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Re: Organic potting mix recipes needed

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Organic potting mix recipes needed
  • From: Allan Balliett igg@igg.com
  • Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 16:27:16 -0500

Also, don't be afraid to look at pre-WWII Australian farming manuals, because before the chemical revolution, and the use of chemical insecticides, it was all organic. Really - what was then known as best farming practices.. So a book about Australian farming, and vegetable farming up until the 1930s would be invaluable.

Adam -

I can't let the above pass without comment. Paul Lee, the philosophy professor who brought Alan Chadwick to teach organic gardening at UC Santa Cruz back in the 60s (thereby starting the essence organic gardening movement in America), traces the start of chemical farming to the invention of urea around 1804. From that point on a variety of non-organic and most definitely non-natural, substances have been used on food and soils, at least in America. (Among the most wretched: the use of arsenic to control orchard pests.) I'd think you'd want to stick with texts from no later than 1900 if you were going to take them in a non-critical fashion. I have a number of ag books from the 30s which pretty freely recommend chemical forms of NPK for various applications and as substitutes for truly organic substances.

This, of course, may be irrelevant for potting mixes, but I thought pegging the inception of chemical ag a century earlier than WWII to be good for helping people sense just how fully tainted our lands may be.

-Allan



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