The Wonderful World of Dirt – Antibiotic Find

Via our Food & Medicine Freedom Friends at That’s Natural!

Sometimes the most amazing things in the world are the ones that get stepped on the most.

I have a growing love affair with soil, as it is the basis and foundation for all plant life – and therefore all life on earth.  An experimental ‘drug’  called teixobactin – isolated from a sample of dirt from New England – is initially showing to act successfully as an antibiotic.  Teixobactin has also proven beneficial in treating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including streptococcus and MRSA.

We should all be aware of the growing numbers of bacteria that are resistant to treatment from antibiotics.  Some of this may come from the growing amount of antibiotics automatically in our food supply from animals being treated with antibiotics.  The more meat and dairy that we consume, the more potential we have of ingesting what these animals have consumed.  The more antibiotics we take – the more “good” bacteria we kill inside our own systems.  And the more bad bacteria get to know these antibiotics, the stronger they become – becoming antibiotic-resistant.

This discovery of an effective antibiotic right in the “common” dirt of somewhere like someone’s back yard is exciting – and telling.  The “development” of the human being has had people putting their hands in the dirt to live and survive.  I am guessing that at this point in history, in our country, we have the most people who never even have their skin to the ground, touching the earth, and feeling the soil.  Can you imagine having a baby born in a metropolis, living in an apartment, and with limited access to public land and trails?  That child may not have the opportunity to play in the dirt for months, or years.  How does this affect their development?

Dirt is powerful.  It is a living, breathing being that creates our medicines and grows our food.  Honoring this, and becoming closer to the dirt (by making it a point to put your hands and feet in it once awhile) may just be the most therapeutic and beneficial things that we can do.

Arsenic in Our Food – Blaming & Changing

Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance, and in the environment, and even naturally occurring in some foods (for instance, in apricot kernels – which are also very high in Vitamin B). But there is evidence of an increasing amount of arsenic in rice, and the occurrence is not natural. As a matter of fact, it may be contributing to various sicknesses – including cancer.

The federal government and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have (in the past) been charged with protecting the American people and their health (along with other agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)). Unbelievably, “they” monitor (attempt to monitor) the levels of arsenic in water – but not in food. This is a minor oversight, but serves as an example, that no large, bureaucratic agency is capable of adapting to the needs of over 307 million Americans.

State and local governments are more apt and able to be in tune to the needs of the people – including keeping an eye on levels of arsenic in the water and the land that we grow our food in. In addition to this – to mimic what Dr. Oz said this morning – consumers can “nudge” companies to change their practices and make sure that we hold companies accountable to us – the consumer. After all, we are buying their product and contributing to their bottom line. That creates instant solutions – by people voting with their dollar and holding companies accountable for the toxins they put into the environment and the food that they produce. That is quick, smart, and a natural way to change this bad situation. It is, in essence, letting the free market work. We, as consumers, hold immense amounts of power. Because, we at any time, can stop buying their products.

This news about arsenic levels is not surprising – the United States’ centralized food supply is dangerous to our economy, our health, and the environment. News like this can encourage us to know our farmers, know our producers, and hold companies accountable for what they are doing. It can also show us that the centralized bureaucracy at the federal level of government does nothing to protect us – our State and local governments are better able to serve our needs when it comes to our health and wellness.



New Book Details Cover Crop Use on the Farm

Beltsville, MD: Across America, tens of thousands of farmers are planting cover crops, a time-tested method of revitalizing soil, curbing erosion, and managing pests. Bryan and Donna Davis love what cover crops have done for their corn/soybean rotation. The Grinnell, Iowa couple relies on rye and oats to feed their soil and manage pests on their 1,000-acre, mostly no-till farm. “We have cut our chemical costs cut dramatically, and have reduced fertility costs in some fields by half” says Bryan. “With energy costs these days, you can’t afford not to do this.”

Revised and updated in 2007, the 3rd edition includes a new chapter on brassicas and mustards, 16 farm profiles, and a comprehensive chapter on the use of cover crops in conservation tillage systems. Updates throughout are based on more than 100 new literature citations and consultations with cover crop researchers and practitioners around the country. Appendices include seed sources and a listing of cover crop experts.

“This is the best book I have ever read,” says Wolfgang Rougle, of Twining Tree Farm in Cottonwood California. “It uses science to explain complex concepts, lays out options for different systems and climates, and allows innovative farmers to digest the information and make their own intelligent decisions. Thank you for the practical advice, acknowledgement of complex tradeoffs, specifics, details and conclusions.”

Download Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition at To order print copies ($19 plus $5.95 s/h) visit, call 301/374-9696 or send check or money order to Sustainable Agriculture Publications, PO Box 753, Waldorf, Maryland 20604-0753. (Please specify title requested when ordering by mail.) Discounts are available on orders of 10 or more. Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery. Call 301/374-9696 for more information on bulk, rush or international shipments.

Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition, was published by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. SARE is funded by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), USDA, and works with producers, researchers and educators to promote farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities.  SAN operates under a cooperative agreement between CSREES, the University of Vermont and the University of Maryland to develop and disseminate information about sustainable agriculture. For more information about SARE grant opportunities and other SAN resources, visit

Building Soils for Better Crops

Beltsville, MD –Throughout the 2006-2007 droughts, a West Virginia beef and crop farmer maintained yields and produced quality vegetables on his 1,900-acre operation. His secret: using no-till and other ecologically based soil management methods.

A small-grain and vegetable farmer in Oregon’s Willamette Valley used an intensive, carefully timed cover cropping program for 20 years. The result: little to no soil erosion from his farm into the Willamette River, and significant fuel savings from reducing tillage.

A Lancaster County, Penn., farmer used no-till, rotations and cover crops on his 215-acre farm to reverse the severe erosion on his sloping terrain. Today his farm is a nationally recognized showcase for successful farming using ecologically based soil-building techniques.

These are just a few of the thousands of American farmers and ranchers—large-and small-acreage—using ecologically based soil management methods to build soil quality while leaving a lighter footprint on the land.

And now—with the release of the third edition of Building Soils for Better Crops—there is a state-of-the-art, comprehensive, practical guide to help others build soil health on their farm or ranch.

The 294-page third edition of the landmark handbook Building Soils for Better Crops is now in full color, expanded and updated.  It contains case studies, including the examples above, background information from a what-is-soil crash course to the importance of organic matter, and step-by-step guidance on soil-improving techniques.

Written in easily accessible language, it’s a perfect addition to any farm library, university course syllabus, or ag training manual—a must-read for farmers, ranchers, educators and students alike.

Download Building Soils for Better Crops for free at To order print copies ($20.95 plus $5.95 s/h) visit, call 301/374-9696 or send check or money order to SARE Outreach, PO Box 753, Waldorf, Maryland 20604-0753. (Please specify title and amount requested when ordering by mail.) Discounts are available on orders of 10 or more. Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery. Call 301/374-9696 for more information on bulk, rush or international shipments.

Published by the SARE Outreach office of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. SARE’s mission is to advance—to the whole of American agriculture— innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education. SARE is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA. SARE Outreach operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Maryland and the University of Vermont to develop and disseminate information about sustainable agriculture. For more information visit

Food Rules by Michael Pollan: Rule #30 – Eat well-grown food from healthy soil

Soil is the building block of any type of plant growing in it.  Yes, there is even research to support such a claim – soils rich in organic matter grow food that is more nutritious.

That means, not only is it important to eat healthy foods (i.e. plants), but it is equally important that those plants have been grown in healthy soils.  The best way to do this is to know your farmer/producer and learn about their methods with their land.  You can also grow your own food.

“Organic” is good and “local” is good – but in both cases you should become familiar with the producers and their use of the land/soil.

And if you are looking for products and services that may help you, keep your eyes on our FOOD section.

Pollan, M. (2009). Food Rules – An Eater’s Manual. New York, NY: Penguin Books.

"Correcting the Cause" – Genesis Soil Rite, Part III

By: Glen Rabenberg

Genesis is a proprietary blend of all natural vitamins, minerals, amino acid, herbs and spices; and contains a negative-based calcium which aids in your natural soil-building program. Genesis will start decreasing salts, allowing beneficial bacteria to reproduce at the rate nature intended, also unlocking minerals that will now be available to your plants. This negative based calcium can increase foliar absorption of nutrients. In addition, this negative based calcium in Genesis will also start transporting nutrients to the feeder roots. We all know the benefits of a well-balanced meal, whether that meal is for humans, plants or animals. Other benefits of balancing the proper available calcium in your soil include:

  • Decreased soil compaction
  • Decreased plowpan
  • Decreased hardpan
  • Decreased salt content in topsoil
  • Decreased fertilizer requirements
  • Decreased herbicide usage
  • Decreased insecticide usage
  • Decreased irrigation costs
  • Increase in beneficial bacteria activity
  • Balancing P.H.

Proper supplementation and balancing of minerals will increase your aerobic zone, in turn increasing the cubic area of nutrient intake and root depth.

We, at Soil Works LLC, and Miramar Management and Consulting realize there are two levels of plant life. The upper level of plant life, which produces food for animals and humans. These plants enjoy a high sugar content and a properly balanced nutrient rich available source of minerals. The lower level of undesirable plant life, we call “the janitorial weeds”, enjoy a low sugar environment and an imbalance of minerals. They grow in an attempt to correct an imbalance problem.  A book by Jay L. McCaman “Weeds and Why They Grow” is a great way to verify what we have said here. We can assist you in engineering your soil to grow upper level plants that will benefit your bottom line.

If you have grown weary along with your soil in “Reacting to Symptoms” and once again want to be the “steward of your soil” as nature intends, we are here to assist you in “Correcting the Cause”. Genesis Soil Rite and Phos Rite changing the way Farmers Farm!

Read the entire article, available online at:

For more information on the product, please call Donna Sneller at 785-221-8828.

"Correcting the Cause" – Genesis Soil Rite, Part II

By: Glen Rabenberg

It is common knowledge that a sugar content of 13% or more is very beneficial for your plant’s insect resistance. We know that these insects do not have a pancreas and cannot digest high sugar fiber. We also know that if sugar content is low, plants will never grow to the extent of their genetic potential. These plants will also be low in minerals, vitamins, amino acids and have poor general nutrition. These plants are also losing out on their share of free nitrogen, which makes up over 78% of the air we breathe. These same low sugar plants have also lost some of the ability to draw moisture from the air, which now increases the effects of a drought, or increases irrigation costs.

The deficiency of available calcium also plagues your soil and plants with other problems. Weed growth tells a story. Cockle Burr grows in the deficiency of the available mineral silver. Bull Thistle grows in the deficiency of available zinc. Musk and Canada Thistles grow in the deficiency of available phosphorus and Leafy Spurge grows in the deficiency of available nickel. Every mineral has a job.

When these minerals are tied up or not available, this now causes landowners to “react to symptoms” which is how chemical companies prosper. Knowledge is power; and when we understand the job and importance of each mineral, we can “correct the cause”.

Calcium is said to be the “Foundation of Life” and is involved in many metabolic and physiological functions. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our bodies, giving us structure and electrically fueling our hearts. It is also the most abundant mineral in the bodies of all animals. Looking at the food chain, common sense tells us that calcium should also be the most abundant mineral in the soil. Available Calcium is the referee, and the mediator, with phosphorus being the transporter of minerals in the soil.  Phorphorus is the work horse needed to transport the other minerals to the plants, so without available calcium and phorphorusnone of the other minerals can work at the efficiency needed for optimum plant production. When looking at calcium, the molecular weight is quite heavy and science tells us that it carries a double positive electrical charge. Conventional markets offer double positive calcium that has very low availability and very high P.H.  Until recently, Dolomite or Gypsum have been about our only choices for calcium. When looking at soil tests and P.H. levels, options for balancing available calcium have been less than desirable. To accurately determine your calcium needs, your soil test must measure mineral content on an AVAILABLE BASIS, anything else is WORTHLESS.

Modern science has made great strides in understanding the requirements of mineral supplementation for soil and plants. Soil Works LLC has found that by using a negative based calcium supplement, the amount of calcium needed per acre is dramatically reduced and the benefits are exponentially returned, When a heavy negative based calcium is applied to your soil, there is a natural attraction to the molecularly light and positive charged salt particles. The sheer weight of the calcium grabs onto the salt and carries it down to the subsoil away from your feeder roots and your aerobic bacteria, allowing them to proliferate and do their job once again at the efficiency that is healthy and financially rewarding to you.

Please Continue with Next Post “Correcting the Cause” – Genesis Soil Rite, Part III

Or read the entire article, available online at:

For more information on the product, please call Donna Sneller at 785-221-8828.

Correcting The Cause – Genesis Soil Rite, PART I

By: Glen Rabenberg

Soil is an incredible creation; it has the ability to communicate. If you truly listen, it will tell you exactly what it needs. Is your soil telling you a story of poverty or prosperity?

When soil is tilled, disked, or plowed and it has hardpan, plowpan, compaction, or lumps, your soil is communicating that minerals are bonding together in unhealthy patterns and will not be available to the plants we want to produce.

Without exception, hardpan, plowpan, compaction, lumps and clumps are letting us know there is a deficiency of AVAILABLE calcium. When P.H. of soil is too high or too low, there is a deficient amount of available calcium. Balance the minerals in your soil and your soil’s P.H. will naturally balance itself.

Alkali or high salt soil is screaming for help. During the degradation of these areas your soil is telling you exactly what’s going on. For example: when dandelions grow, salt is starting to cause a problem. Next, if you notice along with dandelions, kochia is starting to grow, the salt content is steadily increasing. The next salt loving plant to move in will be foxtail. If foxtail cannot absorb the ever increasing salt content of you soil; the soil then goes dormant or alkali. Several things can be thanked for the increased salt in soil.

Many chemicals and fertilizers contain salt as a carrier, preservative, or safety agent. Wet years and irrigation also bring salts to the surface. The beneficial bacteria in the soil does not like salt and has trouble living in a saline environment. The benefits and jobs that these bacteria do are now negatively altered. Stalks, mulch, and organic matter are now being oxidized rather than being absorbed into the earth. This carbon is not being converted into sugar. When the sugar content of the soil decreases, the sugar content of the plant will also decrease. Low sugar soil and plants give off high infrared, which fits right into plant feeding insect’s vision. The high infrared can be seen up to eight miles away by plant feeding insects. When your insect problem increases, you apply more insecticide, which probably has salt, which now adds to your already existing problem.

Please Continue with Next Post “Correcting the Cause” – Genesis Soil Rite, Part II

Or read the entire article, available online at:

For more information on the product, please call Donna Sneller at 785-221-8828.


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