Chicken soup for the soil – a soil amendment I recently applied

One of the best things about my job is I get to see my mentors relatively regularly as the regenerative agricultural world is rather small. One of the pioneers of the movement in this country is Dick Isted. They farm near Lady Grey in the Eastern Cape. They have been building fertility there for many years. Click here to get some insight into their farm.


Dick and his wife Margot came to the farm in October last year and after some hen massage we went looking in the soil. Dick was very clear that my plants needed help and the only way was through a soil amendment that Jerry Brunetti designed. He called it chicken soup for the soil. For the recipe and the suppliers of the various products click here chicken soup for the soil, oct 2016 Note that in Jerry’s recipe he used molasses. I have chosen not to use it as I have no interest in Glyphosate being on my farm. I am working on a blog on this carcinogen/descaling agent.


Luckily for me I have neighbours who have the right, big spray equipment. The mixing tank on the right and the boom sprayer on the left and below.


The boom sprayer in action


To ensure that the mix is made up properly requires someone with brains. Fortunately Matt has plenty of that. He worked on the farm for 2 months after university, prior to going to the US. He has a podcast that goes by the name of In The Know. He interviewed me for his 6th episode.


Was spending all that money worth it? Absolutely. First, as per the picture above there is good nodulation on the lucerne which was not there in October. Dick is pointing to one of the nodules on the plant roots that is the home of the bacteria that fix Nitrogen from the sky into the plants and the soil. Second, the farm has never looked as good as it did up to three weeks ago. This was after a very hot and long summer following a winter with half the normal rain. 95% of my irrigation water was cut 3 weeks ago. Here is the story.


After seeing the impact of the chicken soup for the soil, the Isteds and I had a celebratory lunch. I had our rump. The our being the Isteds and I as I had bought the weaner oxen from them almost 2 years ago.


31 March 2017.

An opportunity lost due to the fanaticism of the vegans.

Dear Reader.

I cannot remember who said it but the ferocity with which you defend your position is directly proportional to the insecurity you feel about your position. Earlier this week I installed a freezer in Organic Zone in Lakeside with my produce in. (Details about our produce on at the top of the page, click on BUY MEAT&EGGS). It looked like this

2 days later the same freezer at Organic Zone looked like this…

The empty freezer was not as you might expect a result of the meat and eggs selling out. The vegan clients of Organic Zone bullied the staff into removing the meat.

Not having my freezer there is no problem as it is going to Wellness Warehouse in Kloof Street. The real issue for me is that an opportunity for debate was lost. Vegans, vegetarians, raw foodists and grass fed beef eaters are all on the same side. The side opposite chemical, industrial, processed, corporatised, sweetened, pastuerised, homogenised, factory farmed and GMO “food”.

On second thoughts it is not clear where vegans stand as their source of protein is soya which is over 90% GMO. Do these rabid individuals know that they ingest Monsanto produce on a daily basis?

Our beef reverses global warming. A claim no vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist can make. In fact no other beef operation in the country can claim to reverse global warming.

So in conclusion can the vegans please reflect on their inability to reduce climate instability and let those clients who like to eat meat do so in peace. Also stop harassing the Organic Zone staff.

I wrote a much more detailed blog recently on how a specific type of beef (and chickens) is reversing global warming. Click here if you are interested.



The scariest document I have read this year – Roundup in chicken manure

Dear Reader

The two main issues are first, that by using this manure you could be inadvertently be applying a herbicide to your land and second, you could be endangering the health of your cattle if you feed them this manure.

Fortunately for me, the plants on Spier Wine Farm and for the readers who eat our beef and our eggs there is no need to worry.

Our chickens eat a non GMO diet and our cattle NEVER eat a grain. Neither do we feed our cattle chicken manure.

You need to click on this weblink twice to see the lab result that shows Roundup in broiler chicken manure of 1,103 ppm BROOKSIDE RESULT ON CHICKEN POOP

Manure from factory farms is very widely used as so called fertilizer on farms and to make so called organic fertilizer. Chicken manure has a particular versatility. It is fed to cattle (this practice is illegal but widespread) who apparently do very well on it. They apparently prefer a little molasses with the chicken manure.

Lets us use the above lab results as an example. If the farmer were to put a ton of the chicken manure onto his land then he would be applying the equivalent dose that Monsanto recommend for the most pernicious weeds at the pre-flowering stage. Page 11 is where you want to be looking. No farmer is only going to apply 1 ton per hectare and so the possible dose of Roundup is much higher.

The second issue is around animal health. There are pages and pages of peer reviewed research into this matter. I have found that this is the best site with the research, the criticism of the research and criticism of the criticism.

Apart from GMO food being a big experiment on human beings without their consent the major issue is that by supporting GMO you the consumer are choosing to support a corporation over a farmer. Corporations by definition think about the next quarters earnings whereas farmers think long term.

We are all farmers by proxy and we can choose to eat non GMO beef by buying grass fed beef and non GMO eggs by buying mine or Woolworth’s Organic Eggs. Unfortunately there is no non GMO chicken in this country.

Details about sourcing our produce are right at the top of the blog.



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