Frequently Asked Questions

Biosolids

The question asked by James Troyer via our Simple Soil Solutions Facebook page.


When I worked with our family farms (2005 through 2012), my family had used bio-solids extensively since 2002.  They would vary the land type where they applied it, and do the soil testing and nutrient management planning to use the appropriate biosolid type to balance soil pH (high lime or low lime biosolid).

I started studying what was happening biologically. The biosolids I tested were bacterially dominated, so their use (especially repeated use) caused more weeds to grow, because the biosolids made the soils more bacterially dominated over time, instead of building the 1:1 Fungal to bacterial ratios needed for healthy row crops and grasslands.  The forms, rates, and pulses of nitrogen produced in the bacterially dominated soil stimulated weed seed germination and growth versus grasses or crops.

If you know me you know I am all in favor of putting manure on the land…but letting the animals do it naturally and the dung beetles and earthworms take the poo into soil rapidly, or properly composted with carbon to build the proper fungal to bacterial balance for healthy crops.

Lastly, many cities do not separate their human poo from the industrial and medical waste streams. There are many chemicals used in households and prescription drugs flushed down the toilet each day. So the biosolids needs to be biologically re-mediated to be truly healthy. Just using lime to kill e.coli and mediate pH is not the full answer.

Plants and microbes can bio-remediate and photo-remediate a lot of our wastes, but personally for my farm I do not use the commercially available biosolids. I use our animals for our fertility and do not need to import more.

Lastly, It is critical that even those who disagree with their use take a hard look at our waste streams and what we are creating. We all are part of the problem…but it is our own intersection with these “problems” where the opportunity lies for healing!

Chemicals

Roundup (and many other herbicides) are heavy salts.

The salts pull the water out of the bodies of microbes and kill them in mass numbers, causing the soil to compact and loose structure, airspace and the ability to cycle minerals to plants

Also because the salt has a strong electrical charge, it ties up trace minerals in the soil, bonding them to itself in a strong bond that keeps them from the plant

The trace minerals, although needed in small amounts, control every function of our bodies (and that of plants and animals and microbes)…from growth to cellular reproduction to hormones and immunity to digestion and reproduction…to protein synthesis and photosynthesis.

These trace minerals are critical to every function because they are like keys that plug into enzymes to make all things living work.

No reaction happens without enzymes and therefore these trace minerals.

So when roundup residues are present, life shuts down and pathogens and weeds will actually become worse.

For, although the roundup may kill a flush of weeds in the short run, it compacts the soil further (by killing the life that produces the glues that build pore spaces and structure in the soil).

This compaction causes water to run down and then across and creates anaerobic slime layers of facultative anaerobes (plant and human pathogens). It is kind of like if you leave your dogs water out a day and you can feel the slime even before you can see it.

By that time it is hundreds of cell layers thick. The same thing happens when water sits in the soil on top of a compacted or more dense layer.

These facultative anaerobes wake up as the concentration (ppm) of oxygen drops in the soil (because oxygen dissolves more slowly through the water layer that is on top of the compacted soil instead of infiltrating down into it if the good microbes were present holding aggregates together with their glues, creating airspaces, macro and micro pores,and good soil structure.

The pathogens breed and their numbers grow in the compacted facultative ,anaerobic slime layer, and then they use up oxygen and die off in large numbers (because they are not strict anaerobes).

Because bacteria are mostly protein, when they die a lot of nitrogen is released into the soil

This nitrogen is in the form of NO3, or nitrate. This die off causes a huge pulse of nitrate

Now this nitrate triggers a whole new germination flush of weeds, because it is precisely the form and amounts of nitrogen that weeds take.

For healthy meadow and grasslands, we want to create more balanced forms of nitrogen in the soil, a mix of both NO3 and NH4.

So meadow making protocols that call for glyphosate may be using the glyphosate to trigger weeds to germinate for pollinators

However this is unethical as glyphosate residues are showing up in our guts and the guts of animals

Plus it ties up trace minerals from the bees…causing the colony death

So you end up with a meadow of flowers that to the untrained observer might look healthy, but actually much of the whole ecosystem has been destroyed and filled with harmful toxins.

And the glyphosate shuts down the soil function, so the meadow soil is not functioning to filter out groundwater and keep nutrients out of our streams, lakes and oceans.

We have bee recipes that are economical and easy to make

The bees grow in size, don’t die off and produce more quantity and quality of honey when fed minerals and enzymes

So please don’t put out glyphosate which ties up minerals and enzymes

It harms the pollinators, compacts the soil which makes it more vulnerable to flood and drought…plus causes it to turn to dust and runoff into our water supplies (causing the dead rivers and oceans)

It also is behind our human diseases (carcinogen) but mostly because it harms our endocrine systems by tying up trace minerals.

Glyphosate breaks down the actin protein filaments that hold our colon cells together (called “tight junctions”)

This causes leaky gut where the toxins our body is trying to eliminate go straight into our bloodstream and to our brains and poison us.

Glyphosate was originally developed as a microbicide to keep industrial pipes clean

There are so many better ways to restore natural healthy habitat

The glyphosate has a super long half life and recycles through the perennial weeds and is re-released back into the soil and ecosystem, and so does not go away very fast.

So even if the glyphosate programs are getting “meadows” they have a poisoned landscape

Health is not restored and they are harming the very pollinators they are trying to protect!

And then they wonder why the bees die, and then try more chemicals to “fix” that problem.

Gardening

There are a couple of ways…you want to get it into the soil really well into the root zone.

If you have applied any other types of fertilizers or manures or nutrients you need to do a small test plot as it can over fertilize because it makes what you put down more available!

Otherwise use it at 1-4 gal per acre and you can buy a chemical liquid fertilizer mixer for your hose at any Lowes or garden store and add the Solu-PLKS. You can just spray it out and soak the root zone of the plants and get the leaves too.

If you know your land needs minerals you can first mix the Solu-PLKS with water and mineral and then apply the mixture to the roots or as a foliar feed.

You can also use buckets or a backpack sprayer but that can be tedious.

Or if you are transplanting you can dip transplants in a bucket with water and Solu-PLKS and then plant and use the remainder of the water to water it in.

We also have a dry product and great seed treatment to get seeds off right!

It is not a harsh chemical so you don’t have to be too precise…try a few plants and let me know.

Grazing

The question asked by Jaime Rocha via email regarding Case Study – From WEEDs to productive pastures – in 2 years.


We did a number of things to rehabilitate the field naturally.

We have many tools that we use and teach, but what makes the dramatic difference is when we use or stop using the tools in the right way, at the right times, and in the right order!

On this farm, we had small herds of horses, between two and 8 animals, depending on the year.

This field was one that had a good shed and auto watered that would not freeze, so we use it in the worst weather. We had about 12 acres total on the farm fenced, this being one of three fields we use to rotate the horses around.

We practice holistic grazing, and at times high density grazing, or managed grazing with the horses. At different times we put them at different densities for differing amounts of time to sculpt the land and shape the underground herd of microbes into the populations beneficial for grasslands.

We move them onto areas and then off of areas and let the ground and plants have a recovery. We basically graze the plants down to about six or 8 inches and then let it reolcover to a few inches higher than it was prior to grazing with at least four leaves per plant (4th leaf stage). Ideally, we graze 30-50% of the plant, and we try to shape the internal, temporary fences in a pattern that gets the animals to stop the rest as food for microbes.

Paddock shape and size and duration we leave the animals depends on our goals. With the smaller herds, for example, we make the paddock different shapes to make them stop more like the impact of a larger herd.

Then the grass bounces back very fast because we are leaving enough leaf, plenty of solar panel left, for it to not have to compromise its root growth in order to regrow new leaf each grazing. So the roots get deeper and deeper each recovery period, and the plants and soil gets less likely to suffer in drought or flood. Plus the plants get better nutrition and immune function with more roots and better mineral cycling from the microbes and more stable temperature and water availability.

Other strategies combine with this basic program to make this work. A long time ago, we stopped using any chemical fertilizer, herbicide (including any residues in the hay and grain rations), stopped using pre-emptive chemical warmers on the horses, and we stopped using any pesticides like fly spray. These things harm the ability to heal the soil and plants because they kill microbes and shut down nutrient and energy cycling.

We did adjust our worming and fly control programs.

If you’re interested in more details, we teach workshops and training programs that go much deeper than the free videos. Learning this is not something easy to do from a book and so we have been filming and documenting how to read the small signs from the plants and animals so that you can learn to be the driver of your healthy system.

I will be teaching a course starting this February called Grazing Power (grazingpower.com). It features 8 live modules and a few bonus modules taught over four months online and over the phone. We get on the phone for an hour and a half every other week and you will have all the instructional videos and phone calls recorded and all the worksheets and everything will be yours forever to download and own forever.

This course is for you if you’re interested in more details and want a guide to help you on your way. Becoming a successful adaptive manager is too much to give and one email, but our longer term courses teach people how to get started and implement these types of systems.

The hardest time is when you are just starting. And when you are most likely to make mistakes is precisely when the system is just healing and very fragile. Any one wrong choice in the beginning could set you back a years time or more. That is why we are building support systems and community around this – so that you have guidance and support along the way. You will be learning with others and learn a lot from the group – plus meet new friends!

The main point of this short video is to show the results – that by creating the habitat and focusing on what you want to create (and not fighting the weeds but helping them heal the land faster)….. you get better results than herbicides and endless mowing and re-seeding.

We call this working with nature and farming with biological principles.

So in answer to your question:

Yes – you must find a way to get the animals off of that land and let germination happen so that they’re not stomping on it while the young plants are germinating and fragile. Once they establish good roots, then you need to bring the animals back on at certain points and graze/stomp it to keep the land progressing. The animal impact and grazing event is critical but it has to last a certain amount of time and then be rested and so there’s all sorts of strategies that we teach to get the results you need.

We are here to help when you’re coming from scratch and need help to get to the point where you have enough grass where you can get around your farm and give an adequate recovery.

We have found that 99% of the time, our animals come back with a zero parasites because we are not grazing on the ground

Sometimes to let the ground have enough rest, you have to hold the animals back. The intention of this video was to show people how not to destroy the area…but to actually use the “sacrificing” to improve it and if they do get an area that was destroyed how to rehabilitate that rehabilitate that.

The question asked by Kathy Baker on the “Is your winter soil ALIVE?” blog post.


Kathy – where is your pasture? Rainfall is key to my recommendations.

Also, could you please send me pics of the hay feeding location? I would need to see the slope, surrounding fences or buildings, etc.

Is it in the bottom of a hill or valley where the hay is…or on a side slope that is well drained?

Or you could sketch a simple map with arrows showing the direction the water moves in relation to the hay feeding areas and gates or buildings or fence lines, and the water trough or source for the animals, etc

Managing water movement on your site is key to preventing mud…so if you could help draw, video or photograph the site and its surroundings it would help me make a good recommendation.

Choosing the right terrain to hay feed and “sacrifice” for winter is key.

To start, many gates and buildings like barns and sheds are positioned in the landscape in places that are not ideal designed from the start, so traffic around them can create mud.

You don’t want to throw hay on top of an area that is holding too much water. Sometimes some grading work is needed with a blade or tractor bucket or other machinery to get the area to drain any major standing water before you can build healthy soil.

I have several options for an answer to your questions, but would need more info about your specific situation to know what is best to recommend.

If you are feeding round bales and not rolling them out, there will be a mound of hay left. In an area of the pasture farther away from high traffic areas that has grass and drainage, you can leave these as fungal incubators and not spread them. They will not regrow grass at first but in 2 years or so they will grow much more grass than other areas.

IF…. you are. It spraying things to harm microbes, or putting chemicals like workers through your animals that harm the soil’s ability to build and be fertile. Also the hay can have herbicides and other chemicals that hinder the rapid breakdown.

If you want to spread the hay, you can choose from many approaches. I will list them from least costly, labor intensive and most profitable, going down to most costly and least profitable.

1). Roll out the hay round bale so you don’t end up with a big mess

For small herds you can roll out bits at a time, and temporary fence them off the part of the bale you want to save and throw a small tarp over it to keep it from getting too wet. You may need a helper to push them at first, and plan your path of course!

2). Look for large square bales or small square bales so you can feed the flakes right where you need them and. It have to move it twice

3). Be patient and let the hay break down

4). Get a welder to weld you some removable times for your bucket that you can attach and use the bucket to spread the hay…then slide them off when you want to use the bucket…we did this at first but now use the animals to do the work for us!

5). Each day while you are out observing your animals or when you can, spend 15 min spreading hay by hand. You would be surprised how much one person can do in an hour and you can walk the seeds in yourself each time you head back to the center of the pile

6). Get some electric poultry netting and put chickens and/or pigs in there for a bit. I understand this may not be something you want or are able to do but I needed to mention it as it will gain you a useful product while not costing much.

7). Do you have any kind of pasture rake or drag that would work? I don’t do this for our fields as it is generally unnecessary…but you could on a dry or frozen day when you won’t make tracks and compact the soil too much take scoops of your compost out with the tractor bucket, place them randomly, and run the drag through the hay piles and compost to get things spread and digesting.

If your grass is 6-8″ residual like a good grazing residual…you should have enough biology and soil cover where these hay piles break down within the year or two (assuming you live in a moist climate)

Again I don’t do this because once your pasture systems are healthy you don’t need to add any compost or fertilizer from outside, but if your field is really overgrazed it might help

A note on what I would recommend doing with the compost.

First – GOOD ON YOU FOR MAKING COMPOST!!!

It may or may not be good for your fields right now as is, depending on the state of your fields and the quality of the compost; it can be easy to be slightly off track. The good news is that it doesn’t have to. E hard to make good compost, once you have the right information.

A lot of composting recipes and methods are more for waste volume reduction and not focused on getting optimal diversity and balances of beneficial soil microbes suitable for the plants you want to grow.

Besides your fields, you can use compost in your gardens, flower beds, worm growing, and many other places. The quality and. Eat use really varies a lot depending on what is in the compost, where it is made (on concrete, in a bin, under trees, etc) and how it is made.

Your “manure” compost… bring up lots of questions before I can really recommend something. Out of integrity I need to know certain things because I would not want to recommend something that would set you backwards.

How much of it do you have? How much pasture do you have?

How much degraded pasture are you looking to help?

what is in it? How much manure and from what animals?

What percentage of Hay, straw, shavings or sawdust…or peanut hulls or any carbon source, or just manure?

Percentages of each ingredient (estimated is fine)?

Did the animals have chemical wormer? If so what kind and how much and when in relation to when manure was collected?

Were those animals eating any corn, soy, grains that would have had any herbicides used on it?

Did the hay have any herbicides on it? Some of those like Grason and 2-4D can last for years, survive the animals gut, the compost process, and harm plant growth and soil microbes.

If the wood is pine or cedar or any aromatic tree they can contain antimicrobial oils and need to be aged 2 or more years before it will make good compost.

If you have doubts, seed a tray of grass seeds or some sunflower seeds in the compost, or a blend of compost and soil (especially your pasture soil) to see if they germinate and grow well before spreading on your field. Plants are often our best “living laboratories” to tell if your compost is good or not.

I wish you the best of luck and you can see how hard it is to really make a good recommendation without knowing more. I will do my best so the more you can take time to explain the better.

Worst case we learn and next winter we can set you up for more success!

See more of my articles and videos coming out soon on more details of this hay feeding process.

Maybe in the beginning – but not in the usual ways you hear.  Add it to your compost.  Build Organic Matter.  Add it to your microbial brews of compost tea and let them cycle it.  Add it to the tea just before foliar spray with an agent like SOlu-PLKS that will bind the mineral to itself and make it easy for the microbes to rip off and cycle to the plants.

Keep the soil covered and keep returning that Organic Matter to the soil surface.

Grow cover crops with deep roots and ones that will harvest “deficient” minerals from deeper in the soil profile and make them available to your microbes and next generation plants.

Move animals across the land and let them eat, salivate, urinate and put milk foam and stomp in these minerals from the cover crop.   Naturally growing “weeds” can be that cover crop – and are usually the perfect ones to heal the land.

Find a way to work WITH and accelerate Nature’s healing processes.  Stop trying to CONTROL them.  Just give support.

Support the biological system

Microbes DO need minerals too – and can be shut down in their growth in a soil that is chemically treated, and abused causing a deficiency (loss of OM and humus).

But the soil itself if analyzed is not deficient – it is just that nutrient CYCLING is shut down.

Fertilizer companies (and therefore labs as their methods were developed to sell fertilizer)…want you to have all of the mineral a plant needs SOLUBLE or almost SOLUBLE at the time they test it.  This means that the next time it rains all that mineral that they want SOLUBLE goes into our water supply and pollutes our rivers and oceans – and threatens our groundwater if it has chemical reserves in it.  This is threatening our survival because our oceanic health has declined to a point where we may not recover.

If you don’t have the soluble mineral that the plant needs its entire life, then the chemistry labs ask you to apply that – at one or two applications!

And don’t forget that the chemistry labs only test for a handful of minerals at best – but that over 90+ minerals are ESSENTIAL to microbe and plant and HUMAN life – every day!  if any ONE of them is low it shuts down the health of the entire system!

A healthier approach wants a small soluble “gas tank”, to use that analogy, that is refilled by microbes often so not much is ever lost.

Given that their test that does not test the massive extractable mineral reserves of the soil, Most times as Elaine says = if you stop killing the microbes and put them back and support their growth with some BASIC principles (see NRCS Soil Principles)…you will see plants fully mineralized at all stages of growth.

As far as my experience leads me:

Soils – if you analyze the Total Extractable Nutrient (by grind and combustion of all elements) – are not deficient.  The soil chemistry tests done by labs only test the tip of the iceburg of total available soil mineral, and so say you need to buy fertilizer when most often you do not.  Soil Chemistry labs (the testing from which has declared our soil “deficient” in Se, only test for the soluble and some of the exchangeable pools – but not what is actually available if microbes are healthy and digesting the sand silt and clay with their enzymes.

Stop trying to fix it with a bag of chemical fertilizer applied on the soil.  And massive applying to soil of even “organic” mined mineral fertilizers is wasting money most often and is certainly not sustainable.

I agree that soils deficient in minerals may need help getting the microbial system started and revving up – but once going they don’t need any more applied Selenium, even in our “deficient” soils.  Plants grown in soils that are “deficient” in Se can have plenty of Se in their tissue tests if the microbes are functioning.

I have proof of this with a farm that I will present had 300 lbs deficient in K – and grew great crops with no soil K applied!  just microbes, microbial foods, solu-PLKS (which feeds microbes and holds minerals microbe-available), and a small amount of minerals for them through the leaf.

There are a lot of fallacies taught by soil scientists who run labs and are educated by systems that are funded by the chemical industries – who want to sell farmers minerals.

So, minerals make the rockin’ world go round – but how you access them is important.  Lets support and heal the NATURAL system.  We can not go against the laws of nature no matter how we might try!

Inoculant

Yes our inoculant should help – the Soil Biology Boost, applied at 2-4 oz per acre of seed, as per instructions. Just use a clean spray bottle to mist the Solu-plks liquid onto the seed and powder and use your hands to mix around until all of the seed is covered. They will get black but you can rinse them off or use gloves.

The soluplks is important with the Soil Bio Boost, because it’s enzymes function as an activator to help the microbes assimilate the minerals in the powder.

You also want to make sure to ask if the clover seed is already inoculated with the rhizobium nitrogen fixing bacteria – or purchase that inoculant from your seed dealer directly and also mix it onto the seed with the Soil Biology Boost.

Final tip is to make sure the seed is not treated with any fungicide, insecticide, etc. Seed coatings for water absorption are usually ok.

Spread the seed with visions of your field fertile with clover and diversity!

Microbes

I wouldn’t recommend broadcasting seed on top of thick residue.

We have broadcast and stomped he seed in with the cattle but it is a lot of work, takes precise timing, and is risky.

We did the above successfully but the residues were from a standing pear millet and cowpea cover crop on previously bare land and those residues had broken down a lot already when we seeded and stomped so there was a lot of spaces for the seed to fall through

It looks like you have a decent grass stand under that hay but it’s hard to tell from the pic

Is the field resting now or do you plan to have the cattle back on it?

Did your hayfields have any herbicides in the last three years and if so which ones?

Does the hay have visible seeds and if so what kinds?

We have drilled seed successfully over our winter hay feeding areas but we only did this on about a five acre area where we had really destroyed the pasture and left about a foot thick residue of hay, manure and urine as it was an access area to the one watered we had the first winter and we had to keep the cows accessing it

So we kept the mud away by layering the hay and in spring we seeded perennial fescue, ryegrass, clover and some raddish (not normally a spring plant but this was a trial and actually the radish did well…I had been concerned with the urine and it being a harsh environment to spend a lot of money on expensive seed)

– we used a great seed inoculant that had minerals and microbes and enzymes to get it going fast and give it starting nutrient

So if you can rest that area long enough for the cover crop to emerge, and you look at the costs and want to spend the time and money, and you know how to calibrate the drill and get the seed depth and mixtures right, then you could easily drill it.

If you have animals without chemical wormers, don’t use herbicides, insecticides or other chemicals, hay without herbicides, got a pretty good cover on there, and have seeds in the hay, you shouldn’t need to seed it to get good spring germination of perennials.

You will have to block it off until at least late April or possibly longer, until those plants have 4 leaves.

If you don’t want perennials, or have destroyed it a lot, you could drill.

What you plant depends on your end goal.

Oats and clover, or oats and and peas, followed by tillage raddish with crimson clover rye and/ or ryegrass could work.

Minerals

Maybe in the beginning – but not in the usual ways you hear.  Add it to your compost.  Build Organic Matter.  Add it to your microbial brews of compost tea and let them cycle it.  Add it to the tea just before foliar spray with an agent like SOlu-PLKS that will bind the mineral to itself and make it easy for the microbes to rip off and cycle to the plants.

Keep the soil covered and keep returning that Organic Matter to the soil surface.

Grow cover crops with deep roots and ones that will harvest “deficient” minerals from deeper in the soil profile and make them available to your microbes and next generation plants.

Move animals across the land and let them eat, salivate, urinate and put milk foam and stomp in these minerals from the cover crop.   Naturally growing “weeds” can be that cover crop – and are usually the perfect ones to heal the land.

Find a way to work WITH and accelerate Nature’s healing processes.  Stop trying to CONTROL them.  Just give support.

Support the biological system

Microbes DO need minerals too – and can be shut down in their growth in a soil that is chemically treated, and abused causing a deficiency (loss of OM and humus).

But the soil itself if analyzed is not deficient – it is just that nutrient CYCLING is shut down.

Fertilizer companies (and therefore labs as their methods were developed to sell fertilizer)…want you to have all of the mineral a plant needs SOLUBLE or almost SOLUBLE at the time they test it.  This means that the next time it rains all that mineral that they want SOLUBLE goes into our water supply and pollutes our rivers and oceans – and threatens our groundwater if it has chemical reserves in it.  This is threatening our survival because our oceanic health has declined to a point where we may not recover.

If you don’t have the soluble mineral that the plant needs its entire life, then the chemistry labs ask you to apply that – at one or two applications!

And don’t forget that the chemistry labs only test for a handful of minerals at best – but that over 90+ minerals are ESSENTIAL to microbe and plant and HUMAN life – every day!  if any ONE of them is low it shuts down the health of the entire system!

A healthier approach wants a small soluble “gas tank”, to use that analogy, that is refilled by microbes often so not much is ever lost.

Given that their test that does not test the massive extractable mineral reserves of the soil, Most times as Elaine says = if you stop killing the microbes and put them back and support their growth with some BASIC principles (see NRCS Soil Principles)…you will see plants fully mineralized at all stages of growth.

As far as my experience leads me:

Soils – if you analyze the Total Extractable Nutrient (by grind and combustion of all elements) – are not deficient.  The soil chemistry tests done by labs only test the tip of the iceburg of total available soil mineral, and so say you need to buy fertilizer when most often you do not.  Soil Chemistry labs (the testing from which has declared our soil “deficient” in Se, only test for the soluble and some of the exchangeable pools – but not what is actually available if microbes are healthy and digesting the sand silt and clay with their enzymes.

Stop trying to fix it with a bag of chemical fertilizer applied on the soil.  And massive applying to soil of even “organic” mined mineral fertilizers is wasting money most often and is certainly not sustainable.

I agree that soils deficient in minerals may need help getting the microbial system started and revving up – but once going they don’t need any more applied Selenium, even in our “deficient” soils.  Plants grown in soils that are “deficient” in Se can have plenty of Se in their tissue tests if the microbes are functioning.

I have proof of this with a farm that I will present had 300 lbs deficient in K – and grew great crops with no soil K applied!  just microbes, microbial foods, solu-PLKS (which feeds microbes and holds minerals microbe-available), and a small amount of minerals for them through the leaf.

There are a lot of fallacies taught by soil scientists who run labs and are educated by systems that are funded by the chemical industries – who want to sell farmers minerals.

So, minerals make the rockin’ world go round – but how you access them is important.  Lets support and heal the NATURAL system.  We can not go against the laws of nature no matter how we might try!

Restoration

Roundup (and many other herbicides) are heavy salts.

The salts pull the water out of the bodies of microbes and kill them in mass numbers, causing the soil to compact and loose structure, airspace and the ability to cycle minerals to plants

Also because the salt has a strong electrical charge, it ties up trace minerals in the soil, bonding them to itself in a strong bond that keeps them from the plant

The trace minerals, although needed in small amounts, control every function of our bodies (and that of plants and animals and microbes)…from growth to cellular reproduction to hormones and immunity to digestion and reproduction…to protein synthesis and photosynthesis.

These trace minerals are critical to every function because they are like keys that plug into enzymes to make all things living work.

No reaction happens without enzymes and therefore these trace minerals.

So when roundup residues are present, life shuts down and pathogens and weeds will actually become worse.

For, although the roundup may kill a flush of weeds in the short run, it compacts the soil further (by killing the life that produces the glues that build pore spaces and structure in the soil).

This compaction causes water to run down and then across and creates anaerobic slime layers of facultative anaerobes (plant and human pathogens). It is kind of like if you leave your dogs water out a day and you can feel the slime even before you can see it.

By that time it is hundreds of cell layers thick. The same thing happens when water sits in the soil on top of a compacted or more dense layer.

These facultative anaerobes wake up as the concentration (ppm) of oxygen drops in the soil (because oxygen dissolves more slowly through the water layer that is on top of the compacted soil instead of infiltrating down into it if the good microbes were present holding aggregates together with their glues, creating airspaces, macro and micro pores,and good soil structure.

The pathogens breed and their numbers grow in the compacted facultative ,anaerobic slime layer, and then they use up oxygen and die off in large numbers (because they are not strict anaerobes).

Because bacteria are mostly protein, when they die a lot of nitrogen is released into the soil

This nitrogen is in the form of NO3, or nitrate. This die off causes a huge pulse of nitrate

Now this nitrate triggers a whole new germination flush of weeds, because it is precisely the form and amounts of nitrogen that weeds take.

For healthy meadow and grasslands, we want to create more balanced forms of nitrogen in the soil, a mix of both NO3 and NH4.

So meadow making protocols that call for glyphosate may be using the glyphosate to trigger weeds to germinate for pollinators

However this is unethical as glyphosate residues are showing up in our guts and the guts of animals

Plus it ties up trace minerals from the bees…causing the colony death

So you end up with a meadow of flowers that to the untrained observer might look healthy, but actually much of the whole ecosystem has been destroyed and filled with harmful toxins.

And the glyphosate shuts down the soil function, so the meadow soil is not functioning to filter out groundwater and keep nutrients out of our streams, lakes and oceans.

We have bee recipes that are economical and easy to make

The bees grow in size, don’t die off and produce more quantity and quality of honey when fed minerals and enzymes

So please don’t put out glyphosate which ties up minerals and enzymes

It harms the pollinators, compacts the soil which makes it more vulnerable to flood and drought…plus causes it to turn to dust and runoff into our water supplies (causing the dead rivers and oceans)

It also is behind our human diseases (carcinogen) but mostly because it harms our endocrine systems by tying up trace minerals.

Glyphosate breaks down the actin protein filaments that hold our colon cells together (called “tight junctions”)

This causes leaky gut where the toxins our body is trying to eliminate go straight into our bloodstream and to our brains and poison us.

Glyphosate was originally developed as a microbicide to keep industrial pipes clean

There are so many better ways to restore natural healthy habitat

The glyphosate has a super long half life and recycles through the perennial weeds and is re-released back into the soil and ecosystem, and so does not go away very fast.

So even if the glyphosate programs are getting “meadows” they have a poisoned landscape

Health is not restored and they are harming the very pollinators they are trying to protect!

And then they wonder why the bees die, and then try more chemicals to “fix” that problem.

Soil Testing

Maybe in the beginning – but not in the usual ways you hear.  Add it to your compost.  Build Organic Matter.  Add it to your microbial brews of compost tea and let them cycle it.  Add it to the tea just before foliar spray with an agent like SOlu-PLKS that will bind the mineral to itself and make it easy for the microbes to rip off and cycle to the plants.

Keep the soil covered and keep returning that Organic Matter to the soil surface.

Grow cover crops with deep roots and ones that will harvest “deficient” minerals from deeper in the soil profile and make them available to your microbes and next generation plants.

Move animals across the land and let them eat, salivate, urinate and put milk foam and stomp in these minerals from the cover crop.   Naturally growing “weeds” can be that cover crop – and are usually the perfect ones to heal the land.

Find a way to work WITH and accelerate Nature’s healing processes.  Stop trying to CONTROL them.  Just give support.

Support the biological system

Microbes DO need minerals too – and can be shut down in their growth in a soil that is chemically treated, and abused causing a deficiency (loss of OM and humus).

But the soil itself if analyzed is not deficient – it is just that nutrient CYCLING is shut down.

Fertilizer companies (and therefore labs as their methods were developed to sell fertilizer)…want you to have all of the mineral a plant needs SOLUBLE or almost SOLUBLE at the time they test it.  This means that the next time it rains all that mineral that they want SOLUBLE goes into our water supply and pollutes our rivers and oceans – and threatens our groundwater if it has chemical reserves in it.  This is threatening our survival because our oceanic health has declined to a point where we may not recover.

If you don’t have the soluble mineral that the plant needs its entire life, then the chemistry labs ask you to apply that – at one or two applications!

And don’t forget that the chemistry labs only test for a handful of minerals at best – but that over 90+ minerals are ESSENTIAL to microbe and plant and HUMAN life – every day!  if any ONE of them is low it shuts down the health of the entire system!

A healthier approach wants a small soluble “gas tank”, to use that analogy, that is refilled by microbes often so not much is ever lost.

Given that their test that does not test the massive extractable mineral reserves of the soil, Most times as Elaine says = if you stop killing the microbes and put them back and support their growth with some BASIC principles (see NRCS Soil Principles)…you will see plants fully mineralized at all stages of growth.

As far as my experience leads me:

Soils – if you analyze the Total Extractable Nutrient (by grind and combustion of all elements) – are not deficient.  The soil chemistry tests done by labs only test the tip of the iceburg of total available soil mineral, and so say you need to buy fertilizer when most often you do not.  Soil Chemistry labs (the testing from which has declared our soil “deficient” in Se, only test for the soluble and some of the exchangeable pools – but not what is actually available if microbes are healthy and digesting the sand silt and clay with their enzymes.

Stop trying to fix it with a bag of chemical fertilizer applied on the soil.  And massive applying to soil of even “organic” mined mineral fertilizers is wasting money most often and is certainly not sustainable.

I agree that soils deficient in minerals may need help getting the microbial system started and revving up – but once going they don’t need any more applied Selenium, even in our “deficient” soils.  Plants grown in soils that are “deficient” in Se can have plenty of Se in their tissue tests if the microbes are functioning.

I have proof of this with a farm that I will present had 300 lbs deficient in K – and grew great crops with no soil K applied!  just microbes, microbial foods, solu-PLKS (which feeds microbes and holds minerals microbe-available), and a small amount of minerals for them through the leaf.

There are a lot of fallacies taught by soil scientists who run labs and are educated by systems that are funded by the chemical industries – who want to sell farmers minerals.

So, minerals make the rockin’ world go round – but how you access them is important.  Lets support and heal the NATURAL system.  We can not go against the laws of nature no matter how we might try!

Solu-PLKS

There are a couple of ways…you want to get it into the soil really well into the root zone.

If you have applied any other types of fertilizers or manures or nutrients you need to do a small test plot as it can over fertilize because it makes what you put down more available!

Otherwise use it at 1-4 gal per acre and you can buy a chemical liquid fertilizer mixer for your hose at any Lowes or garden store and add the Solu-PLKS. You can just spray it out and soak the root zone of the plants and get the leaves too.

If you know your land needs minerals you can first mix the Solu-PLKS with water and mineral and then apply the mixture to the roots or as a foliar feed.

You can also use buckets or a backpack sprayer but that can be tedious.

Or if you are transplanting you can dip transplants in a bucket with water and Solu-PLKS and then plant and use the remainder of the water to water it in.

We also have a dry product and great seed treatment to get seeds off right!

It is not a harsh chemical so you don’t have to be too precise…try a few plants and let me know.

Workshops

We sell education and a few supplies…and teach you how to select and use Brewers.

We do not sell Brewers themselves.

At our Grow Your Soil workshop we show you the 5 gal, 100 gal and 1000 gal systems and spray rigs in detail, plus give you recipes…and most importantly when to use extracts versus teas.

We teach you recipes that work for compost teas, mineral chelation for foliar feeding, and how to identify what your plants and soil needs.

Earthfort has some great models of Brewers for sale.

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