How to Increase the Minerals in Your Garden Soil

In his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration Weston A. Price said, "The most serious problem confronting the coming generations is this nearly insurmountable handicap of depletion of the quality of the foods because of the depletion of the minerals of the soil."

One of the best parts of growing your own food at home is that you have better control over soil quality--which, in the end, means better control over the nutrient density of the food you grow. Price noted several traditional societies who went to great lengths to increase the mineral content of their soil. The Gaelic populations he studied, for instance, used the smoked thatch from their roofs to fertilize their soil:

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration"The thatch of the roofs plays a very important role. It is replaced each October and the old thatch is believed by the natives to have great value as a special fertilizer for their soil because of its impregnation with chemicals that have been obtained from the peat smoke which may be seen seeping through all parts of the roof at all seasons of the year. Peat fires are kept burning for this explicit purpose even when the heat is not needed. This means that enormous quantities of peat are required to maintain a continuous smudge. Some of the houses have no chimney because it is desirable that the smoke leave the building through the thatched roof. Not infrequently smoke is seen rolling out of an open door or open window."
~ from Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

How to Increase the Mineral Content of Your Garden Soil

Fish and Seaweed Fertilizer

Sarah from The Healthy Home Economist did a great post about her favorite fish and seaweed fertilizer here. These natural fertilizers contain a wealth of minerals and trace nutrients that are severely lacking in traditional fertilizers.

Volcanic Rock Dust

Volcanic rock dust provides the soil with a steady supply of trace minerals, and is supposed to improve soil texture and quality as well. Azomite is one example of a high quality volcanic source of minerals for your soil. Read more about volcanic rock dust here.

Start Composting

Let it Rot!: The Gardener's Guide to Composting (Third Edition) (Storey's Down-to-Earth Guides)Composting is a great way to recycle waste materials into a potent soil enhancer. Everything from garden clippings to coffee grounds can be composted. Check out Vintage Garden Gal's post Ten Ways Compost Benefits Your Soil to learn more about the benefits of composting. You may also want to check out the book Let it Rot! The Gardener's Guide to Composting.

How do you take care of your garden soil? Do you take measures to increase the mineral content of your soil?

Get in the Garden Groove this Summer!

There's still plenty of time to plant a garden and grow your own this summer. For a great source of organic and heirloom seeds, check out the gardening section of my Resources page.

Need some support to get your garden going? No problem! Join me and other real food bloggers on the Seeds of Change Facebook Page and follow Seeds of Change on Twitter to stay updated with the latest gardening posts and photos of our gardens.

Please note: I wrote this post while participating in the Sowing Millions Project by Real Food Media on behalf of Seeds of Change. I received product (i.e. seeds!) and exclusive content to facilitate my post. But of course my thoughts and opinions are my own and not those of Real Food Media or Seeds of Change.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday.

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