and farmlands west of the Cascades. In large degree this can be done by bringing minerals back from the sea in the form of fish wastes, shellfish and seaweeds. Another option is to bring in mined minerals from wherever deposits or veins and strata exist.

Besides the depletion of soils by nature, and by man, there is the problem of depletion from over-processing foods. Today, around 80 percent of all food consumed by the typical American is processed. Your chances of getting nutritious, as well as clean and safe, foods at the supermarket may be likened to winning the lottery. About the only assured way of getting real food is to grow your own by what I call the Mineral-Augmented Organic Method; thus the importance of understanding what full and correct fertility, with both organic and inorganic components, constitutes. A surprising amount of food can be grown in a small space. Again, it isn’t just a question of quantity, but also of quality.

I know that not everyone here is a Master Gardener, but those who are surely know there are six factors involved in plant growth. Those factors are sunlight, air, water, warmth, anchorage for roots, and nutrients. Except when you grow in a greenhouse or other artificial environment, there is very little you can do to enhance the first five factors I named. But there is a lot you can do in regard to nutrients that can make a tremendous difference in plant growth and health, and it is only the healthy plant that is fully nutritious and develops internal resistance to pests. Nutrition rules! Unfortunately, we don’t get a lot of good and accurate advice on how to properly feed plants. We mostly get disjointed and outmoded misinformation that just keeps getting repeated.

Let’s take a careful look at plant nutritional needs and requirements. It is often said that plants make their own food, and they do this by means of photosynthesis. This is a grossly oversimplified statement and highly misleading. Essentially, it is saying that plants live by sugar alone. The fact is that the process is highly complex and involves numerous mineral elements - - - at least 15, and likely more, that have yet to be scientifically determined. In reality, the major aim of all living organisms is to make (or otherwise obtain) quality proteins, which requires all the nutrient minerals, plus nitrogen, for converting non-living carbohydrates into living proteins. Only proteins carry life. No true proteins, no life.

Plants are about 80 percent water. It has been known since at least the 1930’s that if a plant is dried and the free water is removed, a dry weight laboratory analysis reveals that 95 percent of the remainder consists of just four elements, i.e., carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Surprisingly (to most people), those four elements do not come out of the ground, but out of the air or atmosphere. They may be regarded as the organic elements. The remaining 5 percent consists of 15 or 16 inorganic elements, otherwise known as minerals, which come out of the ground. In fact, that’s almost a definition. Mineral comes from the word mine, which is to say, hole in the ground. The problem is they aren’t evenly distributed in the ground. So, plants are only about 5 percent minerals, but, oh, what a crucial 5 percent it is! [PASS OUT VEGETATION CHART]

I have a chart that I’ll pass out, which lists the percentage composition of the four atmospheric elements and 9 of the 15 mineral elements making up the approximately 5 percent. There are another 6 presently known plant nutrients that are trace minerals, which together make up just a fraction of a percent of the plant by dry weight. Those 6 are copper, zinc, boron, cobalt, molybdenum, manganese, and a possible seventh is selenium.

In addition, we rely on plants, under optimal soil conditions, to also supply 6 more human nutrient elements (including selenium), plus iodine, chromium, lithium, nickel, arsenic, and possibly fluorine. That’s right, we humans require a tiny bit of arsenic in our diet, and ultimately it has to come from the soil. The problem is that nearly all of us are lacking, to some degree, in nearly all of the 20-plus mineral nutrient elements our bodies need because our foods largely lack them, because our agricultural soils generally lack them, and the situation under our current agriculture is steadily worsening. This has to change.

Recall, however, that I said this problem of missing minerals is fixable. For San Juan Islanders the solution is fairly simple and easy because you are surrounded by all the minerals, namely salt water, seawater, the ocean. You just have to bring those minerals back to the land from which they came.

Before going further, I want to name the other 9 nutrient elements on that chart. They are potassium, silicon, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, chlorine, and iron. Currently, three of them, silicon, sodium and chlorine are regarded as micronutrients or trace minerals. Interestingly, silicon and oxygen make up three-fourths of the Earth’s crust. They and aluminum make up the better part of clays. There are, in all the material universe, just 92 natural elements that make up everything. Probably half of them will eventually be found to be important to plant growth and human health. Regarding oxygen, half of the planet is made up of oxygen. When you walk on the ground, you are walking mostly on oxygen combined with silicon, aluminum and other minerals. [SEE TOP 10 ELEMENTS CHART]

Ninety of the natural elements (and possibly all 92) are found on Earth, and all of them are found in the world’s oceans and are in every bucket of ocean water (away from areas of pollution). Furthermore, they are in a near perfect composition for fertilizing land plants, at the proper dilution or application rate. In fact, there is a company in Tokeland that takes water out of the ocean, removes part of the sodium, extracts and concentrates all of the rest of the minerals and sells the resultant concentrate as a kind of fertilizer (although technically they can’t call it a fertilizer). The product is called Sea Crop. They recommend it be used along with standard NPK fertilizer. The majority of farmers use only NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) fertilizers that contain just three nutrient elements. Lime, if used, supplies calcium and magnesium.

When growing hydroponically, diluted seawater has been used just as is with great results. Seawater is 3% minerals. Sea salt, which is mined out of the earth and salt ponds, also contains nearly every natural element found in seawater, and is used as a fertilizer. This is all the rage in alternative agriculture, and truckloads of sea salt and seawater concentrate are being shipped all over the country and around the world. [PASS OUT TABLE OF ELEMENTS] [CONTAINS AD]

In fact, sea salt is one way of getting our needed trace minerals, and we should be taking about a level teaspoon a day. Indeed, I’ve recently started taking a tablespoon of Sea Crop in a glass of water daily. Refined salt, which is sea salt with all the minerals stripped out, except sodium and chlorine, is bad for our health. Probably the best way to get our minerals, however, is through plants that are properly fertilized, and from livestock raised on such plants. Seafoods are another excellent source. If it’s something our ancient ancestors ate, it’s almost certainly healthy. I know all of this sounds bizarre, but it’s actually true.

One of the giants of agriculture, a personal hero, but whom you have likely never heard about, is Dr. William A. Albrecht, who was Chairman of the Soils Department of the University of Missouri in the mid-1900’s. When asked to define soil, Albrecht stated that “It is a temporary rest-stop while rock is on its way to the sea”. He defined fertility as “ - - - some dozen minerals broken out of rock on their way to the sea”. At the time, sodium and a couple others had not been identified as required plant nutrients.

Back in Missouri, or Iowa, where I’m from, they don’t have ready access to ocean minerals. This is where Dr. Albrecht set out to determine what specifically makes a soil fertile and either enables it to remain fertile or, conversely, can cause it to become rapidly depleted. He and colleagues learned that it had much to do with the amount and pattern of rainfall, the temperature regime and the amount of tillage; but also soil mineral content.

Tillage tends to burn up the soil’s organic matter (which is needed to work in concert with mineral nutrients to produce good crop growth), unless measures are taken to replace the organic matter. Once broken and tilled, soils in some regions were quickly worn out. Generally, this was so the further east you went from Missouri. On the other hand, going west into the drier central plains states of Kansas and Nebraska, for instance, the soils tended to be more fertile and remain that way. This had much to do with a property known as cation exchange capacity, or CEC, that Master Gardeners ought to have some familiarity with. Bear with me on this important and key property of soil fertility.

Dr. Albrecht did much of the early work on cation exchange capacity and on determining the soil parameters for laboratory testing of soil fertility, or professional soil testing. He also did much research on what the various soil nutrients and combinations of nutrients did for the development of both animals and plants. I am struck by the similarities in nutrient requirements all the way from microbes to man, which Dr. Albrecht referred to as the biotic pyramid of life.

Albrecht determined that it was clay, or the type of clay, as well as the humus (decomposed organic matter), that were the secrets to fertility, and the soil’s capacity to hang on to certain minerals against leaching, which made for the productivity of a soil and the nutritional quality of its vegetation or crops. This all correlated with the annual amount and pattern of rainfall and the average annual temperature, which also govern, generally, the organic matter content that is naturally high in the north and low in the south. By comparison, we get twice the rainfall of Nebraska, and Forks gets 6 or 7 times as much. Great for trees, but not for vegetables. About the only protein in a fir tree is in the seeds in its cones, which is what squirrels survive on.

Both clay and humus are considered colloids, which are very tiny or microscopic particles that carry a comparatively high electrical or magnetic charge in relation to their size or volume. Another way to say this is that they have a large surface area relative to their weight. This, plus some rather magical properties of their internal chemistry arrangement, causes them to act like magnets with a high negative charge. [JAR TEST?]

Opposites attract, so the colloids attract (and hold) positively charged minerals (known as cations); chiefly, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and smaller amounts of a number of trace minerals, against being washed away by rainfall; but also they attract the hydrogen cation, which is not a plant nutrient, and which causes soils to be acid. Having a little acidity, around pH 6.5, is desirable, but having a lot, perhaps a low pH of 4.5, is not good, and means that your soil has become infertile. Plant roots don’t mind acidity, but food crops can’t handle infertility, nor can your body if it is forced to live on foods of low nutritional content or low nutrient density.

The four nutrient minerals I mentioned, in correct proportions or ratios to one another, largely govern soil fertility, because these are the nutrients the plants and soil most need in the greatest quantities. Albrecht determined that the optimum ratio of cations on the clay and humus particles is 65 parts calcium to 15 parts magnesium, to 4 parts potassium, to 1 part sodium; add to that 5 parts hydrogen (to act like a cue ball), and 5 parts trace minerals. These are approximations and will vary with the kind of soil and with the amount of decayed organic matter in the soil.

Plant roots excrete mild acids with hydrogen ions that can knock the nutrient cations off the colloid materials so they can then be taken up directly to feed the plant. Therefore, by removing nutrient cations and depositing non-nutrient hydrogen ions, over time plants tend to acidify the soil. However, if we add fertilizers containing the nutrient minerals, they will knock off the excess hydrogen cations that may be adhering to the clay and humus particles, which then will combine with oxygen to make water and can then be drained away. What you have then is hydrogen ions from the roots being exchanged for nutrient cations removed from the colloids that are then taken up by the plant. This is what cation exchange capacity means.

Here’s an amazing thing about getting those nutrient minerals in the right proportions (or Albrecht ratios) in the soil. First, the desirable pH of around 6.5 will automatically come about and be of the proper make-up or construction. Secondly, when this ratio is achieved, and with the help of soil microbes, the soil will become well-aerated and will hold the optimum amount of moisture, yet drain excess water.

This will allow the friendly microbes to thrive and they will do two things: they will go to work releasing more mineral nutrients from rock particles and from organic matter in the soil; secondly, nitrogen-fixing bacteria will come in and multiply, and they will make fertilizer nitrogen for you at no cost, so you don’t have to buy or apply expensive nitrogen fertilizer, once this gets going. Nitrogen is the principal fertilizer applied by chemical farmers. However, several kinds of minerals have to be present for this to work.

What does all this come down to? In addition to supplying organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, gardeners in most regions have to add mineral fertilizers in the right portions in order to get healthy plants and nutritious crops. I call this the ABC’s of fertilization, which stands for amount, balance and completeness, or to state it backwards, for optimum fertilization you need to supply the complete spectrum, or array, of nutrients, in the right balance and sufficient amount. So, amount (a); balance (b); and complete (c).

The question then arises, how do you know what nutrients are already in the soil and how much of which nutrients need to be added to achieve the correct ABC status? Well, there are two approaches to answering or solving this problem. These are the scoped-rifle and the shotgun approaches to hitting the target.

The rifle approach is a professional soil test, evaluated by a capable soils expert, where you are sure to hit the bulls-eye. Alternatively, the shotgun approach is an educated guess using a complete, reasonably mineral-balanced organic fertilizer, that likely will hit the target, but probably not the bulls-eye; and that may be good enough. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.

Black Lake Organic offers both professional soil testing services and sells a line of excellent complete, organic fertilizers that we developed. In addition to being mineral-balanced, they contain mycorrhizae and beneficial bacteria. We call these our BLOOM blends, which stands for Black Lake Organic’s Optimum Mixes. We make 10 types, customized for different classes of plants. [HOLD UP BLOOM]. I’ve brought along a demonstration bag to show and some leaflets that describe the 10 varieties. The BLOOM fertilizers are available by mail through internet order by going to our website, which is <blacklakeorganic.com>.

Now then, I want to wind up my presentation by going back to the nutritional and medical health aspects of minerals, and ocean minerals and ocean life in particular. For that I need to introduce another agricultural and nutritional giant named Dr. Maynard Murray, who was an M.D. specializing in physiology, and obsessed with learning and treating the causes of modern degenerative diseases that he was seeing back in the mid-1900’s. [SEE PICTURE ON TABLE OF ELEMENTS HANDOUT]

Dr. Murray suspected, from his practice and research, that much of the diseases of cancer, arteriosclerosis, diabetes and others were due to nutrient deficiencies and imbalances. He then set out to prove it and then develop ways to grow nutrient-dense foods (including livestock) for restoring nutritional health. Health is what this is all about. He reported his research and agricultural applications in a 1976 book titled Sea Energy Agriculture: Nature’s Ideal Trace Element Blend for Farm, Livestock, Humans. It’s amazing and fascinating stuff. I recommend reading, also, Fertility From the Ocean Deep, by Charles Walters, dated 2005. [SHOW BOOKS]

Dr. Murray took an eight month sabbatical from his practice and hitch-hiked on a commercial fishing boat for the purpose of examining and autopsying examples of the catch. He examined thousands of fishes and marine mammals for signs of disease and found essentially none. Here’s what he concluded: I quote:

“Looking at ocean life, one is immediately impressed that in this 71% of Earth’s surface, there is no cancer, hardening of the arteries, or arthritis. Disease resistance in sea plants and animals differs remarkably from land animals. Ocean trout don’t develop cancer, while freshwater trout over five years [old] have liver cancer. It is difficult to find any land species without cancer. All land animals develop arteriosclerosis, yet sea animals are never diagnosed with this.”

At one point Murray examined the tissue of a mother whale, perhaps 80 years old, and her newborn calf. He sent the tissues off to a pathology lab; neither he, nor the lab could find any difference. Murray concluded that not only is there no disease in the open ocean, but there is no aging, in the sense of bodily decline. The obvious explanation is that seawater minerals are key nutrients responsible for the health of sea life. We should never have left the ocean. However, those minerals can do a lot for us if we bring them back to land and put them on our gardens and farm fields.

Murray went on to experiment with growing of crops using seawater and sea salt, with amazing results. Here is a statement from the Sea Crop product leaflet.

“In over 20 years, Dr. Murray tested sea minerals on various crops in seven states and different climates. Corn, wheat, oats, barley, hay, fruit trees, vegetable crops and other plants were raised on seawater. Fields were planted so an experimental plot using sea minerals was [next to] a control plot using the best commercial method. Sea mineral crops grew faster, healthier and produced far greater growth. Resulting color, disease resistance, taste and yield were outstanding.” Murray grew crops hydroponically in seawater, probably diluted, and on land where seasalt was applied at about one ton per acre. More than that and crops are likely to be damaged or killed.

As Dr. Albrecht’s experiments revealed, and he stated: “Insects and disease are the symptoms of a failing crop, not the cause of it.”

In many of his experiments, Dr. Murray deliberately introduced disease organisms, only to find those plants or animals grown on well-mineralized soils did not come down with the disease, while the controls often did. The astonishing fact is that research on all the nutrient minerals has shown that they are instrumental, beyond general recognition, in the prevention and cure of numerous diseases, perhaps more than any other contributing factor. Diet, I believe, is a much bigger factor in health or disease than genetics. As it is in farming and gardening, so it is in medicine, the benefit of minerals is largely unrecognized and overlooked or even disregarded.

Again, most Americans (and most people anywhere) are dreadfully deficient in nearly every needed mineral for optimum health. The great nutritionist and dentist, Dr. Weston A. Price, who travelled the world in the 1930’s examining primitive peoples, both isolated and those exposed to civilization’s processed foods, found that the isolated primitives consumed four or more times the minerals of people in modern societies at the time. It is undoubtedly more severe today. So are all the degenerative diseases that are bankrupting our country. Diseases almost unknown a century ago are now the top killers.

Read Dr. Price’s classic 1939 book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. I’ve read the 500 page book at least three times. One of the things it will persuade you is that animal-based foods (meat, fish, milk, cheese and butter) are healthy and vegetarianism is not the way to go. Raw milk and butter will prevent and stop tooth decay. They did for me. Instead of plowing so much money into a health care system that isn’t working, we should be plowing minerals into our sick soils. Actually, America’s “health care” system is misnamed. It is, in fact, a sickness care system because there is little money in selling nutritious food as a cure or preventative. Dr. Murray gave up his career to pursue perfect nutritional health for all.

There is actually a great deal of little-known research data on the proven roles of numerous specific minerals in the prevention and reversal of specific diseases and causes of aging. If deficiencies of these minerals account for much of our modern maladies, this suggests the realistic path to being rid of them and regaining our birthright of health is through adoption of a mineral-rich diet.

In closing, let me bring this back to gardening and farming. Two guys working out of Bellingham in the 1950’s, ‘60’s and 1970’s, pioneered the development of liquid fish and seaweed fertilizer products. Their names were Lee Fryer and Dick Simmons. Among several books written by Fryer was one with Simmons in 1977 titled Food Power From the Sea. I want to quote from page 178, where they compare the paucity of soil minerals west of the Cascades with those of Eastern Washington and Oregon, and go on to discuss the necessity to import and apply minerals to our soils west of the Cascades. Here is what they say:

“A typical soil analysis from this [westside] region, for example in the Chehalis or Albany area, will show only 800 to 1,000 pounds of available calcium per acre [versus 10 to 20 times that on the eastside]; [thus] a lime requirement of 3 or 4 tons per acre; only 20 or 30 pounds of phosphate - usually less; 120 pounds of potash; very little magnesium; and hardly enough trace minerals to put in your eye, as the old-timers used to say. These are acid soils with typical pH levels of 4.5 to 6.2.”

Remember, the smaller the pH number, the more acid in the soil.
Fryer continues:

“Now, are you an ‘organic’ farmer or gardener in this [westside] area, or in one like it in Maine, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Georgia or Mississippi? If so, where will your adequate mineral supplies come from for mineral-rich, nutritious, pest-resistant crops? Since the shortages of minerals in the leached-out soils are also carried into animal feeds, manures, composts, crop wastes, cover crops, and worm castings, supplementary supplies must be imported, or people and animals will be malnourished.” [SEE EAST/WEST CHART]

Take a minute to examine the difference in soil minerals between western and eastern Washington. Note the rainfall amounts.

Fryer then concludes:

“This is the basic agronomic problem of human cultures in high rainfall areas. They must import their minerals from dry country in foods or feeds, retrieve them from the sea, or buy special fertilizers.” [end of quote]

That’s what I said, 35 years later, on this day. Fryer and Simmons had the mineral message 35 years ago; but who has heard it? Lee Fryer, in his 1977 book, projected that if we switched to using marine resources to bolster plant health, we could eliminate the use of all pesticides made with petroleum in a few decades. He also projected that by 2025 the U.S. would run out of petroleum and, of necessity, have to switch to other nitrogen sources to fertilize our crops, or else starve to death [see p. 85]. However, if we get all the required minerals in the correct balance and amounts into the soil, as Dr. Albrecht asserted, then highly expensive nitrogen fertilizer becomes unnecessary. Surely, by now, you can see that this is the world’s most important message. Thanks for hearing it.

GLK

© 2012 Gary L. Kline
All Rights Reserved

The World’s Most Important Message

by Gary Kline

Presentation to the San Juan County Master Gardeners

on April 21, 2012

 

Good morning.  Suzanne and I want to thank you, and Bob Levinson in particular, for inviting us to the lovely San Juan Islands.  I’ve been into the San Juan’s before, back in another life when I was a biologist in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but never to Friday Harbor; so now I can cross that off my “gotta see” list.  You know, of course, that you have about the most beautiful place on earth to live.  It would be easy to be pretty care-free living here.

 

Bob gave me free-reign to select a topic, and I told him I didn’t want to miss the rare opportunity to pass on to Master Gardeners the most critical information I have.  Actually, it’s information that all gardeners, farmers and everyone else should have, and it is, in fact, The World’s Most Important Message.  It’s most important because it’s so vital, but also because it is so little known. 

 

The message is a two-sided coin.  It has its heavy side and it has its marvelously hopeful and helpful side.  I call it the Missing Mineral Message.  This message is highly relevant to gardening success and to growing healthy, quality plants and crops.  It involves unfamiliar science, but I like to think I make it understandable.  It’s far too important to be dummied-down.

 

Since you have also invited Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet, to address your workshop, I presume it is consistent and permissible for me to talk about fine food and what makes it fine.  In contrast to common belief, there is no contradiction in asserting that the healthiest foods are the best tasting foods and, certainly, you are not going to get fresher, healthier produce than that properly grown in your own home garden.

 

To restate my central point, there is a critically important aspect of gardening and to growing foods that is missing in most endeavors for supplying ourselves with sufficient, satisfying and nutritious foods.  That aspect is the widely unappreciated role of 16 out of the 20 necessary elements, in the form of earth minerals, that plants need in order to grow properly. 

 

Without those 16 minerals, and a half dozen more that humans require, plants are unable to supply us with the highest quality proteins, vitamins, enzymes and other essential compounds building sound bodies and maintaining reproductive capability.  If we don’t do that, we eventually join the dinosaurs.  Furthermore, the plants themselves will be deficient or defective, more susceptible to diseases, and produce less viable seeds or offshoots.  This same principle applies to the growing of ornamental plants. There is no more basic principle of life; but few people realize this.

 

Simply put, we have a problem; and it is a problem much more of quality in our diet, rather than enough quantity for everyone to be fed.  You can have enough to stuff your belly and still not be well fed, or as healthy as nature and evolution intended you to be.  In other words, the quality of life, and ultimately the survival of our species are at stake.  We have to get this right.

 

By eating the wrong foods, rather than correct foods and nutrient-dense foods, we are left with unsatisfied or hidden hungers, causing us to crave and overeat misfit foods, and thereby causing obesity and all kinds of serious health problems, including the very kinds of degenerative metabolic diseases that top the list of killers in America today.  Another word for this is malnutrition, which is not the same thing as starving.  You can be scrawny or greatly overweight, or in between, and be malnourished, or, literally, badly nourished. 

 

But this problem can be fixed.  The solution, in large measure, is to apply the kinds, amounts and balance of mineral nutrients to our soils that make optimal health possible.  And the marvelous thing is that this remedy applies throughout the entire biotic pyramid, from microbes through plants, through animals or livestock, on up to people.  It’s the same thing.  In a sense, there is a universal right diet.   

 

It all begins in the soil - - - in its physical texture and structure, and its fertility.  What we need to strive for is a fully-fertilized, well-drained loam.  It’s that simple.  Nearly anything you want to grow will grow well in such a soil.  The plants or crops will be superbly healthy, as well as will whatever eats them.  And, I will add, have the best taste and keepability, because minerals largely govern that.

 

From my years studying soil fertility, growing plants, and learning the ramifications for human nutrition and health, I am convinced that the need for soil mineralization is the most important message and needed measure for the world.  If you reflect upon it, you will see that enabling the growing of highly nutritious food in abundance is the best thing that could be done to solve a majority of the world’s problems.  Everyone needs to know how to do it and be able to, or have the land and means to do so.

 

For all practical purposes, this is the secret to truly ending hunger, bringing food security, furthering world peace, sustaining the health of our species, upgrading horticulture, and greatly improving agriculture.  I might add, curing cancer and the common cold, in all likelihood. 

 

Furthermore, by implementing correct mineral fertilization (along with adequate organic matter applications), we can greatly reduce plant diseases and insect problems, thereby greatly reducing the use of toxic pesticides, and the frightening medical and ecological impacts currently being experienced.  Here’s the interesting part; most pests and disease organisms aren’t interested in eating or attacking healthy plants; their job in nature’s scheme is to take out the unfit.  Thus, the simplest way to curtail contamination of our environment from toxic pesticides is to eliminate the need for them through nutrition that creates immunity in plants, animals, and people.  Minerals are indispensible to doing that. 

 

Additionally, correct and full fertilization is the key to true sustainability on into the future, and a remedy to agricultural soil depletion and destruction.  If our agriculture is not made sustainable, we are never going to get to sustainability for the nation and our planet, even if we manage to get population growth under control.  There’s no better place to start the change than with savvy Master Gardeners.  My hope is that this will connect with you and you will spread the message. 

 

So, what is correct and full fertilization, and how do we achieve it?  I’ll come back to that.  Before getting into what gardeners and farmers need to do to correct the prevailing situation of widespread nutritional deficiencies in plants generally, and food crops in particular, I want to make clear that this same remedy applies not only to the vast majority of farm acres, but to home gardens as well.  What about organic farmers and organic gardeners, you may be asking.  Aren’t organically grown crops automatically of high nutritional quality?  Unfortunately not, for the most part, because most organic growers have not gotten the mineral message or taken the steps needed to bring their soils up to par, fertility-wise.  Plants do not live by organic matter alone; not healthy plants, anyway.  There is such a thing as organic matter overdose.  The approach I take (and teach) differs from ordinary organics in a crucial way.

 

The absence of a negative is not a positive, it’s a zero.  Just cutting out chemicals doesn’t raise nutritional quality; nor does piling-on and tilling-in huge amounts of organic matter.  Unless one lives in a region (or a particular location) where soils are naturally mineral-rich (with the right kinds and proportions of minerals) there is no getting around the requirement to provide them in order to have nutrient-dense crops.  Our rainy maritime region is generally mineral-poor because key minerals are leached out of topsoil and have gone off to the ocean.  That’s why the ocean is salty.  Therefore, we generally have to bring the minerals into our gardens and farmlands west of the Cascades.  In large degree this can be done by bringing minerals back from the sea in the form of fish wastes, shellfish and seaweeds.  Another option is to bring in mined minerals from wherever deposits or veins and strata exist. 

 

Besides the depletion of soils by nature, and by man, there is the problem of depletion from over-processing foods.  Today, around 80 percent of all food consumed by the typical American is processed.  Your chances of getting nutritious, as well as clean and safe, foods at the supermarket may be likened to winning the lottery.  About the only assured way of getting real food is to grow your own by what I call the Mineral-Augmented Organic Method; thus the importance of understanding what full and correct fertility, with both organic and inorganic components, constitutes.  A surprising amount of food can be grown in a small space.  Again, it isn’t just a question of quantity, but also of quality. 

 

I know that not everyone here is a Master Gardener, but those who are surely know there are six factors involved in plant growth.  Those factors are sunlight, air, water, warmth, anchorage for roots, and nutrients.  Except when you grow in a greenhouse or other artificial environment, there is very little you can do to enhance the first five factors I named.  But there is a lot you can do in regard to nutrients that can make a tremendous difference in plant growth and health, and it is only the healthy plant that is fully nutritious and develops internal resistance to pests.  Nutrition rules!  Unfortunately, we don’t get a lot of good and accurate advice on how to properly feed plants.  We mostly get disjointed and outmoded misinformation that just keeps getting repeated. 

 

Let’s take a careful look at plant nutritional needs and requirements.  It is often said that plants make their own food, and they do this by means of photosynthesis.  This is a grossly oversimplified statement and highly misleading.  Essentially, it is saying that plants live by sugar alone.  The fact is that the process is highly complex and involves numerous mineral elements - - - at least 15, and likely more, that have yet to be scientifically determined.  In reality, the major aim of all living organisms is to make (or otherwise obtain) quality proteins, which requires all the nutrient minerals, plus nitrogen, for converting non-living carbohydrates into living proteins.  Only proteins carry life.  No true proteins, no life. 

 

Plants are about 80 percent water.  It has been known since at least the 1930’s that if a plant is dried and the free water is removed, a dry weight laboratory analysis reveals that 95 percent of the remainder consists of just four elements, i.e., carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.  Surprisingly (to most people), those four elements do not come out of the ground, but out of the air or atmosphere.  They may be regarded as the organic elements.  The remaining 5 percent consists of 15 or 16 inorganic elements, otherwise known as minerals, which come out of the ground.  In fact, that’s almost a definition.  Mineral comes from the word mine, which is to say, hole in the ground.  The problem is they aren’t evenly distributed in the ground.  So, plants are only about 5 percent minerals, but, oh, what a crucial 5 percent it is!  [PASS OUT VEGETATION CHART]

 

I have a chart that I’ll pass out, which lists the percentage composition of the four atmospheric elements and 9 of the 15 mineral elements making up the approximately 5 percent.  There are another 6 presently known plant nutrients that are trace minerals, which together make up just a fraction of a percent of the plant by dry weight.  Those 6 are copper, zinc, boron, cobalt, molybdenum, manganese, and a possible seventh is selenium. 

 

In addition, we rely on plants, under optimal soil conditions, to also supply 6 more human nutrient elements (including selenium), plus iodine, chromium, lithium, nickel, arsenic, and possibly fluorine.  That’s right, we humans require a tiny bit of arsenic in our diet, and ultimately it has to come from the soil.  The problem is that nearly all of us are lacking, to some degree, in nearly all of the 20-plus mineral nutrient elements our bodies need because our foods largely lack them, because our agricultural soils generally lack them, and the situation under our current agriculture is steadily worsening.  This has to change. 

 

Recall, however, that I said this problem of missing minerals is fixable.  For San Juan Islanders the solution is fairly simple and easy because you are surrounded by all the minerals, namely salt water, seawater, the ocean.  You just have to bring those minerals back to the land from which they came. 

 

Before going further, I want to name the other 9 nutrient elements on that chart.  They are potassium, silicon, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, chlorine, and iron.  Currently, three of them, silicon, sodium and chlorine are regarded as micronutrients or trace minerals.  Interestingly, silicon and oxygen make up three-fourths of the Earth’s crust.  They and aluminum make up the better part of clays.  There are, in all the material universe, just 92 natural elements that make up everything.  Probably half of them will eventually be found to be important to plant growth and human health.  Regarding oxygen, half of the planet is made up of oxygen.  When you walk on the ground, you are walking mostly on oxygen combined with silicon, aluminum and other minerals.  [SEE TOP 10 ELEMENTS CHART]     

 

Ninety of the natural elements (and possibly all 92) are found on Earth, and all of them are found in the world’s oceans and are in every bucket of ocean water (away from areas of pollution).  Furthermore, they are in a near perfect composition for fertilizing land plants, at the proper dilution or application rate.  In fact, there is a company in Tokeland that takes water out of the ocean, removes part of the sodium, extracts and concentrates all of the rest of the minerals and sells the resultant concentrate as a kind of fertilizer (although technically they can’t call it a fertilizer).  The product is called Sea Crop.  They recommend it be used along with standard NPK fertilizer.  The majority of farmers use only NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) fertilizers that contain just three nutrient elements.  Lime, if used, supplies calcium and magnesium.

 

When growing hydroponically, diluted seawater has been used just as is with great results.  Seawater is 3% minerals.  Sea salt, which is mined out of the earth and salt ponds, also contains nearly every natural element found in seawater, and is used as a fertilizer.  This is all the rage in alternative agriculture, and truckloads of sea salt and seawater concentrate are being shipped all over the country and around the world.  [PASS OUT TABLE OF ELEMENTS]  [CONTAINS AD]

 

In fact, sea salt is one way of getting our needed trace minerals, and we should be taking about a level teaspoon a day.  Indeed, I’ve recently started taking a tablespoon of Sea Crop in a glass of water daily.  Refined salt, which is sea salt with all the minerals stripped out, except sodium and chlorine, is bad for our health.  Probably the best way to get our minerals, however, is through plants that are properly fertilized, and from livestock raised on such plants. Seafoods are another excellent source. If it’s something our ancient ancestors ate, it’s almost certainly healthy.  I know all of this sounds bizarre, but it’s actually true. 

 

One of the giants of agriculture, a personal hero, but whom you have likely never heard about, is Dr. William A. Albrecht, who was Chairman of the Soils Department of the University of Missouri in the mid-1900’s.  When asked to define soil, Albrecht stated that “It is a temporary rest-stop while rock is on its way to the sea”.  He defined fertility as “ - - - some dozen minerals broken out of rock on their way to the sea”.  At the time, sodium and a couple others had not been identified as required plant nutrients. 

 

Back in Missouri, or Iowa, where I’m from, they don’t have ready access to ocean minerals.  This is where Dr. Albrecht set out to determine what specifically makes a soil fertile and either enables it to remain fertile or, conversely, can cause it to become rapidly depleted.  He and colleagues learned that it had much to do with the amount and pattern of rainfall, the temperature regime and the amount of tillage; but also soil mineral content. 

 

Tillage tends to burn up the soil’s organic matter (which is needed to work in concert with mineral nutrients to produce good crop growth), unless measures are taken to replace the organic matter.  Once broken and tilled, soils in some regions were quickly worn out.  Generally, this was so the further east you went from Missouri.  On the other hand, going west into the drier central plains states of Kansas and Nebraska, for instance, the soils tended to be more fertile and remain that way.  This had much to do with a property known as cation exchange capacity, or CEC, that Master Gardeners ought to have some familiarity with.  Bear with me on this important and key property of soil fertility.    

 

Dr. Albrecht did much of the early work on cation exchange capacity and on determining the soil parameters for laboratory testing of soil fertility, or professional soil testing.  He also did much research on what the various soil nutrients and combinations of nutrients did for the development of both animals and plants.  I am struck by the similarities in nutrient requirements all the way from microbes to man, which Dr. Albrecht referred to as the biotic pyramid of life. 

 

Albrecht determined that it was clay, or the type of clay, as well as the humus (decomposed organic matter), that were the secrets to fertility, and the soil’s capacity to hang on to certain minerals against leaching, which made for the productivity of a soil and the nutritional quality of its vegetation or crops.  This all correlated with the annual amount and pattern of rainfall and the average annual temperature, which also govern, generally, the organic matter content that is naturally high in the north and low in the south.  By comparison, we get twice the rainfall of Nebraska, and Forks gets 6 or 7 times as much.  Great for trees, but not for vegetables.  About the only protein in a fir tree is in the seeds in its cones, which is what squirrels survive on.

 

Both clay and humus are considered colloids, which are very tiny or microscopic particles that carry a comparatively high electrical or magnetic charge in relation to their size or volume.  Another way to say this is that they have a large surface area relative to their weight.  This, plus some rather magical properties of their internal chemistry arrangement, causes them to act like magnets with a high negative charge.  [JAR TEST?] 

 

Opposites attract, so the colloids attract (and hold) positively charged minerals (known as cations); chiefly, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and smaller amounts of a number of trace minerals, against being washed away by rainfall; but also they attract the hydrogen cation, which is not a plant nutrient, and which causes soils to be acid.  Having a little acidity, around pH 6.5, is desirable, but having a lot, perhaps a low pH of 4.5, is not good, and means that your soil has become infertile.  Plant roots don’t mind acidity, but food crops can’t handle infertility, nor can your body if it is forced to live on foods of low nutritional content or low nutrient density. 

 

The four nutrient minerals I mentioned, in correct proportions or ratios to one another, largely govern soil fertility, because these are the nutrients the plants and soil most need in the greatest quantities.  Albrecht determined that the optimum ratio of cations on the clay and humus particles is 65 parts calcium to 15 parts magnesium, to 4 parts potassium, to 1 part sodium; add to that 5 parts hydrogen (to act like a cue ball), and 5 parts trace minerals.  These are approximations and will vary with the kind of soil and with the amount of decayed organic matter in the soil.

 

Plant roots excrete mild acids with hydrogen ions that can knock the nutrient cations off the colloid materials so they can then be taken up directly to feed the plant.  Therefore, by removing nutrient cations and depositing non-nutrient hydrogen ions, over time plants tend to acidify the soil.  However, if we add fertilizers containing the nutrient minerals, they will knock off the excess hydrogen cations that may be adhering to the clay and humus particles, which then will combine with oxygen to make water and can then be drained away.  What you have then is hydrogen ions from the roots being exchanged for nutrient cations removed from the colloids that are then taken up by the plant.  This is what cation exchange capacity means.

 

Here’s an amazing thing about getting those nutrient minerals in the right proportions (or Albrecht ratios) in the soil.  First, the desirable pH of around 6.5 will automatically come about and be of the proper make-up or construction.  Secondly, when this ratio is achieved, and with the help of soil microbes, the soil will become well-aerated and will hold the optimum amount of moisture, yet drain excess water. 

 

This will allow the friendly microbes to thrive and they will do two things:  they will go to work releasing more mineral nutrients from rock particles and from organic matter in the soil; secondly, nitrogen-fixing bacteria will come in and multiply, and they will make fertilizer nitrogen for you at no cost, so you don’t have to buy or apply expensive nitrogen fertilizer, once this gets going.  Nitrogen is the principal fertilizer applied by chemical farmers.  However, several kinds of minerals have to be present for this to work. 

 

What does all this come down to?  In addition to supplying organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, gardeners in most regions have to add mineral fertilizers in the right portions in order to get healthy plants and nutritious crops.  I call this the ABC’s of fertilization, which stands for amount, balance and completeness, or to state it backwards, for optimum fertilization you need to supply the complete spectrum, or array, of nutrients, in the right balance and sufficient amount.  So, amount (a); balance (b); and complete (c).

 

The question then arises, how do you know what nutrients are already in the soil and how much of which nutrients need to be added to achieve the correct ABC status?  Well, there are two approaches to answering or solving this problem.  These are the scoped-rifle and the shotgun approaches to hitting the target. 

 

The rifle approach is a professional soil test, evaluated by a capable soils expert, where you are sure to hit the bulls-eye.  Alternatively, the shotgun approach is an educated guess using a complete, reasonably mineral-balanced organic fertilizer, that likely will hit the target, but probably not the bulls-eye; and that may be good enough.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. 

 

Black Lake Organic offers both professional soil testing services and sells a line of excellent complete, organic fertilizers that we developed.  In addition to being mineral-balanced, they contain mycorrhizae and beneficial bacteria.  We call these our BLOOM blends, which stands for Black Lake Organic’s Optimum Mixes.  We make 10 types, customized for different classes of plants.  [HOLD UP BLOOM].  I’ve brought along a demonstration bag to show and some leaflets that describe the 10 varieties.  The BLOOM fertilizers are available by mail through internet order by going to our website, which is <blacklakeorganic.com>.

 

Now then, I want to wind up my presentation by going back to the nutritional and medical health aspects of minerals, and ocean minerals and ocean life in particular.  For that I need to introduce another agricultural and nutritional giant named Dr. Maynard Murray, who was an M.D. specializing in physiology, and obsessed with learning and treating the causes of modern degenerative diseases that he was seeing back in the mid-1900’s.  [SEE PICTURE ON TABLE OF ELEMENTS HANDOUT] 

 

Dr. Murray suspected, from his practice and research, that much of the diseases of cancer, arteriosclerosis, diabetes and others were due to nutrient deficiencies and imbalances.  He then set out to prove it and then develop ways to grow nutrient-dense foods (including livestock) for restoring nutritional health. Health is what this is all about. He reported his research and agricultural applications in a 1976 book titled Sea Energy Agriculture:  Nature’s Ideal Trace Element Blend for Farm, Livestock, Humans.  It’s amazing and fascinating stuff.  I recommend reading, also, Fertility From the Ocean Deep, by Charles Walters, dated 2005.  [SHOW BOOKS]

 

Dr. Murray took an eight month sabbatical from his practice and hitch-hiked on a commercial fishing boat for the purpose of examining and autopsying examples of the catch.  He examined thousands of fishes and marine mammals for signs of disease and found essentially none.  Here’s what he concluded:  I quote:

 

“Looking at ocean life, one is immediately impressed that in this 71% of Earth’s surface, there is no cancer, hardening of the arteries, or arthritis.  Disease resistance in sea plants and animals differs remarkably from land animals.  Ocean trout don’t develop cancer, while freshwater trout over five years [old] have liver cancer.  It is difficult to find any land species without cancer.  All land animals develop arteriosclerosis, yet sea animals are never diagnosed with this.”

 

At one point Murray examined the tissue of a mother whale, perhaps 80 years old, and her newborn calf.  He sent the tissues off to a pathology lab; neither he, nor the lab could find any difference. Murray concluded that not only is there no disease in the open ocean, but there is no aging, in the sense of bodily decline.  The obvious explanation is that seawater minerals are key nutrients responsible for the health of sea life.  We should never have left the ocean.  However, those minerals can do a lot for us if we bring them back to land and put them on our gardens and farm fields. 

 

Murray went on to experiment with growing of crops using seawater and sea salt, with amazing results.  Here is a statement from the Sea Crop product leaflet.

 

“In over 20 years, Dr. Murray tested sea minerals on various crops in seven states and different climates.  Corn, wheat, oats, barley, hay, fruit trees, vegetable crops and other plants were raised on seawater.  Fields were planted so an experimental plot using sea minerals was [next to] a control plot using the best commercial method.  Sea mineral crops grew faster, healthier and produced far greater growth.  Resulting color, disease resistance, taste and yield were outstanding.”  Murray grew crops hydroponically in seawater, probably diluted, and on land where seasalt was applied at about one ton per acre.  More than that and crops are likely to be damaged or killed.

 

As Dr. Albrecht’s experiments revealed, and he stated:  “Insects and disease are the symptoms of a failing crop, not the cause of it.”

 

In many of his experiments, Dr. Murray deliberately introduced disease organisms, only to find those plants or animals grown on well-mineralized soils did not come down with the disease, while the controls often did.  The astonishing fact is that research on all the nutrient minerals has shown that they are instrumental, beyond general recognition, in the prevention and cure of numerous diseases, perhaps more than any other contributing factor.  Diet, I believe, is a much bigger factor in health or disease than genetics.  As it is in farming and gardening, so it is in medicine, the benefit of minerals is largely unrecognized and overlooked or even disregarded.

 

Again, most Americans (and most people anywhere) are dreadfully deficient in nearly every needed mineral for optimum health.  The great nutritionist and dentist, Dr. Weston A. Price, who travelled the world in the 1930’s examining primitive peoples, both isolated and those exposed to civilization’s processed foods, found that the isolated primitives consumed four or more times the minerals of people in modern societies at the time.  It is undoubtedly more severe today.  So are all the degenerative diseases that are bankrupting our country.  Diseases almost unknown a century ago are now the top killers. 

 

Read Dr. Price’s classic 1939 book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.  I’ve read the 500 page book at least three times.  One of the things it will persuade you is that animal-based foods (meat, fish, milk, cheese and butter) are healthy and vegetarianism is not the way to go.  Raw milk and butter will prevent and stop tooth decay.  They did for me.  Instead of plowing so much money into a health care system that isn’t working, we should be plowing minerals into our sick soils.  Actually, America’s “health care” system is misnamed.  It is, in fact, a sickness care system because there is little money in selling nutritious food as a cure or preventative.  Dr. Murray gave up his career to pursue perfect nutritional health for all.

 

There is actually a great deal of little-known research data on the proven roles of numerous specific minerals in the prevention and reversal of specific diseases and causes of aging.  If deficiencies of these minerals  account for much of our modern maladies, this suggests the realistic path to being rid of them and regaining our birthright of health is through adoption of a mineral-rich diet.    

 

In closing, let me bring this back to gardening and farming.  Two guys working out of Bellingham in the 1950’s, ‘60’s and 1970’s, pioneered the development of liquid fish and seaweed fertilizer products.  Their names were Lee Fryer and Dick Simmons.  Among several books written by Fryer was one with Simmons in 1977 titled Food Power From the Sea.  I want to quote from page 178, where they compare the paucity of soil minerals west of the Cascades with those of Eastern Washington and Oregon, and go on to discuss the necessity to import and apply minerals to our soils west of the Cascades.  Here is what they say:

 

“A typical soil analysis from this [westside] region, for example in the Chehalis or Albany area, will show only 800 to 1,000 pounds of available calcium per acre [versus 10 to 20 times that on the eastside]; [thus] a lime requirement of 3 or 4 tons per acre; only 20 or 30 pounds of phosphate - usually less; 120 pounds of potash; very little magnesium; and hardly enough trace minerals to put in your eye, as the old-timers used to say.  These are acid soils with typical pH levels of 4.5 to 6.2.” 

 

Remember, the smaller the pH number, the more acid in the soil.

Fryer continues:

 

“Now, are you an ‘organic’ farmer or gardener in this [westside] area, or in one like it in Maine, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Georgia or Mississippi?  If so, where will your adequate mineral supplies come from for mineral-rich, nutritious, pest-resistant crops?  Since the shortages of minerals in the leached-out soils are also carried into animal feeds, manures, composts, crop wastes, cover crops, and worm castings, supplementary supplies must be imported, or people and animals will be malnourished.”  [SEE EAST/WEST CHART] 

 

Take a minute to examine the difference in soil minerals between western and eastern Washington.  Note the rainfall amounts.

 

Fryer then concludes:

 

“This is the basic agronomic problem of human cultures in high rainfall areas.  They must import their minerals from dry country in foods or feeds, retrieve them from the sea, or buy special fertilizers.”  [end of quote]

 

That’s what I said, 35 years later, on this day.  Fryer and Simmons had the mineral message 35 years ago; but who has heard it?  Lee Fryer, in his 1977 book, projected that if we switched to using marine resources to bolster plant health, we could eliminate the use of all pesticides made with petroleum in a few decades.  He also projected that by 2025 the U.S. would run out of petroleum and, of necessity, have to switch to other nitrogen sources to fertilize our crops, or else starve to death [see p. 85].  However, if we get all the required minerals in the correct balance and amounts into the soil, as Dr. Albrecht asserted, then highly expensive nitrogen fertilizer becomes unnecessary.  Surely, by now, you can see that this is the world’s most important message.  Thanks for hearing it.

                                                                       

GLK

 

 

© 2012 Gary L. Kline

All Rights Reserved

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