Here are the astonishing results of a recent Beyond Organic farm trial. Bryan Riley farms vegetables for market at an old dairy farm in Naalehu at 460′ elevation. He has been farming commercially for several years. We did a side-by-side trial of Beyond Organic growing methods vs. the control of soil amendments he usually uses. This area of the farm had been fallowed in grass for a long time. A comprehensive Nutrition Grown soil analysis and a soil microbiology analysis were used to determine soil inputs. Organic-type soil amendments were used, including feather meal, calcium sulfate, borax, manganese sulfate, cobalt sulfate, sodium molybdate, Azomite, humates, and a soil microbial mix.
The results of the trial surprised even me! Needless to say, Bryan was extremely pleased. The main trial crop was cylindra beets. These are beets which are bred to produce long, cylindrical beets for even-sized slices.
Except for the soil amendments, everything was kept the same. Same seeds, started the same way, transplanted on the same day, irrigated the same, etc. There was a noticeable difference in the transplanted seedlings in only 8 days. Those in the Beyond Organic bed had grown to twice the size of those in the control bed. In another 10 days, the Beyond Organic greens were still outpacing the control at approximately double the height.
When it came harvest-time, we picked some of the largest beets from each bed. (The biggest beet was a one-pound Beyond Organic “monster” that I didn’t include because it seemed like an outlier.) The control beets were about the same diameter (approximately 2 inches) as the Beyond Organic beets, but they did not grow long. The Beyond Organic beets were nearly three times the size, as you can see in the picture below!
The beet green tops came out beautiful also, large and without insect damage. Bryan was pleasantly surprised at the size, saying they reminded him of chard leaves.
Here’s a chart that shows improvements in levels of some nutrients important for human nutrition as compared to the USDA Food Nutrient Database, which shows typical values.
Bryan also grew red lettuce in the Beyond Organic plot. The color and the sheen were astounding! When your vegetables shine, you are doing something right. The heads were also very large, about 15 inches across. Bryan gave me a head of the lettuce and I felt like I was holding a beautiful bouquet! The shelf life was easily 3+ weeks. (I kept it in the fridge and polished it off at 3 weeks. It was perfect, with no bad edges.)
OK, let’s talk about the soil. As you can see in the following chart, many of the soil parameters improved. The soil was re-analyzed at 4 months. I usually like to give it at least 6 months before comparing, but nonetheless, we saw major changes.
Thank you, Bryan, for doing an outstanding job with the farm trial!