Planters 2
Terra Preta
Step It Up
Indonesian farmer
Muhammad Yacob

harvests his record rice crop
after the Tsunami
Living Soil
a biological approach to soil fertility
Biological Approaches
to soil renewal

Our first task in an earnest effort at Earth Restoration must be to revive worn-out, mineral depleted, biology-deficient soils. Without healthy, balanced, fertile soil able to supply a full menu of minerals and microbes, the land cannot support lush vegetation and abundant animal life. Without soil renewal, all efforts at ecological repair and restoration will fail.

Humans must become true stewards of the soil. We must renew the Natural World from the ground up by combining traditional methods of land conservation with new effective technologies to make new topsoil, fertile enough to sustain rapid, intensive restoration of the diversity of biological life—especially grasses and prairies, and trees and forests.

Bedrock into Biology
turning sunshine into sugar

To restore topsoil, our first action must be to assure an abundant supply of essential elements. These elements are supplied in the form of "minerals"—complex combinations of chemical elements. Minerals are usually metals combined with oxygen,
Recycle the Sea

"My research clearly indicates the reason Americans generally lack a complete physiological chemistry is that the balanced, essential elements of the soil have eroded to the sea. Consequently, crops are nutritionally poor, and the animals eating these plants are, therefore, nutritionally poor. We must alter the way we grow our food, the way we protect our plants from pests and disease, and the way we process our food.

From the start, my sea solids experiments produced excellent results, and it has now been conclusively proven that the proportions of the trace minerals and elements present in sea water are optimum for the growth and health of both land and sea life."

Dr. Maynard Murray
Medical Research Doctor
Sea Energy Agriculture

hydrogen, nitrogen, other non-metals, and water. These minerals are blended together in crystalline and amorphous forms as the rocks of the Earth.

Soil is made from rocks. Soil is decayed rock. Rocks are weathered and worn by wind and water into dust, grit and sand. The raw, elemental minerals exposed by this breakdown are then digested, reformed and transformed by microbes, algae, lichen and other simple lifeforms. The simplest organisms perform the primary task of transforming minerals into protoplasm.
Dr. Maynard Murray's
Sea Solids

Plants then combine these carbon-bound soil minerals with sunshine, water and carbon dioxide to create sugars, the universal fuel for biological life. Through the miracle of photosynthesis, magnesium in chlorophyll liberates oxygen and sunshine is captured in carbohydrates. As in the chlorophyll molecule itself, the minerals form the heart of biological cells, and supply the electric charges required to fire nature's chemical reactions.

Rocks are not equal in their ability to provide nutrients. Some rocks consist of only a few elements; others contain a wide diversity of elements. Some rocks contain too many heavy metals, others consist of a wide diversity of trace elements. Some rocks contain an abundance of silica; others consist mainly of clay-forming minerals. Determining what rock is best to renew one type of soil or soil condition becomes complex and fraught with technical uncertainties, unknowns and uncontrolled variables.
of rock minerals
click a link
Adzsum Plus™
ELX dust
glacial gravel dust
granite dust
Planters 2
sea solids
Strite's dust


Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes
smaller particle size

The ideal natural form to feed elements to soil is as the insoluble minerals available from finely ground up rocks. To maximize the conversion of rock minerals into protoplasm and plant nutrients, the best strategy is to grind the rocks to powder. This increases the surface area of rock that is exposed and accessible to soil microbes. A normal fist size rock has a surface area of a few square inches, but ground to the consistency of fine sand, the rock has a surface area of several thousand square feet. This means microbes can much more rapidly access and consume the rock's minerals, and thus more rapidly digest them into plant nutrients. The finer the rock is ground, the greater the exposed surface area, and the more rapidly the soil microbes will digest it.

General recommendations are to grind rocks to at least 200 mesh, which is finer than fine sand. Several successful rockdust fertilizers are 400 mesh or less—as fine as talcum powder. One new product —Summa Minerals—will pass 22% through a 2500 mesh screen.

These finely ground dusts can be difficult to handle, cake up when wet, and easily disburse on windy days. A few manufactureres have granulated or pelletized their products to make them easier to handle and spread with a mechanical spreader.

Rocks are not equal in their ability to provide nutrients. Some rocks consist of only a few elements; others contain a wide diversity of elements. Some rock contains too much heavy metal, others consist of a wide diversity of trace elements. Some rocks contain an abundance of silica; others consist mainly of clay-forming minerals.

For maximum vitality, it's important to supply soil with ALL the nutrients that are essential for plant and animal growth. Not merely the organic elements and major elements—Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Calcium (N-P-K and Ca)—but all the elements, especially the trace elements.
Greenhouse Trial
tomatoes on the left
grown with Azomite™ & compost

There are at least a dozen other elements, beyond the major seven, that science now knows are needed for healthy plants. Many more—such as molybdenum—needed by specialized soil microbes, which fulfill special functions to create soil and fertility, such as synthesizing certain enzymes, vitamins, antibiotics, or other critical biolmolecules. Most are required in extremely tiny amounts—micrograms or less—and thus are called "trace elements."

Most trace elements dissolve into water faster than the major elements. So, in an average soil, trace elements leach out of soils faster than major elements. This removal of trace elements is accelerated by acid rain, soluble chemical fertilizers and excessive tillage. The consequence is that all soils eventually and easily become deficient in minor or trace elements. Continued doses with N-P-K and lime fertilizers will not resolve these deficiencies, and, in fact, will make them worse.

Trace elements play a key role in the function of many enzymes and hormones. One consequence of this is that a very tiny amount trace element has an exceedingly great effect on the healthy function of plants and animals. For example, it is well-known that insuffient iodine will induce goiter, a disease of the thyroid gland. And a deficiency of cobalt will leave us without vitamin B12, and thus unable to manufacture red blood cells. Neither is needed in more than a microgram per day—an amount which will easily fit on the head of a pin.

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The Earth Renewal and Restoration Alliancewww.championtrees.orgupdated 12/31/2005