Saturday, March 6, 2010


Thank heavens for the mighty man is all I can say. I was feeling a little disheartened about being able to spread all those minerals after my first attempt earlier this week. I enjoyed doing it but was sooo tired afterwards. It was hard to motivate myself to do more knowing it would wipe me out for a few days.

Steve on the other hand woke up raring to go this morning. After drinking is powerpacked superfood smoothie, he went outside and laid down HUNDREDS OF POUNDS of the heretofore discussed minerals. Thank you Mighty Man. When I said that to him he smiled and showed me his muscles...his bicep looked just like Popeye's! He seemed pretty happy out there with his arm in a bucket sowing rocks.

This whole mineralization is a many step process. Right now we have two steps in front of us. Yesterday Steve finished one and we will start the next one in a couple of weeks...The first step is laying down the rock phosphate and borax that will in essence prepare the soil to receive the calcium and other trace minerals it needs. If the two are laid down together they would bind each other up (this is where a little more chemistry would make this clearer to me) but by putting some time between applications we will get optimal availability of all the minerals we need.

What this means for the animals is they are going to be cooped up in the barnyard for six weeks or so looking at the grass that will literally be growing greener on the other side of the fence.

While Steve was busy with that project I got to work in the gorgeous sunshine and planted out some broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts (I know, too early) and cabbage. I also spread out a big bed of spinach and lettuce seedlings. Today I am back to the hoophouse to do the same thing in there with all the many lettuce and kale seedlings I have going in there. No going back on spring now.

Aidan spent the day earning money for a school trip to the Ashland Shakesphere Festival by picking up the winter's dropping of branches and sticks from the areas we mow, hauling a huge pile of kiwi prunings down to the bank and knocking down molehills. Today he plans to clean the cars. He's got a couple of hundred bucks to earn so if anyone has a job, he might be interested.

By the way, if anyone is interested in learning more about mineralizing your garden you might want to check out Black Lake Organics. They know their stuff and are happy to teach you too. It's a drive to Olympia, but well worth the time and effort.


  1. I made my husband (Steve) read this post and the one before it. I knew he'd like it. In his dream life he makes a living as an organic farmer (or musician) but settled on the security of a CPA with a backyard garden (and an old upright in the living room). After reading your posts he told me two stories of the farm he had in Ferndale before I knew him and has mused about the productivity of others. I, too, wonder how you get it all done?

    Glad to have discovered your blog, Patti. I look forward to reading (and sharing) more of your ruminations. Thanks!

  2. I had missed your last post and just read it now in conjunction with this one.

    I, too, am just finding out about soil minerals, calcium and brix levels. Koanga Gardens here in NZ are really into it and I buy alot of my seeds etc through them. It is all a bit mind boggling and I'm glad someone else feels the same!

    I've been looking at the few paddocks we have for our cows and wondering what they need to be healthier and toying with the idea of soil tests. But I'm a little scared that I won't have a clue what to do with the results - just like you.

    And then there is the hard work of lugging rocks around!! Oh well, I'm just going to have to pull finger and get on to it. Baby steps and eventually I'll get there.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Ms Lottie, if you get the soil tests done you can get them analyzed for $45 a piece by Michael--he will walk you through the process to healthy, healthy happy gardens that nourish your very cells. If nothing else, I would think doing the garden is a good start. Our garden was in pretty good shape from all our composting but the pastures, oh my. Anyway, if you want to read about what Michael can help you with go to his website He's a sweetheart and VERY helpful.