In Part 1 of this article, I focused upon the multiple benefits of home food production. Here, we will look at the tools that will help to ensure you experience more pleasure than pain when reclaiming control of your own food future. It is common for beginners to bumble into their first garden with little understanding. Often that adventure ends with the frustration of failure. The spotty leaves overpower the potatoes, the rotten bottoms on tomato and capsicum puncture their promise and the stunted, straggly greens end up in the compost bin rather than the blender.
The NTS team decided to put a stop to these misadventures. Our response involved the development of a group of synergistic inputs we call the Life Force® Home Garden Range. Our goal was to ensure that newbies had fun when growing their own nutrition, while experienced gardeners could discover a new level of satisfaction. We were seeking a simple, three-step solution that would eliminate the discouraging failures and maximise the delight. We believe we have achieved that goal – here's how it works:
The Many Faces of King Calcium
Calcium is the most important mineral in your vegetable garden or home orchard and yet it is so often ignored. We offer a free soil pH testing service for locals who wish to bring their soil into The Nutrition Matters Shop, our retail outlet in SE Qld. It is amazing to witness the number of acidic soils, where calcium has obviously not been considered. The first thing to understand here is the link between soil pH and the nutrient density of your crop. There is much less nutrient uptake in an acidic soil than in a soil featuring the ideal pH of 6.4. The majority of minerals are most available at pH 6.4. If you have neglected your calcium you are, in effect, neglecting your health.
The second calcium key relates to cell strength. Calcium is the big player in determining whether ravaging microbes or sap-sucking insects flock to your crop. A weak cell wall is a calling card for all pests.
Life Force® Gold™ is a compost-based fertiliser that features four different forms of slow-release and fast-food calcium. Superfine lime, gypsum, calcium phosphate and activated burnt lime are combined with the full spectrum of micronutrients and major minerals in this popular soil improver. This complete nutrition package is supported by humic and fulvic acid and paramagnetic rock dust, wrapped together in a carbon-rich compost, to stimulate and spoil your all-important soil life.
Life Force® Gold™ is the foundation upon which your Nutrition Gardening® adventure rests. It is a proven performer, featuring a rare calcium combo supported by the minerals, microbes and humus that ensure uptake of this key mineral.
Regenerating Your Microbes
The Nutrition Gardening® approach involves minerals, microbes and humus. Life Force® Gold™ is applied at bed preparation and delivers all three. Now we will further boost this trio with liquid fertilisers and a microbial inoculum.
Life Force® Instant Humus™ involves soluble humic acid granules that can be added to water and applied to the soil. Two teaspoons of granules are simply dissolved in a 9 L watering can and applied to every 4 m2 of your garden. Humic acid provides most of the benefits of humus. It improves soil structure, feeds beneficial microbes, stimulates root growth, boosts mineral stability and uptake, and detoxes and deactivates contaminants in your soil.
Immediately after planting, add 30 mL of Life Force® Organic SeaChange™ to a 9 L watering can and apply over 4 m2 to reduce transplant shock and promote beneficial biology. Organic SeaChange™ is a blend of liquid fish, kelp and fulvic acid designed to feed and fire up both your existing soil life workforce and the new conscripts.
Introducing a New Workforce
The concept of brewing up your own microbe workforce is foreign to most home gardeners, but it is a remarkably simple and easy process. Life Force® Micro-Force™ is a potent mix of the most important beneficial microbe species typically found in healthy soils, but missing in many. These include specialist organisms that fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, solubilise phosphorus from the soil, deliver minerals to the crop and, most importantly, boost the resilience of your soil and plants. The Life Force® Microbe Brewer™ and Life Force® Micro-Force™ provides the inoculum, the microbe food required for multiplication, a dual outlet aerator, a pair of air stones and pipes and the brewing bucket. Here’s how you create billions of new soil workers within 24 hours:
The bucket is filled with water. The aerator is fitted with the plastic air pipes supplied and the air stones (5 cm long, porous cylinders that release huge amounts of tiny bubbles) are attached to each pipe. The air stones are placed into the water and the aerator is turned on. If you are using chlorinated town water, you should bubble off the chlorine gas for 30 minutes before adding the microbes. Next, add the liquid microbe food and the microbe inoculum powder and leave to brew for 24 hours.
Now you have a bucket full of beneficials that you can dilute 1:10 and add to your Organic SeaChange™ mix. This way you can send the new workforce off to work with a lunchbox, jam-packed with goodies. If the billions of conscripts had faces, you can bet your bottom dollar they would be all smiles!
Crop Cycle Correctives
Your vegetables, fruit and flowers have now been provided with the perfect start. Our focus then moves to maintaining optimum nutrition throughout the crop cycle, to ensure problem-free abundance. Life Force™ Organic Boost™ features all the major minerals and micronutrients in an organic, fast-food form to feed the plant, the soil and the microbes. 30 mL per 9 L watering can is all that is required to feed 4 m2. Include Life Force® Organic Blooms™ at just 15 mL per 9 L watering can during heavy flowering and fruiting to optimise production and quality.
Many home gardens suffer from mineral excesses. In our endeavors to produce the best food we can, there is a tendency to think that if a little is good, then more is better. This is called the "more-on" (moron) approach, and it can really become a problem. Excess phosphorus is a common example of this misguided generosity and it usually comes from oversupply of the popular chicken manure pellets. When imbalances are present, the best nutritional option is to bypass the soil and feed the plant through the leaves. There are two Life Force® products that are designed to provide complete nutrition and maximum resilience for the growing crop – Life Force® Total Cover™ and Life Force® Trio™.
Total Cover™ is the most comprehensive home garden fertiliser ever developed. I have scoured the world and have not been able to identify anything comparable. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are supplied in a new, fully-buffered form involving hot mix technology. The full spectrum of micronutrients are provided in a uniquely chelated form involving our proprietary Shuttle® mineral delivery system. Total Cover™ is the first home garden liquid to include luxury levels of selenium for plant and human health. The second half of this complex formula involves liquid humates, kelp, amino acids, key vitamins, saponins and the remarkable natural plant growth promotant, triacontanol.
The only minerals not included in Total Cover™ are calcium and magnesium, because they are not compatible with the liquid phosphorus component of this fertiliser. This is why we created a second foliar to ensure complete coverage. Trio™, as the name suggests, contains the remaining three essentials. These include chelated calcium and magnesium along with some extra boron (a mineral that is commonly missing in garden soils).
The home garden is the ultimate wellness tool. When we reclaim responsibility for our own health by producing our own nutrient-dense food with forgotten flavours and enhanced medicinal qualities, we are also making a major contribution to planetary health. The carbon we can sequester as humus through the adoption of Nutrition Gardening® practices is of more value than turning off our lights or fitting solar panels. In fact, if we all began building rather than losing humus, we can save the day and reverse climate change. However, there is a limited timeframe in which to achieve this reversal and there is no place for apathy.
Should you decide to move in this direction, we have provided all of the products mentioned above as a complete home gardening package at a reduced price. The Life Force® Box™ would make a wonderfully productive Christmas gift for the gardener in your life, or for yourself and your family to enjoy year-around.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers a truly memorable Christmas and a happy, healthy, fulfilling New Year.