Grow Better Tasting Vegetables with Rock Dust and Where to Get It Near You

(JOHN) Alright! This is John Kohler with
today I have a very exciting episode for you. I’ve got my good friend here, Don Weaver,
and I consider Don the expert; I mean, he did write the book on what we’re going to
talk about today and you know that I talk about it a lot, it’s rock dust! So here’s
one variety right here called Azomite and Azomite is OMRI certified so you can use it
in organic growing and you should be using it in organic growing. In any case, we’re going to have Don answer
some questions about rock dust. One of the biggest questions I get is “Hey John, where
do I get rock dust? I can’t find the Azomite or the Gaia Greens, so what should I do? Should
I put granite dust on my crops? Should I put dolomite on my crops? What should I do?”
So we have the expert here that’s going to answer some questions, so Don tell us about
how long you’ve been into using rock dust and what it can do for a person’s plants? (DON) Ok! John thanks for inviting me. First
of all, I’d like to mention that I consider Mother Nature the grand expert of all this
and I’ve been a student of her and the soil and ecology and growing healthy food for 30-33
years, as long as I’ve been a raw fooder, actually 34 this month; so about 34 years
and I’ve studied all the different perspectives on organic agriculture and permaculture and
realized that the foundation of healthy soil is the mineral base which comes from the rocks
of the Earth’s crust and in many soils, many parts of the world, the minerals have
been depleted and leached out of the soil and exploited in many cases by agribusiness,
mining practices. So, we need to replenish the minerals as a basis for healthy soil and
healthy crops and healthy human body, mind, spirits. (JOHN) So, Don why don’t you tell us about
your background and how you got into growing organically and using rock dust minerals. (DON) Alright, well I became an organic gardener
in the late 70s and I began reading a brilliant author named John Hamaker who was a pioneer
in the use of rock powder for replenishing the mineral base in the soil which is the
foundation of soil health and human health, quality and quantity of food and other crops
and vegetation on the Earth. So, I just saw his inspiring articles and learned about his
results and the results other people were getting with remineralizing with rock powder
which is largely overlooked in organic agriculture which emphasizes adding back compost and mulch
and organic materials, but all those organic materials are grown out of the soil foundation
which is made up of mineral particles primarily. The Earth was once a molten rock cooled down
somehow became, that rock became a paradise and that’s through the action of microbial
life on the rocks, turning rock minerals… fine, dusty, rock minerals into living, organic
protoplasm of the microorganisms and they provide the food for the whole chain of life,
all the vegetation, the huge trees everything is dependent on the microbes, they’re dependent
on the minerals. So that’s why we add rock dust minerals back to the soil. (JOHN) So, do you think that in organic gardening,
in organic growing practices, minerals should be the base of that whole practice? I mean,
right now it’s not, it’s like… (DON) Yeah, I do. I think all most organic
farmers are dependent on large imports of organic matter from, primarily, from animal
based agriculture industries; the chicken houses, the beef feedlots and other animal
byproducts industries. They’re dependent on compost and animal manure to a large extent;
of course all animal and human manure ideally should go back to the soil to replenish it
but if we’re dependent for our fertilizer on the often toxic animal based industry and
the destructive industry that it tends to be in the modern world. Then we’re just
supporting, through buying the manure, supporting a destructive practice on the whole. So, we can… if we emphasize minerals as
the basis, the minerals will allow the soil to produce a lot more organic matter right
in place and we can compost our garden and farm crops, and have a lot of organic matter
from fertile soil and if we need much less imported, if any, from organic matter from
outside, that should be going on some other land where it was grown ideally so we try
to close the cycle, close the loop of organic matter. And again, the minerals are the basis
of that, once we get the minerals to a high level on the soil then it can be pretty self-sustaining
as long as we’re returning the organic matter that’s growing out of it. So, the foundation of organic agriculture
I think should be remineralization of the soil with a full spectrum rock dust; not just
the dolomite or granite dust like we were talking about before but a mixture of different
types of rocks like you’d typically see in a river bed or glacial gravel bed where
the river or the glaciers have mixed together many strata and types of rocks so you get
a broad spectrum. Just like we want to eat a varied diet of various types of fruits and
vegetables and nuts and seeds and whatever else we think we need in our diet, we want
to give the soil all the different rock minerals and it takes over from there and nature does
its thing of producing fertility and health and… Where there’s not health there’s
something wrong in the whole soil, plant, human system. So, when we see human health
breaking down we should think about what’s going on in the earlier chains, the earlier
links in the chain of life and health. (JOHN) So it’s pretty much evident that
we should be using the rock dust in the growing but the problem most of my viewers have, and
I’ve gotten this question… it’s probably the number one question that comes up on rock
dust is “Where do you get the rock dust? I can’t get the Azomite or the Gaia Green
Glacial rock dust from my local nursery, nobody sells it around here, I’ve called the big
box stores…” Well, don’t even waste your time calling them but local garden centers
and other places, they just don’t sell it. So, what can somebody do besides ordering
online? I mean, you can order this stuff online. This are 50 pound – 40 pound bags, they’re
expensive to ship so it’s not super good to be shipping around the country. So, what
could people do that would be available in their local area to use Don? (DON) Yeah, well I think, local is a good
thing to stress because obviously the shipping cost of rock powder can be expensive. I don’t
discourage people asking their local nurseries and their big box stores about rock dust so
they start to educate them and make them aware of it. A lot of them just don’t know we’re
not educated about things like rock dust for soil remineralization. There’s a website
called in Massachusetts, it lists a lot of commercial sources around
the country and around the world, you could start there. You can also go just to your local, say, phone
book in the Yellow Pages under “sand and gravel” you’ll find the local gravel pits,
you can talk to those people and see which ones have byproducts that they’re not using
or they’re selling cheap; sometimes they give it away, sometimes cheap. And if you
get it fairly finely ground… you can ask them if they have rock dust or gravel dust
or gravel crusher screenings they’re called and you want something that can pass, at least
some of it, through a 200 mesh screen is ideal, that’ll make it a really fine dust coming
through. It doesn’t all have to be fine dust but if a fair percentage, say 15-20%
is a fine dust, it’s usually great to use for the soil and you can get it for free or
as we said a low cost. So, again for the sources
list around the world and locally ask around, go to the nurseries… There are more and
more nurseries carrying it, for example “Down to Earth” I think it’s called, in the
Portland area I just heard they’ve sold about 150 tons recently since they started
carrying the Gaia Green Glacial rock dust which comes out of British Columbia. So, once
people start using it and their nursery starts selling it people come back for more because
they get such great results normally and so get some… Get a nursery started carrying
it and they’ll see for themselves, they can experiment, they can get feedback from
their customers. Also, it’s possible each individual out there or a group of people
could get together, and be a distributor of rock dust. Contact this companies and see
if it’s practical to get a pallet load or a truck load sent to your local area and then
distribute from there use it for your garden and then see which of your neighbors are ready
to grow real good food again. Speaking of real good food, we’re surrounded
by it here in John Kohler’s garden. This stuff tastes so great and it’s so good for
you… I wish I could eat it more often. (JOHN) Grown in rock dust. (DON) My garden is doing similarly but he’s
got a garden even bigger than mine and it’s doing fantastic. So, thanks John. (JOHN) You’re welcome. (DON) I wonder if you have any other questions
about rock dust. (JOHN) I sure do. So, once people get the
rock dust, whether it’s the Azomite, the Gaia Green or whether it’s from their rock
quarry and all that stuff how do you apply it? How many pounds per square foot, do you
put in? Should people mix a scoop in when they plant a new plant or should they just
mix it in their soil or what? (DON) Yeah, I think normally you prepare a
whole bed at once, at least the beginning of planting to prepare a new planting bed
it’s good to add a generous amount initially at least because you may be trying to make
up for 10,000 years of leaching and erosion since the last glacial periods remineralized
most of the world’s soil. So, I usually recommend about a pound per square foot, one
pound, and that is equivalent to about 20 tons per acre on a farm scale, or acre scale,
and that usually produces immediate great results and you have reserved minerals to
last probably years depending on how efficient you’re returning the minerals back to the
soil through your composting and your mulching systems and how much you may be standing off
the property. So, be generous, that’s the main principle
and a pound per square foot I think is a good guideline. you could do half a pound per square
foot, a 10 tons per acre rate, still should get real good immediate results. If you only
have less to work with you can still see good results a quarter pound per square foot or
even less. Depending probably how finely ground the rocks are, so that’s the way to do it,
be generous and then you usually want to dig it in or cultivate it in the top 4 to 6 inches
of topsoil that’s the main aerobic microbially active area is so you’ll be sure to feed
all those microbes and that’s the main initial planting… I mean, rooting area for the plants. Then, once you start tasting mineralized food
you’ll see you’re on the right track, you’re starting to feel better, you’re
doing the right thing, you’re giving back to nature some of what we’ve all been taking
for centuries and starting to replenish the Earth rather than continue to deplete the
Earth. It feels good and it’s obvious we need to do this on a worldwide collective
scale. (JOHN) Alright Don, so what would you say
the difference is between using the Azomite or the Gaia Green Glacial rock dust, which
is what I use here, versus the stuff you said you can get at a local rock or sand quarry? (DON) John, can’t you see I’m eating some
of your mineralized lettuce? (JOHN) Sorry, you can have a second there
Don. (DON) Yeah, I think I’m ready. (JOHN) Chew… make sure you chew your food
really well Don, it’s very important. (DON) That stuff is great.
(JOHN) 200 times a mouthful, 200 chews a mouthful. (DON) Got it, Ok done! So, for the Azomite
and the Gaia Green and some of the proven commercial products [they] have a long track
record, they’re proven to work consistently, they’re usually very finely ground which
is a major factor for the availability for those tiny soil microorganisms that need a
finely ground product. But again, if you can find a source in the local gravel pit that
has a fair amount of fine dust in it then you may have something also great, that is
overall much cheaper by the ton; you can get larger quantities for much cheaper. But, if you have a small garden and you want
to be sure something is going to work right away and you have access to the commercial
bagged products, like the 50 pound bags, that might be easier for some people. Just personal
choice and what makes sense for your local area, wherever you are in the world. (JOHN) So what about the quality or quantity
of the different minerals and the spectrum of minerals? Can it vary between the different
brands from Azomite to Gaia Green to a quarry? (DON) Well, they tend to be similar like…
mixed rock deposits all around the world tend to be similar in composition overall, none
of them is going to be identical to the other because all the rocks are in different percentages
and proportions. And you mainly want to get enough of a mixture which will provide all
the minerals and then nature, the microbes, sort out what they need for their metabolic
needs. So they’ll pick a little bit or boron, a little bit of magnesium, a little bit of
zinc and incorporate it into their protein building they’re building their own tissues
and protoplasm and then taking gases out of the air and building their microbial colonies
and communities and civilizations under the ground and then the plants can just tap into
all of that wealth and fertility and draw their sustenance from that living soil. The soil that doesn’t have the microbes
is basically dead soil and nothing will grow in it, so it’s a matter of feeding the microbes.
They eat at the first table, as Dr. William Albert used to say, and if we feed them their
complete natural diet then we can start growing our complete natural diet with all the minerals
(30+) proven to be essential to the function of our bodies and brains and to prevent cancer
and all the diseases you’ve got to have all the nutrients active in supporting your
immune or health system so you stay healthy and don’t have to worry about all these,
so called, diseases of civilization. (JOHN) So, the next question I have for you
Don is some people always ask “If I use the rock dust… hey I see it has lead in
there and it has mercury in there, what about the heavy metal toxicity?” Don, what would
you say about the heavy metal… because this does contain metals that can be toxic in high
amounts, right? (DON) In concentration, yeah. The rocks of
the Earth’s crust contain all the nutrient elements and it’s apparently the microbes’
job to pick and choose the biologically necessary ones and let the other ones go and leach out;
like they’re not going to be building… If there is a trace amount of something like
mercury or cadmium they’re normally not going to incorporate it into their tissues
or if they do it’s probably because they have a way to use it in their metabolic processes.
But normally they just take the biologically essential and healthy nutrients that we all
need… the zinc… there are trace amounts of lead and some of the heavy metals in our
food that come through the soil and I guess we don’t really know for sure which of them
are utilized somehow and which are just processed and eliminated, but normally in the tiny amounts
there’s trace elements nature has been using in the soil forever so there’s no reason
for concern about it as far as we know. Again, if you used something that had a concentrated
amount of… I mean, a spill of something like mercury is highly toxic, or uranium if
someone is mining uranium and spilling it out on the soil somewhere then you could obviously
poison your soil and anything you try to grow on it. But basically rock dust is as natural
and safe as anything we know on Earth and it’s not only safe but it’s… it provides
so much in the way of essential elements and most people are more or less deficient in
supposedly over 100 nutrients that we need and they’re all based on… their creation
is all keyed, into the mineral on the soil so this is basically how to provide all this
minerals in a natural balanced way. (JOHN) Don so, thank you for your time. I
appreciate it a lot and the last question I have for you is how can somebody learn more
about rock dust, rock dust minerals and the books you’ve written? Wait, didn’t you
write a new book? Why don’t you share with us how somebody could learn more about all
your books and how somebody could just learn about this stuff if they want to do more than
just buying and using it, because you guys should all buy it and start using it in your
garden, but if you want to learn more and learn really the science behind it Don will
tell you how to do that. (DON) Ok, yeah. I think it’s always good
to learn about something before you decide if it’s right for you. I don’t know if
anyone has found this to be wrong for them but there’s a primary website my friends
Joanna Campi in Massachusetts started 20 years ago called, it’s the website
of the non-profit Remineralize the Earth Inc. and I highly recommend supporting their work
and seeing what they’re doing. You can go to the website and see what’s being offered
there. The books that I coauthored with John Hamaker
and authored myself are called “The Survival of Civilization” and “To Love and Regenerate
the Earth”; they’re both available for free online at a website called
It’s a great website and they’re in the agriculture section in there and there are
also many good free publications on health and nutrition but check the agriculture section
for “The Survival of Civilization” and “To Love and Regenerate the Earth”. My new book is called “Regenerate the Earth”
with a long subtitle, you can find that at that’s David
Klein’s website, he’s the founder and publisher of Vibrants Magazine, formerly Living
Nutrition. So you just go to the bookstore section of if you’d
like to read about and perhaps order my new book “Regenerate the Earth – Nature’s
call to remineralize the soil re-green the land, rescue the climate and restore our health”
they all go together. (JOHN) Alright Don. Well, thank you once again
I appreciate you sharing the message of rock dust. And once again, you know I learned about
the rock dust from Don, I know he wouldn’t steer me wrong, I’m using it and it works
exactly like he says it does. All my stuff tastes amazing, your stuff could taste amazing,
you could grow better, grow faster, grow stronger plants that taste more, yield more and grow
better food than your neighbors. So, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this episode
learning more about rock dust with Don Weaver. Once again this is John Kohler with
we’ll see you next time and use some rock dust, it’s good stuff.

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