Friday, October 30, 2009

More on Green Manures, free nitrogen

Please scroll down to the bottom after reading the query. (Photo of clover green manure.)

Heidi Hunt, Assistant Editor

Mother Earth News

1503 SW 42nd St.

Topeka, KS 66609

(785) 274-4322

Dear Ms. Hunt,

I have a simple article proposal to destroy the myths about “organic” blood meal and colloidal phosphates. They are, respectively extremely energy intensive and unsustainable. Then I will explain how to avoid them altogether using green manures.

Title: How Sustainable are “Organic” Fertilizers? (And what to do about it.)

Fact 1: Environmental Costs of Making Blood Meal

Heating [blood meal] is initiated at 82°C (180°F) and progressively raised to 94°C (200°F) for about three hours, then elevated to 100°C (212°F) for 7 hours. (That’s a LOT of energy.) Drying is complete when the final moisture level in the dried product is about 12 percent.

Fact 2: Environmental Costs of Making Colloidal Phosphate

Phosphate ore must be chemically processed with sulfuric acid. When sulfuric acid reacts with the phosphate it produces a slightly radioactive byproduct known as phosphogypsum. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, there are a billion tons of phosphogypsum stacked across the state and 30 million tons are generated each year.

Followed by a discussion of how to skip these fertilizers using the production of corn with the use of home-grown green manures as an example.

Up to 1500 words. Photographs and line drawings available.

Thanks for your time,

Robert Kourik


Her response, from the magazine that has for decades been the steadfast promoter of living off the land and all things organic, was:

On Oct 28, 2009, at 6:22 AM, Heidi Hunt wrote:

“Robert, thank you! Can you please tell me what your green fertilizers are? Also, it looks as though the article is based on commercial corn growing. But we deal just with home gardens and always encourage the use of natural fertilizers.”

What has become of our gardening media? Who’s minding the store?

Let me know what you think.

Visit my web site to learn about my new book on drip irrigation and other gardening books.

NOTE: The comments section at the bottom of the post has disappeared. Click on the "___ Comments" button or the title under the "Blog Archives". Thanks, Robert


Marianne Mueller said...

First, I love your blog! Second, I would love to read the article about myths of "organic" fertilizers.

Robert Kourik said...

Thanks Marianne, They never understood what I meant to say. I think they didn't want to know the truth about the fertilizers. I'll probably put it on my Tidbits section of my Web Site. Keep posted. Robert.