Welcome to Book of the Week – a weekly feature of an Acres U.S.A. published title offering you a glimpse between the pages! Get the Book of the Week email newsletter delivered directly to your in box! This week’s Book of the Week feature is Stone Age Farming, by Alanna Moore.

Increased Yields

In scientific studies soil remineralization with rock dust has been shown to increase yields by between two to four times in agriculture and forestry (with increased wood volumes).

Lower Mortality

People report lower mortality rates in crops that have been treated with rock dust. In the Boral plant trials during a 115 F (44 C) heat wave there was an instance of a vent not being opened to cool down the greenhouse. Many plants were “fried” brown in the heat and looked like they were finished. But 48 hours later the ones with added rock dust and Sweetpit were rejuvenated and looked healthy again, whereas all the others were truly dead.

Pest Suppression

People report less pest control is required after soils are improved with rock dusts and plants have become vibrantly healthy. In trials run by the Men of the Trees in Perth, seedlings grown in granite dust enriched potting mix did not get nibbled by caterpillars, as did the controls.

One of the Boral trials looked at the effect of rock dust on nematodes, a plant pest in soils. Rock dust was applied to a major sporting ground that suffered turf nematodes and it did prove effective. A plant pathologist was then employed to further study this in a scientifically replicable trial. The results showed that plants in biologically active soil with high levels of rock dust could maintain vigorous growth, despite the presence of the nematodes, which would normally have damaging effects. Tomatoes grown in these trials were 21% taller than the controls, with a 65% greater dry weight as well.

Relevant studies show increased pest resistance from organic as opposed to conventionally produced crops. A study by Dr. Franco Weibel at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Ackerstrasse, Switzerland found that organically produced apples had higher phenol levels. Phenols are naturally synthesized by plants as a defense against pests and diseases.

Research in Germany has found that very fine rock dust sprayed directly on plants will deter insects. Also, trails of rock dust around plants can be a good physical barrier against snails and slugs.

Fungal Protection

The aerobic conditions fostered by rock dusts and microbes are not favorable for fungal activity. Georg Abermann, an Austrian agricultural consultant and forester, finds that silica and other fresh trace elements improve resistance to fungal attack. Silica is well supplied by granite and other rock dusts, while the antifungal biodynamic preparation 501 is basically silica, made from crushed rock crystal.

Many people around the world have enjoyed fungal-free crops thanks to rock dust. Using it in potting mixes with compost reduces the damping off of seedlings from fungal attack, as well as generally suppressing pathogens.

Weed Suppression

Some people report a suppression of weeds. Whether this is from the physical barrier of a layer of rock dust around trees or a change in the soil status that does not foster weeds remains to be studied. Other people report lush weed growth in the enhanced growing conditions.

Improved Flavor

Georg Abermann also finds that rock dust improves the aroma and taste of the harvest. This I can vouch for, and other peoples’ anecdotal evidence agrees. Trace elements allow the formation of aroma enzymes in plants. Mineralized hay has a stronger aroma, which animals then eat with all the more gusto, he says.

Improved Quality

With organically produced foods from rock dusted soil there is a general enhancement of quality. There is no single standard test for quality, but improved nutritional levels are a good indication, as are the presence of large complex molecules such as sugars, proteins, enzymes, esters and organic acids.

Plants grown in paramagnetic soils tend to have a blue tinge, visible to the human eye, due to higher sugar levels. This equates to better flavor, pest and frost resistance, and improved health of plants.


Mineralized soils produce crops with increased brix readings, due to higher sugar levels. The brix index reading is done with a refractometer, in a technique utilized by Dr. Carey Reams in the early 1980s. Plants grown in paramagnetic soils tend to have a visible blue tinge, due to increased sugar levels, which equates to better flavor, pest and frost resistance, and health of plants. Some researchers report a 6 point brix increase with crops grown in paramagnetic soils.

Additional Nutrient Tests

Other tests to determine the level of nutrients in food include copper-chloride crystallization and chromatography, physical/chemical techniques such as counting photon emissions (the higher the count — the better), measuring electrical conductivity and other electro-chemical properties, as well as microbiological and biochemical techniques.

The ancient art of dowsing can also be used to determine the level of nutrients in food. The dowser can look at the invisible dimensions to discover the levels of life force in foods as an indication of their vitality and health-giving properties. The stronger the life force, the better the food is going to be for health and wellbeing.

About the Author:

Alanna has written articles for several Permaculture, farming, new age and rural life magazines — especially on dowsing, Permaculture and geomancy. Alanna is the author of Backyard Poultry Naturally, Sensitive Permaculture and Divining Earth Spirit. Alanna discovered the ancient art of dowsing in London in 1980 and helped to found the New South Wales (Australia) Dowsing Society in 1984. Since those times she has trained many thousands of people in the dowsers’ art.

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