Wouldn't it be nice if there were a simple supplement you could use to radically improve the quality and health of the plants you're growing in your garden, while simultaneously increasing their nutrient density?
The good news is there is! Science researcher August Dunning, chief science officer and co-owner of Eco Organics, has developed a really fantastic product called Ionic Ocean Minerals.
Dunning also works as a visiting associate professor at California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he received his training in chemistry and physics.
His previous work history includes working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the International Space Station program as system engineer. After that, he studied elemental particle physics and molecular physics at the University of Chicago, before ultimately starting Eco Organics.
I've been using his Ionic Ocean Minerals in my own garden for a few years now, and I've been spectacularly impressed with the ability of these minerals — which are typically applied as a foliar spray once a week — to radically improve the health and quality of my plants.
Ocean Minerals Help Grow Your Soil
The ocean contains nearly all of the ionic minerals of the periodic table of elements. Dunning developed a process to extract these minerals from seawater without getting any of the salt.
Their minerals are in a highly absorbable ionic form and the separation process removes nearly all the salt from the ocean water. Salt buildup in the soil will kill live organisms and is not healthy for the plants, so you definitely do not want any salt in the mixture.
"The idea here was to take the work of Maynard Murray, who was a Navy doctor and scientist and who was putting ocean salts on the earth, but diluting it to prevent the salt problem, to get great yield.
We figured how to get the salt out of it, so we can concentrate the minerals," Dunning explains. "What we found is that this particular group of elements has a very profound effect on the microorganism health underneath the soil.
If you look at the ingredient list on our product, you'll see micrograms (mcg) of [these minerals], so it can't be used as a huge soil ingredient for the growth of the plants; it has to be doing something else.
We are now confident, based on our studies and based on our research, that what we're doing is we're increasing the life of the soil itself, much like Deborah Koons-Garcia is talking about in 'Symphony of the Soil,' where you're just growing the soil.
That's the interface between geology and biology. By doing this, it allows the microorganisms to be [like] hundreds of trillions of little workers providing the microelements, ionic microelements off the rock surfaces."
Healthy Soil Makes for Healthy Food
If the soil is healthy, the plants grown in it will be healthy too. The increased nutrient content may even make the food more medicinally useful.
"I can tell you firsthand the difference," he says. "[The difference] between my trip to Vietnam and my trip to Nicaragua was dramatic. I came down with a light dysentery in Vietnam. It was terrible. I took charcoal … It wiped it out a little bit.
I went to Nicaragua four days after I got back from there, and in two days of eating their food and living in the environment down there, I was fixed. There's a big difference between a toxic environment and a pristine environment. I see it firsthand now."
Dunning's Ionic Ocean Minerals essentially provide the substrates required for soil organisms to grow and mature, allowing them to optimize the proper populations. We have recently come to appreciate that the biology of the soil is crucial.
It's not just about adding minerals, because there's still a large percentage of farmers and gardeners who will do soil analysis and then supplement the soil with minerals based on a kind of individualized prescription. That's certainly better than nothing, but it's not the same process that we're talking about here.
Those mineral supplements are frequently provided as salts, and if taken at too high concentration can do more harm than good by decimating soil microbes. There are a number of ionic ocean minerals on the market. I've tried a few of them and actually killed some of my citrus when using them.
While they claim to have removed all the sodium, clearly they did not. Dunning's product has never caused any problems in my garden. It has only produced beneficial results, which is why I like to promote it.