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Back to the Garden
Summary: Steve Day explains the importance of nutrient-rich soil for growing produce.
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What it would have been like to eat a grape in the Garden of Eden straight from the hand of God? Unfortunately we will have to wait until heaven for that experience.
With the curse of the ground after sin entered the world, and the further desolation resulting from the Flood, the ground doesn’t bring forth as it did in the beginning. And with today’s current agriculture practices wearing out the soil, the quality of our foods has been in a steady decline for several decades. The earth truly is beginning to “wax old as a garment” (Isaiah 51:6).
Fruits, vegetables, and grains no longer contain enough of the nutrients our bodies require. We are literally starving, no matter how much we eat of them. Today’s current agricultural practices are wearing out the soil. In the last 70 years the nutritional value of our food has declined significantly. Why? Because of the loss of topsoil due to erosion, overuse of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers, and other farming practices that leave the soil depleted. “Food grown in nutrient deficient soil lacks the nutrients needed to keep people healthy.”i
Consider a few statistics:
- In less than 20 years the parts-per-million content of iron in tomatoes has gone from 1938 to under 5, spinach has gone from 1584 to less than 31.ii
- The mineral content in corn in the 1920s was 5% today it is less than 1%.iii
- Wheat has dropped in protein and mineral content by more than half.iv
- Recent studies that compared the mineral content of soils today with soils 100 years ago found that agricultural soils in the United States have been depleted of 85% of their minerals.v
When we consider what constitutes the foundation of our foodstuffs it is not hard to see that 80% or greater of the diseases that plague our planet have their roots in nutritional deficiencies.
Without adequate nutrition, especially minerals, research has shown that people develop chronic health conditions. More and more nutritional studies have linked many of today’s most prevalent, life threatening chronic diseases—diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, macular degeneration, bone loss, and dementia to nutritional deficiencies.vi
Take a moment and consider what happened during the Flood. When the fountains burst forth and the rain poured down, it sloshed about and mixed everything in the water. As the water calmed, that fertile soil began to settle out. Today we know that certain minerals will settle at specific depths because of their molecular weight and the drawing action that water has upon them. We see this on a grand scale in layers of lime, in veins of precious metals or in layers of various other minerals. Even all the veins of coal were once not only the vegetative matter, but also the humic matter that was once in that Edenic soil.
We do not need to accept nutrient deficient soil and food. Back in the 1920s and 30s God opened the eyes of some individuals that saw where the trend of conventional agriculture was leading. Some of these individuals were Dr. Charles Northern, Dr. Carey Reams, and Dr. William Albrecht. Few gave them heed, but decades of research revealed that with proper cultivation, the soil could be brought back and the nutrient quality of produce could be increased tenfold.
These men were able to increase the sugar content of produce by up to three or four times. The sweeter the produce the tastier it is. And generally, the sweeter the product, the greater the mineral content. This is because sugars are bound to phosphates in the plant and when the phosphate entered the plant it brought along other minerals with it.
Today many people have a “sweet tooth.” They are trying to satisfy themselves on cakes, candies, and sweets because their body knows that naturally sweet things have lots of minerals. It’s the minerals their bodies are after:
“Nutritional research has revealed the critical interrelationship between minerals and optimum human health. There are seventeen known essential minerals and many other trace minerals that are all needed for good health. Minerals interact with each other in many of the body’s critical metabolic functions. Minerals may be more vital to physical and mental health than vitamins. The full spectrum of essential minerals is critically important to the maintenance of human health. Because the human body cannot manufacture minerals, deficiencies are common.vii
Might it be that so many are ill because today’s foods just don’t contain the nutrients they used to? There is something we can do abut that. We can return our foods to a level that could only be surpassed by that original produce as it came from the hand of the Creator.
The key to achieving flavorful, nutrient rich food is to restore your depleted soil. We
need to rebuild and establish the four main components of healthy, biologically active
1. Adding the major minerals: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.
2. Incorporating carbon into the soil through compost, manures, or other humic matter.
3. Activating the soil with biologicals through microbial and myccorhizzal inoculants.
4. Making sure the trace minerals like boron, iron copper, and zinc are balanced in the soil.
The chief mineral in the soil is calcium. Soils deficient in it will simply not produce sweet, top quality produce. Calcium acts as the base in which all other minerals react and give off energy. Much could also be said about the relation of energy in the soil to plant growth and quality. Lastly, to take a plant to its greatest potential a good foliar feeding program should be established. A plant will absorb 80% of what it needs through the air, so supplying a good nutrient spray will definitely increase the plants mineral and sugar content.
Knowing the quantity of each soil amendment to add is important, and balance is necessary, so we shouldn’t run out to the garden and dump a ton of lime (calcium) thinking it’s going to produce 200lb watermelons. Start by having your soil tested. It usually costs less than $50. Your local Ag extension office should be able to help. Once you know the deficiencies in your soil, concentrate on how to build it back up.
Today we don’t have to settle from poor quality, poor tasting produce if we take an active part in growing our own food and fortifying our soil. We can return to a diet that has these nutrient dense foods in it, but the quantity of each amendment is important and balance is necessary so we shouldn’t run out to the garden and dump a ton of lime thinking it’s going to produce 200lb watermelons. It may require a bit of study, but it is truly a rewarding field of study that will repay us and our families with better health and fewer medical bills for years to come.
Steve Day is Director of Home For Health Ministries in Kentucky. For more information, visit www.homeforhealth.net.
i. John B. Marler and Jeanne R. Wallin, Human Health, the Nutritional Quality of Harvested Food and Sustainable Farming Systems (Nutrition Security Institute, 2006): 2.
ii. John D. Hamaket, of Civilization (Michigan: 1982).
iii. William Albrecht, The Albrecht Papers Volumes 1 and 2.
vi. Ibid: 3.
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