[MittleiderMethodGardening] Reasons to Choose Natural Minerals over Organic Fertilizers


Did you think my last post was "heavy"?  This one is REALLY important - please study!  :)

There are SO many reasons for choosing the Mittleider system of growing over organic!


1.  Let's start with the MACRO "argument".    There is not enough compost/manure in the world to feed 10% of the population, if even that much.  Before "ground-up rocks" as commercial fertilizers - and especially before man learned to create usable nitrogen the way lightning does it (see Haber/Bosch Method) - there were about 1 billion people on the planet.  Take commercial fertilizers away and 6 out of 7 would die, and the world population would revert to that size again. 


And during crisis situations, or in the event of a breakdown in the fragile, interconnected and interdependent civilization in which we live, there will be much LESS organic material available because the animals will die or be eaten. 


The great intelligence that rules the universe would not create a world in which the large majority of people were consigned to ill health and even starvation.  And sure enough, the earth contains inexhaustible supplies of the 13 essential mineral nutrients plants require.  These are mined and then concentrated to remove impurities, heavy metals, etc., and give exact percentages of the nutrients.  This also makes them much less expensive to ship to distant locations.


2.  The actual nutritional benefits of organic fertilizers are unknown.  a) The nutritional composition of the original plants is unknown. b) The horse or cow kept some; c) about half the nutrition is lost in the urine;  d) some was lost to leaching before it was applied to the soil; e) nitrogen is lost into the air due to its volatility, and f) because it all must be applied at once before planting much more is lost in the weeks and months before the plant takes it up and uses it.


3.  While natural mineral nutrients can be balanced between Macro-nutrients, Secondary nutrients, and Micro-nutrients to give just the right amounts of each, organic fertilizers' nutrient composition is unknown and unknowable.


4. Plants cannot take in and use organic nutrients because of their size and structure, and therefore the compost must decompose, break down, and revert to its inorganic water-soluble mineral state before the next generation of plants can use it.  This requires time and soil organisms.


5.  Doing this composting is almost never done aerobically (with oxygen), which produces heat of 140 degrees for about 3 weeks, and in the composting process kills the weed seeds, bugs, and diseases.  Ninety nine percent+ of the time - at least in the family garden - composting is done anaerobically, or without oxygen, and consequently without heat.  This of course does NOT eliminate the 3 bad elements, and instead encourages bugs, weeds, diseases, bad smells, AND rodents.


6.  Harmful diseases such as listeria, e-coli, and salmonella are spread by organic fertilizers such that people get sick and sometimes even die after ingesting the food grown in them.  This is why organic fertilizers MUST, by law, be applied to the soil 120 days before harvest if the edible part of the plant comes in contact with the soil, and 90 days before harvest if the edible part of the plant does not touch the ground.


7.  Because the fertilizer for the entire crop must be applied all at once before planting. large amounts of fertilizer salts are applied to the soil all at once.  This often causes a condition called salinity - too much salt - and causes reverse osmosis, with the saline moisture in the soil drawing the moisture out of the plants and injuring or even killing the plants.  Also, the excess salts are leached into the ground water, streams and rivers, killing fish, etc., and fouling the water supply.  Meanwhile, by mid-season the nutrition is gone and plants stop producing.


8.  Cost of organic fertilizers is often, at least in large population centers, more than that of mineral nutrients.  And storage presents an entirely new set of problems.  Compost takes up a great deal of space, smells, nutrition leaches out if stored outside, and invites problems as described above. Mineral fertilizers on the other hand are without bad odors, do NOT attract bugs and diseases, take up MUCH less space, and store indefinitely without losing potency.


9. And finally the piece of the equation that has many people calling The Mittleider Method "the best of organic".  The laws established by the USDA, which governs organic growing, specify that a Certified Organic grower must plant using only organic fertilizers.  Then, when they observe deficiency symptoms they must get soil tests.  After documenting which nutrients are deficient the organic grower is permitted to use inorganic (mineral) nutrients, including the very same ones we use in the Mittleider Method from the beginning.


The average person never hears about the fact that the big organic growers actually use commercial bagged mineral fertilizers, and the family gardener has neither the time, the money, nor the expertise to go through all those steps that are necessary to grow healthy and productive crops organically, and so they suffer with poor production and much less nutritious garden produce.


Dr. Mittleider chose to feed his crops very small amounts of all of the natural mineral nutrients plants need for fast healthy growth as they need them, avoiding all of the problems associated with organic fertilizers including weed seeds, bugs and diseases, salinity, higher cost and availability issues, and time and dependence on soil organisms to change the organic materials into water-soluble minerals that plants can use.

I recommend you get a package of the Micro-Nutrients - www.growfood.com/shop - and make your own inexpensive and highly effective Mittleider Weekly Feed now.  Then study the Mittleider Gardening Course book (also available at growfood.com) and produce a great sustainable garden that will feed your family from now on!



Jim Kennard, 11/6/2017


Posted by: jim@growfood.com
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