So what’s all this talk about minerals? And produce being ‘mineral-rich?’ Isn’t it anyway? Well over the course of our lives we hadn’t thought a great deal about the quality of our food. But then a relative of ours loaned us a CD to listen to. It was a talk by Dr Joel Wallach called ‘The Best of ‘Dead Doctor’s Don’t Lie'” We listened attentively, as we drove out to Greenmount one sunny afternoon. It was shocking. Here was this man who’d grown up on a farm where cattle were supplemented to make sure they were getting all they needed, but the humans sure weren’t…and this man started to question human nutrition. He went on to become a vet, which is significant, because vets are trained differently, more thoroughly you could say, than GP’s. Vets need to know about multiple species, whereas a regular doctor focuses on one-humans. Anyway, after something like 14,000 autopsies on a vast array of animals, Dr Wallach was noticing certain mineral deficiencies were linked to certain degenerative diseases. Actually, he became convinced that EVERY degenerative disease was a direct result of a mineral deficiency. What really got me was his rundown on copper deficiency. First you’ll get premature greying of the hair…then varicose veins, then hemorrhoids, and if it gets depleted from your system enough…an aneurysm. Why it struck me, was because in the course of having 6 children, I’d developed those symptoms (minus the aneurysm) in just that order! But I had such a ‘healthy’ diet, so where was this copper deficiency coming from?
Before long a friend was excitedly informing me that a John Kohler was coming to town. He had been given 3 months to live back in the 70’s…yet there we were in 2015 and he was still very much alive. Why? He’d met a man, who later became his father-in-law, who taught him about the serious lack of minerals in the human diet, due to poor soil nutrition from our modern farming practices. This man also got John on a personalised mineral program to get his system back in order. I was intrigued, and went to listen to John tell his story. I tried a personalised mineral program too, but something didn’t seem right about having to take all these supplements when the food we eat should be supplying them. Why couldn’t farmers just look after their soil, quit the toxic chemicals and allow us to eat nutritious produce? John said his father-in-law had tried, in vain, to convince the USDA (whom he used to work for) that our farming practices were destroying the health of the populous. But they wouldn’t listen. Why?
Money. It’s just so profitable to get a farmer buying GMO seeds, that need replacing each year, and then to have them need a list of chemicals to keep these crops ‘healthy’ and ‘disease free’ so they’re salable.
But did you know that pests and disease don’t attack healthy plants? Just like a truly healthy human won’t attract sickness and disease, neither will a healthy plant. For example, one day when I was a little exasperated with the cabbage moth attacking our crop, I asked an experienced gardener friend what could be wrong. ‘Boron deficiency’ he replied. Ah, another mineral issue. But it’s not just a case of sprinkling the crop with boron. Minerals exist cooperatively. They work together and not alone. And they also need the help of microbes, which are like the digestive enzymes of the soil.
To get back to the story though, Rick and I decided we should try getting our minerals via our food. And farmers that sell crops grown both organically AND from remineralised, nurtured soil, are few and far between. So we (well, Rick actually did most the work!) started a vege plot on our property to grow these veg ourselves. We had the soil tested, according to the standards of William Albrecht, an authority on soil and it’s relation to human health. With those results, we set to work balancing our soil and preparing it for planting. About 250kg of minerals went into the soil, plus a lot of mulch, and we reaped a LOT of food that summer! I’ve always been a bit of a human guinea pig with things like this, and decided I’d quit my vitamin and mineral supplements (I was dealing with thyroid autoimmune disease and taking lots of natural supplements to help) and see what difference I saw in my health. For 3 months we ate loads of produce, picked fresh from the balanced garden. And yes, my health improved. One of my symptoms had been fatigue. I was drained fairly constantly, and often would go to bed soon after 7:30pm when the children did the same. But this produce was giving me energy. I was starting to feel alive again and managed to start staying up later!
As the months passed by, the desire to start a market garden and produce enough food to help many others as a living, became stronger and stronger in Rick. He felt like his electrical engineering job was a waste of time, when this wholesome gardening opportunity was before him. He spent hours and hours each week reading up on how to create a garden that would grow the food people really need. Healing food. Whole food. Food that’s just brimming with life.
And eventually, he took the plunge. He quit his engineering job and started creating Birdsong Market Garden. So, when we rave on about ‘mineral-rich’ food, I hope you will now have a slightly better idea why.