Vital Veggies soil
A healthy soil grows healthy plants, supporting healthy people.
Imagine if we delivered your garden bed, filled it and then told you it will be a few years before we can start to grow your vegetables while we take soil tests, amend the soil, grow cover crops and then, start to grow your vegetables! It's not an attractive idea.
At Vital Veggies we understand you want your garden now and to have something ready to eat in six to eight – maybe ten weeks.
So, way before, in fact around 12 months before we hear from you, we began to make the soil that you will grow fantastic vegetables in.
The soil is dug and then we add organic compost at the rate of 20% to make a blend of sandy loam with organic matter. For us, this is the point at which we do an agricultural soil test establishing what needs to be amended to create a soil that meets the highest standards expected of a soil.
You see, we want you to grow fantastic vegetables!
Our organic garden soil stands on the shoulders of the intellect of many leaders in the biological, organic farming community. These are the likes of Rudolf Steiner, the father of biodynamic farming, Dr Carey Reams and Dr William Albrecht on minerals and mineral balance and Dr Elaine Ingham on the soil food web – adding biology to the soil.
Everything we do in blending the soil is to create the most desirable conditions of soil acidity, minerals, mineral balances and trace elements and then to add soil biology – from the microscopic to the macroscopic. In the steps of Stenier we are also looking for the correct balance of natural forces within the soil that will promote upward growth of the plant, downward growth of the roots and the most desirable sap flows.
We use a variety of rock dusts noted for not only these energetic qualities, but also the trace elements they bring to the blended soil.To hold all this together, humates are added to the soil blend. This mercurial material is basically 20 to 50 million year old compost. It has an extremely high capacity to both mobilize and store nutrients in the soil – in a way that a battery stores electrical charge.
Looked at in its entirety, the soil and the processes going on their have been likened to one of digestion – similar to what happens in an animals stomach. Food is taken in, broken down, transformed, stored and made available, all requiring the right pre-conditions of moisture, biology, minerals, temperature, soil acidity, air and plant life to benefit from this.
Blending this soil is as much an art as a science. Holding it in your hand, it is soft and feathery and clumps together as an outstanding soil should. It has a capacity to store nutrients for and when the plant needs them. It has a remarkable ability to store water in reserve so it's there when the plant needs it and it grows outstanding veggies. One could even say, the proof is in the eating!
This Vital Veggies super soil acts like a sponge. Absorbing water and releasing it as plants require, keeping the soil moister for longer – providing an environment in which diverse soil life may thrive and grow. It's the diversity of materials, organics being the main one, that gives the soil its capacity to hold water. Vital Veggies organic garden soil assumes a crumb structure which allows the flow of water into the soil and it's retention for later use by plants as and when they need water. On two counts this soil is easier to water because it has greater porosity and greater water holding capacity. This all makes watering your garden easier and more fun.
Once we've installed your vegetable garden, you could assume full responsibility and you take over. After all, knowing what we've done to blend your soil, we'd rate it as one of the planets top, most productive soils. It's at this stage that you'd think you can send us away.
However, plants eat café style, a little each day just like you and me, meal by meal. Dump three months food on them now and you waste food or the plants take on nutrients out of balance. So we created Vital Veggie Visits where we come around regularly and ensure the garden is doing what it should. There's more in this link about Vital Veggie Visits, but just briefly we make sure the plants are growing well, and keep the soil fed with applications of beneficial micro-organisms, adding natural seaweed/fish fertilizers, replacing any plants, and do whatever hand weeding is needed. Also, before replanting, we apply a healthy layer of our biodynamic compost to maintain soil organic matter and replace nutrients taken by the harvested crop.
Vital Veggies soil is a living, breathing organism designed to grow you healthy food. Our regular visits, if you choose them, help your garden to stay in prime condition. We also always endeavour to have a crop of some sort growing as this promotes diversity which in turn supports a diverse soil micro and macro flora. Furthermore, a moist soil continues to support the web of life within; so we recommend keeping your soil moist.
When the soil biota are fed, their populations explode, expanding the soil food web to the benefit of all that reside in or relies upon the soil. Life supports life. The Vital Veggies soil sets the scene where this can happen effortlessly in your home vegetable garden. In fact, it all starts with the soil!