4 Acres of Sub-soil After Strip Mining – Lost or Lucky?!

Q.  We just moved to 4 acres of very poor soil, that has been exposed after strip mining, and we need to get something growing.  Is there any hope?  What can we do??

A.  Lucky You!

I’m really not kidding, and here are three good reasons why.

First, it is with good reason that we promise every Mittleider Method gardener “a great garden in any soil”, even WITHOUT ANY SOIL AMENDMENTS! 

Following the tried and true principles and procedures outlined on the website, in the books and CDs, in the Training Videos, as well as in the posts on the Yahoo Groups MittleiderMethodGardening Group, you WILL have a great garden – even if your soil is as barren as sawdust and sand. 

The natural mineral nutrients are so complete and balanced that you can grow healthy plants even in WATER.  That’s one reason this is called “the poor man’s hydroponic system”.

The second reason is that your “barren” soil is probably not as barren of nutrition as you fear.  The top layers of your soil – before the mining was done – had been weathering and having nutrition leached out of them from rain, snow, wind and crop removal for thousands of years, and they were probably already deficient in many nutrients.

However, the sub-surface layers of soil had much less of that weathering and leaching going on, and so may actually have MORE of some elements than the top layers had.

The third reason you may actually be lucky is that your land almost certainly has very few weed seeds, bugs, or diseases in it, for the very reason that all of those things have been scraped off.  You have a CLEAN slate with which to work, and believe me many others would envy you that fact.

So, don’t worry about your “poor soil”, but be grateful for the positives I’ve described, then just create slightly raised level beds with 4″-high ridges, apply the Mittleider Magic Pre-Plant and Weekly Feed nutrients (per the formulas given in the Mittleider gardening books and CDs, as well as in the Learn section of this website) as instructed, then weed, water, and care for your plants, and you will be very happy with the results.

Sweet Peppers With Thin Walls

Q.  What is the problem when sweet bell peppers end up with thin walls and not with thick walls as shown on the seed packet and in the catalogs?
 
A.  You are seeing a nutrient deficiency.  What did you feed your plants?  Sometimes when people try to give their plants only organic fertilizers like compost and manure, the plants run out of food about the time they are trying to mature a crop.  This results in a single crop, instead of production continuing until late fall frosts, and often the fruit is less desirable as well.
 
If you will start by applying the Mittleider Pre-Plant natural mineral nutrient formula before planting – which contains calcium and other nutrients – and then after your plants are up apply Mittleider Weekly Feed formula, you will have healthy plants and beautiful, thick-walled and juicy fruit.
 
The formulas for both fertilizer mixes are free on the websiteat www.foodforeveryone.org, in the Learn section, or you can buy them at www.growfood.com in the Store section.  If shipping is a problem buy just the Micro-Nutrients and mix your own with the macro-nutrients you can buy locally.

Can a Mittleider Garden Be Organic?

Q.  Can a Mittleider Garden Be Organic?

A.  In response to a woman who is growing a 1-acre organic garden in California, I wrote the following.  I’ve enumerated a few of the principles and procedures which make the Mittleider Method unique – and better than most others.

Many have referred to the  Mittleider Method as “better than organic” because most of our gardens can qualify as organic (once in a while growers in hot countries have to use pesticides or lose their whole crop).

The reasons they may be better than organic include, but are not limited to:

1) because we leave nothing to chance, but apply small amounts of natural mineral nutrients to assure fast, healthy growth.  This also helps our plants ward off pests and diseases that will often take less healthy plants.

2) We encourage growing healthy seedlings in a clean, warm environment, which gives the plants a major head-start and avoids much of the problems encountered upon germination and emergence – with cold soil, hungry bugs, damping-off, etc.

3) We water only the root zones, thus not encouraging pest and disease proliferation caused by sprinkling or flooding.

4) We prune any leaves touching the cround to minimize disease and pest infestations from that common source.

5) We allow no weeds – nor encourage putting mulch, etc. on the bround – since both of these harbor pests and diseases.

6) Since our plants grow very fast and reach maturity quicker than typical gardens, the diseases and pests have less chance to take over. 

7) Then we harvest and remove a crop immediately at maturity, to avoid the buildup of pests and diseases that occur when people leave their crop too long in the garden (all too common in homegardens).

With these preventative cultural practices, plus fast healthy griowth, Mittleider Method gardens have much less need to use pesticides or herbicides anyway.

Are Chemical Fertilizers Threatening Our Reproductive Capacity?

Q.  I’ve heard that chemicals may cause low sperm counts in men, and that people who eat organically produced produce are healthier.  Is it true?
 
A.  It has been reported for some time that male sperm counts in America and Western Europe are declining, and that in many cases we are threatened with infertility.  Some people claim the reason for this decline is people eating food produced using chemicals.
 
There is nothing in the studies I have read that implicates the natural mineral nutrients used in growing a Mittleider garden!  Please do not be led into throwing the baby out with the bath water.
 
Increased estrogen, caused primarily by materials fed to beef cattle, and lower fiber in our diets, are the main two culprits as I read it, and nothing is said about minerals that are mined from the earth, purified and concentrated, and properly applied in tiny quantities as fertilizers to food crops.
 
Why IS this decline in male sperm counts happening? I’ve reproduced some of the information below, for your consideration, as taken from this website https://www.alkalizeforhealth.net/Lspermdamage2.htm.
 
One explanation suggests “environmental chemicals called endocrine disrupters that masquerade as hormones. Specifically, synthetic chemicals that mimic the female sex hormone estrogen may influence male development in utero or during the formative years of early childhood when hormone sensitivity is high.”

“In 1993, a study published in The Lancet traced the decline to males being exposed in the womb to female sex hormones that permanently alter their sexual development, and greatly reduce a man’s ability to produce sperm. (6) The study, along with one  published later in 1993 in the Journal of Endocrinology established several diet-linked sources of increased estrogenic exposure to males in the womb (7) :

“1) The modern diet increases the levels of natural estrogen in women. Fiber in the diet today is lower than it was 50 years ago. Natural estrogens excreted in the bile are more readily reabsorbed into the bloodstream when the lower intestine contains little dietary fiber. Thus, a fetus today may be exposed to higher levels of the mother’s own natural estrogens, compared to a fetus 50 years ago. (Fiber is found in all whole grains, vegetables and fruits; and is absent in all meats, dairy products, and eggs.)

“2) Synthetic estrogens, including DES, were fed to beef cattle from the 1950s through the 1970s to make them grow more meat faster. Though DES has been outlawed for use in U.S. livestock, hormones such as Steer-oid, Ralgro, Compudose,  and Synovex are still used in virtually every cattle feedlot in the country. This is the primary reason the European Economic Union refuses to import U.S. beef. Such practices have increased the quantity of estrogens in meat-eating women, and may have contaminated some water supplies.

“3) Another source of increased estrogens in women today is the many synthetic organic chemicals and heavy metals that have been released into the environment in massive quantities since World War II. Some of these compounds, such as PCBs and dioxins, concentrate in ever higher levels on higher rungs of the food chains. Vegetarians, and even more notably vegans, thus enjoy some degree of protection.”

Growing Commercially – Mittleider VS Hydroponics

Q.  We want to go into gardening commercially, and hydroponic greenhouse growing has been recommended.  How is your Method similar or better for us than going hydroponic?

A.  Before you spend any money on Hydroponic buildings and equipment you need to learn about the Mittleider Method, for sure! Building a Mittleider-style greenhouse will save you many thousands of dollars in the building of it and many thousands more in operating costs.  The Mittleider Method is sometimes referred to as modified hydroponics, because we feed the plants the 13 necessary nutrients, in a scientifically balanced ratio.  However, rather than putting expensive instantly water-soluble formulas in the water supply, we use Natural Mineral Nutrients that are easily and inexpensively obtained and apply the nutrients right on the soil – then water them in.  Also, as alluded to in the previous paragraph, unlike hydroponics, we grow plants right in the ground, or if we’re in Greenhouses we use raised Grow-Boxes with open bottoms, so the plants still have access to the natural soil – to obtain other nutrients they may want or need.  Mittleider gardens are well known for producing tremendous yields, even approaching those of hydroponics, while our crops like tomatoes are better tasting and cost a small fraction of those grown by hydroponic methods.