As consumers, we have become increasingly more health-conscious and more aware of our foods. We look for organic labels, try to avoid chemicals and additives that we can’t pronounce, and buy local if and when we can. However, we don’t always connect the dots between healthy foods and healthy soil.
Healthy soil, maintained through sustainable methods, is important for the diversity of our environment as well as for our future food supply. The good news is that a growing number of entrepreneurs in the U.S. are putting the importance of a healthy soil ecosystem into sharper focus by offering products that help balance soil naturally. One of the more surprising ingredients in this budding agricultural revolution is maple sugar.
But first, let’s begin with the primary issue that many landowners face today; the overuse of chemicals that are the root cause of poor soil conditions.
The problem and the solution
“Soil isn’t an inert growing medium, but rather is teaming with billions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that are the foundation of an elegant symbiotic ecosystem,” explains the United States Department of Agriculture. Unfortunately, soil absorbs chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides like a sponge and, while chemicals kill pests, they also kill off many beneficial organisms needed for this natural ecosystem to survive. Over-fertilization can also adversely affect soil condition. The result is unbalanced soil that can’t perform the way in which nature intended it should; as a nutrient-rich breeding ground for plant-life.
Fortunately, Jim Burnett, owner of Texas Earth, Inc. has come up with a solution.
“I was born and raised on a farm in the Texas panhandle and have lived in this area most of my life,” says Burnett. He graduated from Texas Tech University in 1971 with a BS in Animal Science and earned his MS degree in ruminant nutrition six years later. His thesis sparked an interest in microbiology, transitioning his focus away from animals and onto soil and plants. “In 1994, I began working with natural amendments to correct imbalances in the soil. I started out with humic and fulvic acids, compost tea, liquid chicken manure, lime and gypsum.”
Today, Burnett’s Brownfield, Texas company is helping landowners across the United States achieve soil balance, minimize costs, and maximize crop production. As the company explains, “Through time proven technology and the application of soil building products, the ultimate soil profile necessary for maximum nutrient density and energy can be achieved.”
According to Texas Earth, realizing the optimal balanced soil profile is comprised of “four basic components: plant available nutrients in a balanced format, mineralization for proper electrical nutrient exchange, organic matter in adequate amounts and maximized biological activity in a healthy oxygenated environment.”
Technical stuff, indeed.
However, solving the problem of unbalanced soil without chemicals is not limited to scientists – or farmers. Texas Earth serves a wide range of customers including golf course owners, landscapers, and lawn care companies. Still, farmers are the primary customers, and the company’s products are used to strengthen the production of corn, alfalfa, wheat, peanut, barley, rye, soybeans, and Texas cotton. Texas Earth also works with the citrus industry in Florida and grape, olive, and almond-producers in California.
Pour a little sugar on it!
So, how can you start balancing your soil, especially for your prized petunias and veggie gardens? Consider one of Texas Earth’s signature products, Bio Nectar. According to Burnett, this product “acts as a key facilitator in making sure the plant gets the nutrients that it wasn’t getting before.” Bio Nectar is a liquid microbial effective in introducing beneficial microorganisms and enzymes to the soil profile, and enhancing the biodiversity of the plant/soil ecosystem also known as the rhizosphere. Greater biodiversity translates into improved crop yields, lower incidence of disease, and more efficient water utilization.
Now, this is where the maple comes in. Pure maple sugar (provided by our wholesale partner Bascom Family Farms) is one of several natural ingredients used in Bio Nectar to balance the soil.
“Other sugars do not provide the same diversity as maple sugar,” Burnet explains. Adding that pure maple sugar is an effective and natural way to bring the soil back into harmony since (once it is in the soil and exposed to oxygen and moisture) it’s a great source of necessary microbes and fungi. In addition to maple sugar, Bio Nectar also relies on other simple and natural ingredients including rock phosphate, earthworm castings, molasses, and kelp.
As a liquid microbial, Bio Nectar can be sprayed onto your land, plowed into the soil, or put into an irrigation system. After using Bio Nectar, you will likely see the ground soften up (it reduces compaction and boosts aeration), making it easier to water and that in turn will further reduce the need and cost for constant fertilization.
Helping to cultivate a sustainable future
With balanced soil, sustainability can be a present day reality for farmers and landowners seeking a better, healthier, chemical-free future. And, according to Burnett, Bio Nectar’s effectiveness is not dependent on location, “It simply makes the soil better, no matter where you live.”
Texas Earth can ship its full range of products (for agriculture, turf, and industrial markets) anywhere within the United States. To learn more, please visit the Texas Earth website and Facebook page for the latest news, offerings, technical details, product specifications, and other important information.
Come on, let’s get growing!