More Impressive Crop Data from Nutrition Farming Project

Work continues in the Nutrition Farming for Hawaii (NFH) Research and Demonstration Garden.  Here are some more impressive examples of increased nutrient content from our first year as compared to USDA Food Nutrient Database published values.

Below are two crops, red curly lettuce and green onions.  Most values show good gains over the USDA values.  You will notice the NFH crops’ phosphorus is not as high.  Phosphorus is a particular problem in Hawaii soils.  We put on quite a bit of soft rock phosphate, an organically-approved type of phosphorus, which takes some time to become fully available to the crops.  I’m not too worried about it because phosphorus is rarely a missing element in human nutrition.  We will continue to tweak the soil to get it just right.  We are just about ready to do a retest of the soil.

What is most impressive on these reports are the gains in elements that are often deficient in human nutrition, such as calcium, iron, and zinc.











Nutrition Farming for Hawaii Demonstration Garden–Early Results

Here are nutrient comparisons of Nutrition Grown™ crops to USDA values in the current official food nutrient database.  Note that these are the first results from the newly amended garden, before microbial inoculants and foliar nutrient sprays were used.

The crop land used for this project had been in sugarcane for many decades.  (Old sugarcane land is typically nutrient depleted.)  Since sugar production ceased about 40 years ago, the land has been used for cattle grazing.

Balancing soil nutrients takes time, but is accomplished by repeated soil testing and addition of needed nutrients over time. A time frame of three to five years is typically needed to obtain optimal production.  Produce nutrient content and quality (i.e. flavor, texture) is expected to improve in parallel with soil quality.  In addition, decreases in plant pests and diseases, and increases in crop yields are also expected.

The charts below shows first season crops, grown shortly after most of the recommended nutrients were applied.  Even though early in the project, the Nutrition Grown™ crops show higher levels of most of the examined nutrients as compared to USDA values.  Lower values were seen for phosphorus and sodium, nutrients which are typically well supplied (not deficient) in average diets.  Nutrients such as calcium and zinc are often deficient in humans.  These elements were higher in the Nutrition Grown™ crops.  The USDA value for copper in kale appears to be an anomaly, as the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of copper for adults is only 0.9 mg.

USDA Comparison to Nutrition Grown™
 Arugula, young, 3-6″
Nutrition Farming Project—May 2017
(Before foliar nutrient sprays & microbial inoculants were added)
Nutrient USDA Values   Nutrition Grown™   Difference   Difference
   A   B   B-A   %
Protein g/100g 2.5 3.24 0.74 30
Following in mg/100g:
Calcium Ca 165 199 34 21
Iron Fe 1.51 1.81 0.30 20
Magnesium Mg 47 74 27 58
Phosphorus P 52 18 -34 -66
Potassium K 369 498 129 35
Sodium Na 23 14 -9 -41
Zinc Zn 0.47 3.10 2.63 560
Copper Cu 0.076 0.200 0.124 163
Manganese Mn 0.321 0.767 0.446 139


USDA Comparison to Nutrition Grown™
 Kale, Toscano, 6-12″ leaves
Nutrition Farming Project—May 2017
(Before foliar nutrient sprays & microbial inoculants were added)
Nutrient USDA Values   Nutrition Grown™   Difference   Difference
  A   B   B-A   %
Protein g/100g 4.28 4.38 0.10 2
Following in mg/100g:
Calcium Ca 150 239 89 59
Iron Fe 1.47 1.15 -0.32 -22
Magnesium Mg 47 80 33 70
Phosphorus P 92 47 -45 -49
Potassium K 491 625 134 27
Sodium Na 38 21 -17 -44
Zinc Zn 0.56 0.96 0.40 71
Copper Cu 1.499 0.058 -1.441 -96
Manganese Mn 0.659 0.989 0.330 50


USDA Comparison to Nutrition Grown™
Collards, average 6.5″ leaf pads
From Nutrition Farming Project—May 2017
(Before foliar & microbes)
Nutrient USDA Values   Nutrition Grown™   Difference   Difference
  A   B   B-A   %
Protein g/100g 3.02 3.27 0.25 8
Following in mg/100g:
Calcium Ca 232 306 74 32
Iron Fe 0.47 1.44 0.97 206
Magnesium Mg 27 84 57 210
Phosphorus P 25 23 -3 -10
Potassium K 213 530 317 149
Sodium Na 17 16 -1 -6
Zinc Zn 0.21 1.25 1.04 495
Copper Cu 0.046 0.050 0.004 9
Manganese Mn 0.658 1.175 0.517 79

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You’re invited to the 9th Annual Kona Coffee Farmers Expo

Come to the Kona Coffee Farmers Expo this year to hear special guest speakers, see displays of various resources, and talk story about technical issues.  It is being held at the Old Airport Pavilion in Kailua-Kona on Friday, March 18, 2016, from 10am-4pm.  Beyond Organic Consulting will have a free prize drawing and show specials.  Hope to see you there!

Beautiful coffee flowers turn into...

Beautiful coffee flowers turn into…

...loads of coffee cherries!

…loads of coffee cherries!

Dr. Jana Bogs at the Kona Coffee Expo 2015

Dr. Jana Bogs at the Kona Coffee Expo 2015

What does it take to make it your Best Year Ever?

Go forth and Do Your Dreams!

Jana and Zeus enjoying a beautiful day.  Go forth and Do Your Dreams!

“The best year ever in terms of what?” you may ask.  Well, what’s important to you?  Feeling great–having excellent physical and mental health–is a big deal, and can help all areas of your life to be more successful and fun.  Financial success, great relationships, and achieving your dreams–like having an amazing farm or garden–all are influenced by your health.   And your farm or garden can be one of the most important factors in keeping you healthy, especially if you grow with Beyond Organic methods so your plants supply you with amazing nutrition.

Building great soil is an on-going process, taking more intensive work the first few years, but paying big dividends over time–in terms of your plants’ health and your own health.  Most soils need to have nutrients added every few months to achieve the best balance, especially items like sulfur and boron which wash out of the soil quickly.  These nutrients are critical for development of essential amino acids needed for our health.  When beginning the soil building process, it’s good to have your soil analyzed every 6 months, with a minimum of once a year.

Leaf tissue analysis can tell us what the plants are lacking.  Fortunately, custom foliar nutrition sprays can be used to help plants make great food quickly, while waiting on the soil to become well balanced.  Take care of your soil and plants, and they will take care of you so you can have the Best Year Ever!