The Japanese beetles are having a field day munching on the leaves of my fruit and nut bushes, and so I've come fully back around to where I started years ago, learning about the benefits of rock dust (apparently having forgotten a lot of it in the interim!).
Three years ago I wrote a piece for DavesGarden.com about rock dust in the garden. There are many things rock dust will do in addition to the overview I wrote (which I will not duplicate here), including a spray application that will keep Japanese beetles from eating all the leaves. I believe we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg of knowing and understanding the benefits of remineralization of our soils with rock dust, the most important of which to me is nutrient density... and thus better health from real/better foods.
My introduction to the necessity and wonders of rock dust was Julius Hensel's book, Bread from Stones, which I read perhaps 15 years ago. It took years of "Gardening 101" for it to even make any sense to me, and apparently the information didn't stick long enough, although I never completely forgot about it.
Then just a few days ago a friend sent me a link to a farmer who found a simple application of rock dust over his plants made them resistant to aphids and Japanese beetles. Duh! I knew that, but somehow the idea got lost... perhaps by the same mechanism that makes most of us reject ideas like paramagnetism in the soil affecting plant growth?
Actually I think I got caught up in just increasing Brix by soil remineralization, forgetting that the process takes time, and without aiding the plant portion above ground with rock dust is a good interim step. (Really healthy plants do not attract pests... pests are Nature's Clean-Up Crew for unhealthy plants. If our plants attract pests, the plant nutrition is lacking something.)
I have been posting bits here and there about possible nuclear radiation on our foods, and yesterday came across an article I had just read several weeks ago about food crops after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. I actually read that the foods grown and milk from cows raised on remineralized soils in the afflicted area were tested and shown to measure NO radioactivity. Now, why didn't that data connect in my head???
There is evidence that a supplement made from rock dust works against radioactivity in the human body, as well as evidence of rock dust counteracting radioactivity in the soil. Austrian Robert Schindele produced Schindele's Minerals (stone meal, aka rock dust) and was used in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster. Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird explain in their 1989 book Secrets of the Soil that when “the University of Vienna found that Schindele’s product worked against radioactivity–a claim confirmed by a Soviet institute for atomic physics in the Ukraine, the Soviets sent a truck to pick up two thousand kilograms of his Gesteinsmehl. Analysis under a micropolariscope revealed an alteration in the molecular and atomic lattice, which had an effect on ionized radioactive particles taken into the body.”
I also know that nutrient density is a result of high Brix in the plants that produce our foods (and thus in the foods themselves), and also a result of having a high Brix in the feed, hay/grass for our meat animals, and that high Brix depends on a complete mineral profile not generally available in our mostly depleted soils. We can fix that by adding rock dust!
There is a lot I could write about remineralization with rock dust, enough stuff to be worthy of a PhD dissertation... but boring for a blog. (That doesn't mean I won't post more on the essentials of rock dust!)
For those who care to learn more, here are some links: