I’d like to tell you a story. We have these incredible ‘regeneration machines’ on this planet that are designed to build life. They build topsoil, sequester carbon, feed the microbes and fungi in the soil, breathe out oxygen and create the living mantle on earth that holds all of life as we know it. They build it from the hard bedrock beneath the soil and the carbon dioxide, and many other minerals in the air. Mostly, these machines are called plants. Really, they are photosynthesis machines that create regeneration.
In the presence of sunlight, plants absorb carbon dioxide, phosphate travels up from the soil, through the roots, carrying minerals on its back. Then, the phosphate hits the photosynthesis ‘go’ button, turning the load of minerals it has carried from the soil into sugars created through the photosynthesis process.
At night, these sugars are pumped down to the plant’s roots, travelling out into the surrounding soil to attract and feed the microbes living in the soil. These microbes, and in particular fungi, bring nutrients from far away, which the plant roots can’t reach, and need, to grow well.
The level of sugar in the plant depends on the level and ratio of minerals in the soil. The higher the level of sugar in the plant sap, the more minerals there are in that sugar, and the stronger the electrical current flowing through the plant. The stronger the magnetism of each plant, the more magnetic attraction that plant will have for minerals from the air and from the soil.
Up to 90% of the nutrition required by our plants can be obtained from the air (everything except calcium), as long as the plants have a strong electrical current flowing in them, created by high availability of the minerals and microbes they need in the soil to begin the process.
The more sugars a plant makes, the more sugar it pumps back down to the soil at night to feed microbes and build humus – the organic component of soil created through the breaking down of leaves and other plant material.
So, the healthier the soil is the more sugars the plant will have, the more sugars can be pumped back into the soil (to build humus), the more nutrition available to grow the plant, the more minerals and carbon the plant can extract from the air and so on in an everlasting circle of regeneration.
That is the photosynthesis loop that builds life on earth. This is the ultimate regenerative process.
As you can imagine, the healthier the plant is, the more resistant they are to insect and fungal attacks. Insects and fungi only digest simple sugars, plants with high sugar levels contain complex sugars, which do not attract insects and fungi.
The higher the sugars in your plants the higher the production or yields will be, the higher the sugar levels the better the taste.
All of this means high sugar levels in plants create a win win all around, for soil health, plant health and human health, production and profit.
Not many of our commercial growers or home growers are working with this photosynthesis machine, we are mostly (unintentionally) working against it.
We work against it because we do not understand how it works. We use fertilisers that kill the soil microbes ,eg nitrate-based fertilisers (even certified organic nitrogen based fertilisers can do this if used to push plant growth). Not only do they upset a healthy microbe balance, the phosphate cycle is also disrupted and we get low sugar, pest and disease affected crops that do not taste very good, do not store well, nor do they support the regeneration of soil. All of our herbicides, pesticides and fungicides upset the life in the soil too, affecting the ability of our soils to support the photosynthesis process.
When we work against the laws of nature, the plants deplete the soil of minerals, carbon, humus and life, and in turn, our food is not nutritious.
In order to shift towards the creation of a regenerative system, there are three key things we must learn about; seeds, soil and the environment.
Here are a few tips that will start your regeneration journey in your own backyard.
Ditch all chemical fertilisers. If you don’t want it in your body, don’t put it on your soil.
Scope out your neighbourhood for falling leaves. Collect as many as you can and form a pile, I fashion cylinders from old chicken wire or netting. Falling leaves contain a huge range of minerals required to build sugars, with different leaf colours containing different minerals. On the Koanga website we have a chart that shows you the specific minerals that different trees accumulate.
Set up a worm farm to create vermicast ready for your spring seedlings and garden. Kit-set ones are work well, or there are some great wooden DIY guides online.
If none of the above sounds like you, then find your closest stockist of Environmental Fertilisers. They know how to work with the photosynthesis machine, all garden Centres and plant supply places should be stocking it, if they don’t ask them to.
We’re starting to turn the wheel the regenerative way, one small step at a time.
If you’ve already caught the regeneration bug check out more information in our knowledge base. We also have a number of books and workshops, and online workshops (NEW!!) learning about regenerative living, so come join us!
Article published in our Seed Catalogue 2019. The full catalogue can be downloaded here Seed_Catalogue_July_2019_Download