Remineralization worksheet 1 – free download

I first became acquainted with the theory of remineralization back in 2013 after reading Steve Solomon’s The Intelligent Gardener. It’s a very good book for anyone interested in soil science, and a fun read if you’re at all interested interested in the geeky side of things. And his main point makes a whole lot of sense.

Anyone familiar with the topic of nutrient density will already have read about the multitude of different studies that demonstrate that fruits and vegetables from a decade or two ago were quite noticeably higher (20-30% +) in vitamins and minerals than the ones we eat today. Theories abound for this, but most settle the blame firmly on commercial ag practices such as intensive growing and chemical fertilizers, which strip the soil of nutrients year after year until there is simply less there for the plants to glean.

A Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997 found that average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent; iron levels 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent. A similar study of British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal,found that in 20 vegetables the average calcium content had declined 19 percent; iron 22 percent; and potassium 14 percent. Yet another study concluded that one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.  (Scientific American)

If the plant can’t find it in the soil, Solomon points out, it ain’t going to be in the fruit either.

Of course there are others such as Elaine Ingham who, citing the same data, point not to the lack minerals in the soil but to the lack of bioflora and organic content – again, blaming modern agricultural practices’ long-term stripping and burning the soil. And there are others still, such as Dr. Bogs, who agree with Solomon but are adamant that the ideal mineral ratios are quite different. (However, since Dr. Bogs’ won’t publicly share her information, but instead demands a $100+ soil test for the results of her proprietary formulas, I’ll stick with Solomon, who at least is transparent with his information.)

Anyway, despite a few detractors, Solomon’s work has been gaining momentum amongst those interested in nutrient density and the validity of his conclusions are now fairly widely accepted. If you haven’t read his book The Intelligent Gardener, I strooooooooooongly urge you to do so.

So as I wrote in this post way back then, I’ve been trying my hand at remineralization ever since. Each year I get a detailed soil report and translate that into the pounds and types of various mineral elements I’ll need to bring my poor, thin soil back to balance. (I get the extended standard test from A&L Eastern Labs.)

But holy cow, even with the soil lab numbers it’s a labrynthine math problem to figure out what those numbers mean, and particularly how they relate to each other, the most important part. While Solomon does make the empty worksheets available to be printed out at the New Society Website, I really needed something that would do the math for me.

So I finally got in gear and translated Solomon’s chart into a spreadsheet that would calculate it all automatically. (Once again, many many kudos and much respect to Solomon in his transparency in his quest to heal our soils and our health!) In the same spirit, I want to share this automation with you all in the hopes that it can save us, collectively, hours and hours of frustration and perhaps even some grey hairs.

Now (caveat) I’m not fantastic at math. In fact, I think if there’s one subject that gives me the day terrors, it’s math. But I think I have this thing working properly…. now what I need is some … what is it called in the video game world? Beta testing? Er… people to kindly tell me what I did wrong, and how to fix it.

Clicking the chart below ought to take you to a blank spreadsheet, which you can then download in excel format.


Click the chart to go to the spreadsheet link or CLICK RIGHT HERE.

Then download by following one of these two steps:

1)  download the sheet in microsoft excel format to your own personal computer. There, you can edit it as you like and save it as a different document.

2) open the shared document. Go to File -> make a copy . You’ll be asked to rename your own copy and that one ought to be editable. It should automatically save to your Google Drive account.

Each of the grey boxes needs to be filled with your information – just plug in the results of your soil test and it automatically takes care of all the percentages, ratios, multiplications, etc. Don’t fill the white boxes!

Be sure also to fill in the grey box at the top right that specifies the square footage that you’re trying to remineralize; this should translate all your needed pounds per acre into the amount you need just for that area. Your shopping list, as it were, will show up in the very last column. Hooray! (Now help me make it better by letting me know if something doesn’t work. And if you have a solution that’s not too complicated. Or if it works fine, just drop a comment below to say hi.  It’d be neat to see how many of us there are. :)

But hold your horses … we’re not done! You can’t just go to the garden store and buy copper or zinc powders by the pound.  So what do these numbers really mean in actionable terms? How can we translate these numbers into real pounds of natural fertilizers that we can buy at the store? It used to literally take me weeks to work out what I needed with pen and pencil. (See above, re: math skills.) Solomon shows us how… and I’ve put that into a spreadsheet, too.

That, I’ll show you tomorrow. :) Spreadsheets FTW!

2 Responses to “Remineralization worksheet 1 – free download”

  1. Carolyn Quinones Says:

    Thank you………..I have sooooo much to learn and I know it will be a long time before I understand this chart, but one small step at a time…

  2. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Right? Ha ha, I don’t understand it either – I’ll trust the scientists to come up with the correct formulas, and I’ll just trust their worksheets! One paper that kind of blew my mind, though, and helped me understand *some* of what was going on, was Agricola’s conversation here: “What’s better than organic?” and here: The Ideal Soil Chart v.1.5. It’s interesting to note that his formulas and ideal ratios differ from Solomon’s! I’ll be working them up soon too, for comparisons. But this year, for now, I’ll just see what happens in the garden with Solomon’s formulas.

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