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From the Ocean Deep*

In our veggie gardens, we are always looking for the next source of the “Holy Grail”, of nutrition that will allow our gardens to thrive and produce wonderfully tasty food: the best tomatoes, figs that melt in your mouth, sweet juicy carrots… The big secret is: a full, rich flavour indicates high nutrient density. And the more nutrient dense your food is, the less you require for optimum health, and the less you must rely on popping vitamin pills.
There’s a huge difference between vitamins from a bottle and those that are within the organic complex of a fresh vegetable. Much has been written on this, including our newsletter article from May 2016.
Years ago, our quest for growing full flavoured and nutrient dense fruit and veggies led us strangely to the ocean!
The pioneering work of Dr Maynard Murray

Why are oceans such a valuable source of nutrition for our gardens and farms?
Firstly, the composition of water from the ocean deep corresponds with the perfect composition of blood plasma in humans. Dr Maynard Murray wrote about this in a book published in the 1950’s. 

Secondly, Dr Murray showed that rain washes valuable minerals out of the soil that end up back in the ocean. It makes sense to recycle these minerals form the ocean back to the soil!

Dr Murray set up a hydroponics operation in Florida, USA, growing incredibly flavoursome tomatoes using sea solids. These are simply the mineral salts remaining after water is evaporated from deep ocean water from the deep ocean. His extensive experiments demonstrated repeatedly and conclusively that plants fertilised with sea solids and animals fed sea-solid-fertilised food grow stronger and more resistant to disease.

He took the use of sea water to the next step where it could be used in horticulture, broadacre farming and of course, hydroponics.
Let’s look at some of the inorganic and organic sea water products available to us these days.

Inorganic: Liquid sea minerals

Olsson’s sell a product called sea water concentrate which is the fraction of seawater they obtain when distilling common table salt from sea water. It contains over 76 trace minerals necessary for plant health. We apply liquid sea minerals to our clients’ gardens 4 times a year. It’s very inexpensive and bursting with all the trace elements.

Trace elements are important to the garden because of the law of the minimum, described by Justus von Liebig in the 19th century. Your plants growth will be limited by whatever mineral is in short supply. Liquid sea minerals are an inorganic source of such minerals.

Organic sources of sea minerals – fish and kelp

Fish and kelp are considered organic sources of sea minerals as they live within the mineral rich solution of ocean water. Dr Maynard Murray made the startling observations that both plant and animal life within the ocean show no signs of disease, no cancer, in fact none of the afflictions he saw in human life upon the land. For him the medium of the seawater was conducive to health and he set about investigating how to improve health by eating the products of the ocean either directly of otherwise from produce “fertilised” by liquid sea minerals.

Fish and seaweeds, especially kelp, are the best organic sources of sea minerals from the deep.
Kelp being dried on a clothes line.
Kelp’s advantages are its 92 trace minerals and the two growth hormones of gibberellins and auxins. These hormones actively boost plant growth whilst supplying the necessary trace elements. You’ll perhaps be familiar with Seasol as one example of a kelp product. We use kelp flakes that are dehydrated and we simply add water. Kelp can be applied to the garden pretty much all year round.

Fish products are best cold fermented and have the advantage of adding nitrogen rich amino acids to the soil.

If you are growing organically and biologically you may notice that the soil’s biological life goes into its winter shut down because of colder soil temperatures. Fish emulsion really helps to boost the biological activity during this time. You’ll know when we’ve used fish emulsion on your garden because of the pong (which usually lasts no longer that 8 hours). Fish emulsion is made from whole fish or parts of fish and provides an NPK ratio of 4-1-1. As well as a soil enhancer, it can be also used as a foliar spray to provide a quick nitrogen boost to plants.

But beware…the over-use of highly nitrogenous fertilizers can diminish the soils innate capacity to make its own plant available nitrogen. It can also potentially lead to nitrate poisoning in the consumer of produce that is heavy with nitrogen fertilization. The soil, in the absence of such fertilisation, will develop the capacity to capture nitrogen via azotobacteria. This happens best in the warmer summer soils.

Feed your plants café style

Feeding your garden regularly with a little of each product – liquid sea minerals, kelp and fish emulsion – allows your plants to feed café style. They have access to the full smorgasbord and can pick and choose what they need at any given time. Diversity is the spice of life.

Organic matter for nutrient storage

Having a soil with a substantial organic matter – around 20% - 30% - is essential for the storage and uptake of sea minerals and all the nutrients you feed your garden. It’s true, the plants will use what you put on right now in the way of natural fertilizers but the excess can leach away from the garden if you have inadequate soil carbon in both humic materials and the more easily broken down carbonaceous materials.
Having a good organic soil with the capacity to store the nutrients you add is the sign of a healthy garden.

ORMUS

There is one more product derived from the sea that you may never have heard of and this is ORMUS, also called ORMES.  The acronym stands for Orbitally Realigned Monotomic Substances.
ORMUS was discovered during the 1970’s by Arizona USA, farmer David Hudson. Over the next 10 years Hudson spent a large sum on researching the properties and benefits of ORMUS. For us, the most interesting use of ORMUS is as another Holy Grail material to help your garden flourish.

It is easily made from good quality ocean water and some lye (caustic soda).  The precipitate at pH 10.78 is ORMUS. If you’re interested, check it out.  There are plenty of resources on the web that will help you grow ORMUS enriched veggies. Many of our farming acquaintances use ORMUS on their farms. You can buy it commercially from many websites.
Start using the products of the sea. They can do wonders to your garden.
Above all, enjoy, discover, observe and learn whilst “In the Garden”.
 
 
*After a book written by Charles Walters (Senior) called, “Fertility from the Ocean Deep”
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