Jared Milarch's new company
distributes blended rockdust
AdzsumPlus combines Azomite with paramagnetic rock and more
by David Yarrow, March 1999
It all began because Jared Milarch needed money for college education. So he grew a few sugar maples to sell.
Then, in Secrets of the Soil by Christopher Bird and Peter Tompkins, he read about Azomite, a unique fossil clay mined in central Utah. "Azomite" is a tradename acronym that's short for "A-to-Z-Of Minerals-Including-Trace-Elements." Geologists classify it as a colloidal, montmorillite clay from an ancient ocean deposit, rich in sediments, minerals and sea life. This fossil clay from an ancient seafloor contains over 70 trace elements, and is touted to boost the growth and health of almost any plant.
Jared pestered his dad David for days to buy some for his trees. Eventually David relented and got a few bags. Jared sprinkled three cups on 100 of his young maples, but only had enough to feed a third of his trees.
The next year, untreated trees grew a foot, but Azomite-treated trees shot up three. Treated trees were also darker in color, thicker caliper and had less insect damage. Everyone could see the treated trees were healthier and more vigorous.
So, Jared bought more to feed the rest of his trees. He also spread some on the family garden. The consensus was their vegetables not only grew better, but tasted better, too.
The next winter, still a high school senior, Jared enrolled in Botany at Northwestern Michigan College. Jared was determined to learn more about this miracle mineral from the Utah desert, so for Botany lab, he convinced instructor Kirk Waterstripe to help him do greenhouse tests of Azomite.
A simple experiment was devised. Eight tomatoes were grow in one gallon pots. Four were fed one tablespoon of Azomite, and four were untreated. Plants were carefully watered and monitored for several growth factors.
Results were dramatic, and convincing even to Jared's skeptical instructor. Plants fed Azomite:
Such differences are important not just to science, but financially to farmers racing for premium prices for the first local fruit at the market.
Impressed, Jared then tried spinach, a fast growing, leafy spring crop. He grew several trays in the greenhouse and carefully monitored and measured their growth. Again, the Azomite-treated plants grew better—this time over 3 times larger and faster.
But eight tomatoes and a few trays of spinach don't constitute proof to an astute skeptic, so in summer 1998, Jared tried an outdoor trial with 100 tomato plants in the family garden. This number of replications under natural growing conditions might prove the Azomite effect is genuine and consistent.
The 100 plants were divided into ten groups of ten. Some were given chemical fertilizer, others got Azomite at different dosages. Some got Azomite with compost; others got only Azomite. One group got only compost; another had no treatment at all.
By July, it was obvious to everyone which tomatoes were fed Azomite. Treated tomatoes grew taller, darker, stronger, better, and produced more fruit. As before, Azomite-treated plants flowered sooner and ripened fruit earlier.
"Ninety percent of the tomato plants with compost and Azomite bloomed three weeks ahead of the tomato plants with fertilizer alone," said Botany professor Kirk Waterstripe.
Most dramatic, plants fed chemical fertilizer developed disease and declined, while Azomite-fed plants growing a few feet away showed no disease, stayed healthy and produced longer.
"I think Azomite is effective because it adds to the soil what has been depleted for years," mused Jared. "Not only that, it frees up minerals to forms plants can use. Soil microbes are probably 60-80% of the effectiveness, because without organic matter in soil, minerals aren't available in forms plants can absorb."
Publicity of Jared's greenhouse tomato test hit the media. One article in Remineralize the Earth triggered an avalanche. Articles appeared in 22 Midwest newspapers, and Jared was on many TV news programs talking about testing the miracle mineral amendment from Utah. The family phone hardly stopped ringing from inquiries.
Jared's experiments garnered so much positive publicity he got a full scholarship to college. His investment in 500 maple trees was bringing a tremendous return.
So, with advice from his dad, Jared found investors to start a business distributing Azomite in the Midwest. The next winter, while the business was being organized, labels designed, bags printed, and all, Jared ran another round of greenhouse trials.
This time, Jared tested sudan grass, a fast grower for quick results. Tomatoes take time to set fruit, but sudan grass shows response in 20 to 30 days. A few trays of sudan grass were planted in soil with varying doses of Azomite and paramagnetic rockdust.
Jared's choice was decided by economics. Sudan grass is preferred by turf builders and golf course managers—a sizeable market for a natural, non-toxic, non-polluting soil conditioner and plant food. Golf courses and public lawns are not only big bucks, but serious sources of "non-point" pollution.
Currently, golf industry is booming. While farms disappear, golf courses are being built all across America. Most clubs are an assault on the environment, beginning with clear-cut and bulldoze construction, planting non-native vegetation, and intensive use of chemical fertilizers and herbicides to keep lawns and putting greens picture perfect. Golf course managers are becoming a significant market for natural, non-toxic, non-polluting soil conditioners.
Jared's concerns go beyond bucks to embrace global proportions and geological perspectives. In his research report Introduction, Jared wrote: "Lack of minerals and trace elements in soils has been linked to low germination rates and lack of plant vigor for many years. This decrease may be partially due to the lack of volcanic and glacial action in the last 10,000 years and intensive agriculture. One way to replenish minerals and trace elements in soil is use of organic manures and mineral supplements.
"As I began to research the studies of other scientists before me, I realized that studies in combinations of natural mineral supplements to enhance the growth of plants were very sparse. Why has this aspect of science and agriculture been overlooked? Studies on nitrogen fertilizers abound. Application of individual trace elements is widely researched. Literature on combinations of trace elements is limited."
His trial used 30 trays of Sorghum sudan divided in six treatments:
Potting soil was 85% peat and 15% composted manure, and each tray had 20 seeds planted.
Jared explained, "I heard great things about paramagnetic rock. I thought it might be a good complement to Azomite, and add missing properties. I read a lot about people using just paramagnetic rock, or just Azomite, but I never heard combing the two, so I thought I'd try it. It seemed right to mix the two together.
"The paramagnetic rock is probably crushed basalt from Canada. Initially it was sixteenth of an inch chips, but now I get it as sand. Other than basic chemistry, I'm not sure what differences are between paramagnetic rock and Azomite are."
The number of shoots per tray was highest for APs (41), then Af (25), As (23), APf (20), P (19), and control (16). After two months, shoots were harvested and weighed. Highest green mass was APs (.466), then Af (.457), P (.435), APf (.416), As (.407), and control (.399).
Results again clearly revealed a consistently better growth for Azomite, and definite effects by paramagnetic rock.
"I'm at a basic step of exploring it," said Jared, "but I learned germination rates are increased. The mixture did much better than either of the two alone."
Jared's report concluded: "Throughout 10,000 years of agriculture and lack of remineralization, our soils have been depleted of many minerals that enhance plant growth. Adding montmorillonite and paramagnetic rock to earth's tired soils seems to replace minerals essential for optimum growth, without use of harmful chemical fertilizers.
"It only seems to make sense that healthy soils make healthy plants. Minerals also play an important role in the health and vigor of humans. If mineral supplements are used on our crops, healthier plants, and ultimately, healthier humans, may result. Although many more tests both in lab and field are needed, I believe combinations of rock powders may prove a safe alternative to optimize the health and vigor of nearly all plant species."
In speaking of his experiments, Jared is quiet, soft spoken, low key—even understating facts. He knows how little we really know of how and why rockdusts affect plants. But Jared is confident of consistent effects of feeding Azomite to soil and plants. And critically aware of mineral-starved disaster facing American soils, forests, farmland, foods, and health.
His dad David, however, has a promoter's enthusiasm, "This magic silver bullet comes after three years of research at Northwestern Michigan College on several types of flowers, vegetables and trees. Azomite brought tremendous results whenever tested. On grass for golf courses, Kentucky bluegrass and rye for lawns and fairways, all vegetables and flowers tested."
David is a seasoned businessman who knows neither good ideas, nor great products prosper unless they employ people and turn a profit. Together, David and Jared started a business to blend and package Jared's special blend of mineral powders, and signed contracts to distribute products in the upper Midwest.
Business plans materialized in February as Earth Plus Products. LLC corporation was formed to finance production of products of Jared's research. Its premier product, "Adzsomplus" (A+), a natural material that renews depleted soil," is Azomite(tm) blended with paramagnetic rockdust and two other mineral powders. The result is a natural soil conditioner that can rapidly re-mineralize soil, restore trace elements, and give quick results. The product information sheet says AdzsumPlus
Exact dosage depends on its use and current soil conditions, but one to two pounds per ten square feet of garden soil is a general recommendation. Two pounds if the soil is real poor. A lighter application for lawns and golf courses.
Adzsumplus is available in 20 and 40 pound bags, and handy, 2-pound, refillable shaker bottles, with spouts to pour the powder. The bottle assures easy handling and convenient for home and garden use. Farms and nurseries can order bulk truckloads up to 20 tons.
David boasts, "For the first time ever we know of, consumers retail market can procure rockdust in small amounts for home garden use—the first combination of rockdust with paramagnetics."
Jared's vision for his new business is simple. "I want to give people e an easy, safe choice to apply just one thing to their soil and see results, and know they're doing the right thing for their plants and soil. I think there's a harmony that can make your plants grow faster, healthier without hurting the soil at the same time.
"My goal for the business is to make these products available to anyone in any part of the United States, or maybe the world. I'd like my marketing get to a size where people can go to any garden store and find Adzsomplus there.
"I have other things I'd like to do with the business. Educating the public is very important—about harmful effects to soil. I think the soil often gets overlooked. We focus on what comes out of soil without actually looking into soil. All too often people think it's just dirt."
David bubbles with pride for his son's success. "Very exciting things are going on at the College in the greenhouse. They're planting five different vegetables and five different annual flowers for a media extravaganza in May of Adzsomplus versus chemical fertilizer.
"Farm Bureau will do a documentary, and send copies to its 5,000 chapters across the country. Detroit Free Press is sending a photographer, and PBS will bring its cameras to film a second 15 minute piece for Michigan Magazine."
David enthused, "Mainstream media is exposing the public to concepts of organic farming. Now the genie is out of the bottle, and Mr. John Q. Public has a chance to see an alternative to NPK, and its results. If people see firsthand what it does in their own backyards and gardens, and to trees in their yards, perhaps it will carry over into bigger areas of society."
Unruffled by his dad's enthusiasm, Jared remains modest, "I think this is one small step. If we can get healthy soils, we can achieve healthy plants. And with healthier plants comes healthier people. If there's any possible way I can make any positive effect on the environment, I'm all for it, I'll try it."