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Lorraine's Garden, Issue #008 -- 12 Principles for Growing Nutrient-Dense Vegetables
March 07, 2014
March 2014 Issue 8
In this issue:
12 Principles for Growing Nutrient Dense VegetablesSomething brand new and radical is on its way!
I attended a Bionutrient Food Association workshop on Feb 15-16, and I’m afraid it turned some of what I thought I knew on its head! I’m going to be sharing my newfound knowledge with you a bit at a time - the workshop covered a lot of ground, and it will take awhile to write. I’ve condensed what I learned into 12 Principles for Growing Nutrient Dense Vegetables, which will unfold 4 installments, each covering 3 of the principles.
Why This Is RadicalModern agriculture, with its emphasis on yield and profit, has slowly “mined” the soil of its minerals and its living ecological systems. These ecological systems are ingenious: they work in symbiosis with plants to grow food for all the land-based animal and human life on earth.
Our home gardens have not fared much better, because we were taught that really good compost was all plants needed to thrive. Even if we fertilized, it was usually hit or miss… a bit of blood or bone meal now and then, or even Miracle Gro.
Even in organic farming, soil minerals have declined dramatically over the last few decades. Farmers struggle to make a living, and it takes a lot more inputs to achieve maximum crop nutrition than it does to achieve maximum crop yield.
Farmers, whether organic or “conventional”/chemical, rarely have the luxury of focusing on how much deep nutrition is in the food they grow. This is one reason why it is more important than ever to have a vegetable garden, where you can grow your own highly nutritious food, if you know how.
The BFA was founded to help farmers and gardeners share the latest research as well as the best of the old techniques to bring our farm and garden soils, and our own human health, “back to life”. The skyrocketing rates of diabetes, cancer, and all forms of degenerative diseases are testaments to the lack of needed nutrients and substances in our bodies.
So I’m taking what I learned from Dan Kittredge, executive director of the Bionutrient Food Association, and broken it down into 12 Principles for Growing Nutrient-Dense Vegetables. Each lesson covers something that we need to provide to our plants, and the soil, in order for them to be optimally healthy, reach their genetic potential, and provide us with the deep nutrition that we need to be healthy.
All the provisions work together, and one principle alone may not improve things at first (in fact it could even make things appear “worse” temporarily), because the infrastructure and ecosystem that leads to deep soil health must be restored in all its aspects before plants can be truly healthy, nutritious, and able to resist pests and diseases.
Here are the principles, which will be expanded upon in upcoming issues of Lorraine’s Garden:
12 Principles for Growing Nutrient Dense VegetablesPreface: Our garden and farm soils are not healthy (some are dead), our plants are not healthy (but the pesticide/herbicide/GMO industry is), and our national disease rates are skyrocketing. These statements are connected. We can build a new farming and gardening paradigm that heals and restores our soils, our plants and our own health.
1) Study and practice soil remineralization
2) Never till or dig deeper than 1-2"
3) Mulch heavily, never leave the soil uncovered
4) Use cover crops over the winter
5) Feed and care for microbes and other soil life as though your life depended on it (it does!)
6) Never walk on your growing beds or compact them in other ways
7) Keep the soil moist, never let it dry out
8) Use the largest seeds you can find (of whatever variety you are growing)
9) When soil is truly healthy, plants will resist pests and diseases
10) The genetic potential of our plants is huge, and we can help facilitate its full potential by addressing the limiting factors which we can correct
11) Uncommon factors: soil conductivity, paramagnetism, epigenetics, vibrational frequencies
12) Plants have their own sentience, we are in symbiotic relationship with them, and there are many subtle things they need (which "modern" agricultural methods have ignored and bypassed)
Each Principle will be covered in detail. There is a lot to cover, so stay tuned!
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