Author Topic: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman  (Read 2204 times)

Kim K.

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #30 on: 2020-02-03, 12:44:29 PM »
I mentioned adding compost only because of the added acidity would help the plants absorb nutrients in a high pH situation.

I'm not a huge fan of adding compost or peat moss just 'cause. It's not a constant in my garden, because the organic matter levels are fairly high already. (And I grow massive tomatoes in the ground; it's a function of giving them the space to let their root spread and continue growing throughout the season. I space plants widely.)
Gardening in rocky, slightly acidic sandy loam on the southern New England coast. Zone 7a, with wicked freeze/thaw cycles all winter. 44" of precipitation spread evenly throughout the year.

William S.

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #31 on: 2020-02-03, 12:58:11 PM »
I tend to space tomato plants closely. However I had one plant last year germinate in a row with extra shallow topsoil with a higher clay content. It had tons of room but germination was understandably poor in that area. The plant was barely growing.

I decided to add a bag of potting soil, organic fertilizer, and sand around it. Boy did it take off. I pulled it up at the end of the year to see and it sure had a lot of root growth into the new substrates.

So there is definitely a component of my growing that is very limited by my natural soil, especially in the areas where the soil is visibly paler. I think I've added sand enough to know it's effective. Organic matter, compost, peat is definitely effective. Double digging and adding a lot of the above into the clay accumulation layer would probably result in very different tomato plants from the same seed.

One phenomena in my garden, if you let water run long enough it starts to flow through the topsoil. You can see it come back out further down slope.

In the early spring when I get my vernal pool some years I think that's what happens. The melt water moves though the topsoil, doesn't absorb into the subsoil, and then accumulates into the vernal pool which takes a very long time to drain. I think if I dig some deeper trenches and amend that water might stay put.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #32 on: 2020-02-03, 04:59:37 PM »
What could you grow in that pool?  Watercress, rice...?
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

William S.

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #33 on: 2020-02-03, 06:42:39 PM »
It dries up in time to plant short season warm season crops like corn, squash, or melons. The soil microbiology is a little odd I suspect after the inundation. It's also where I planted apples historically. It does not happen every year. It might be a good place to try to build a rice paddy- though oddly it might be better to do that at the top of a small hill, because rice needs a certain amount of warmth and a frost pocket might not be good.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #34 on: 2020-02-03, 07:22:02 PM »
Yes, and in all the travelling I did through SE Asia, upland rice was always the best tasting.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

S.Simonsen

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Re: Nutrient Dense Foods Book by Steve Soloman
« Reply #35 on: 2020-05-29, 05:31:11 PM »
When I got this property in the Ozark highlands the soil was eroded, rocky, clay soil low in organic matter. Many people told me I was in for a lot of hard work and spending a lot of money to grow food. I saw the abundance of food growing wild, blackberries, persimmons, acorns, pawpaws, hickory nuts, sunroots, wineberries, and more. Lazy guy that I am I decided to garden with the soil just as it was and look for species and varieties that would grow productively with notill, leaf mulch and dilute urine for fertilizer, NO poisons or commercial fertilizers. Save seeds from the best plants of the more productive varieties.

And now, 15 years later I have a lot of productive varieties that like to grow in my garden. My favorite plant is Red Russian kale that I listed as one of my staple crops, abundant weight ready for fresh eating at least 20 weeks of the year. Neil's Paymaster and Jellicorse Twin dent corn bred in Tennessee hill country are vigorous growers in my garden. Kew Blue pole beans germinate in cool, damp soil, survive heat and drought, and produce abundantly. There are more.

Rather than changing my soil to grow certain plants,  I like to grow plants that do well just as it is. A lot of my time in the garden is spent in a comfortable chair just enjoying the sights and sounds of my little woodland garden  paradise.

Most living organisms have pretty similar internal nutritional needs and balances. It is the way they interface with the outside world to filter what is present in the soil etc to only give what they need that distinguishes plants suitable for different environments. So your approach of adapting the plants to suit the existing soil is the best way (I do a similar thing where I am). Any plant that copes will with the native soil and grows vigorously anyway ends up just as nutritious as one that needs all sorts of amendments to perform. For a complete diet balancing the nutrients provided by different species is a better approach than trying to manipulate one particular crop to produce one particular nutrient.