fbpx

Regenerative Soil Microscopy: the Book, Course, & Database

Matt Powers
The Permaculture Student

{2022 Superfood Garden Summit Presenter}

Matt Powers teaches permaculture and regenerative gardening and farming to families, youth, schools, and adults all over the world through his online courses, videos, and books. Matt provides daily inspirational and regenerative content online and is one of the most-followed permaculture teachers online.

How do we truly tell good compost from bad compost? Or better from best? BECAUSE in life, we are always after what is BEST.

What about you?

  • Do you want to KNOW what’s in your soil or compost before you apply it?
  • Do you want to be able to test your soil, compost, mushrooms, roots, and more at home?
  • Would you like to see other people’s test results in comparison to your own? What about in comparison to other bioregions and climate analogs?

Matt Powers has a new book, course, and database project that is absolutely WILD – it’s going to change soil science as we know it!

By having a way for everyone to compare their soils, the best soil regeneration and management practices will be revealed transparently, publicly, and powerfully!!

This is a game-changer – if you ever wanted to know how your soil or compost compares to others in your bioregion or in the world, this is how we are going to do it. Matt’s cracked the code: he’s developed a holistic approach to soil science with Regenerative Soil first and now with Regenerative Soil Microscopy & the new R-Soil Database, there’s a way to unlock the secrets of the soil for all the see for the first time EVER.

This is such an incredibly important project: it will change all farming, horticulture, ranching, gardening, and food as it rolls forward and shows the pathways to the highest nutrient density. Folks will be able to compare across 100+ points of distinction like organic matter %, BRIX of the plant sap, pH, all macro & micronutrients, paramagnetism, REDOX, CEC, Salinity, Compaction, Plant Sap Analysis, and so much more – compare your own samples over time or against the bioregion, world, or across specific variables like pH… the possibilities for deeper insight are limitless!!

This opens the door to a new way of testing, researching, discovering, sharing, learning, and growing.

THANK YOU MATT!!

Please show your appreciation by supporting Matt’s Kickstarter campaign in any way that you can – please share it with your people: this is for the folks that LOVE composting and soil & for those serious about growing, so please share it with everyone you can so we can find those folks to participate in this project. It’s going to help everyone as it develops and grows!

Check out what Matt is offering in his 7th Kickstarter!!
(Already 105% funded!!)

Did you check out Matt’s Video and New Book? Share with us your take-a-ways from his teaching.

The #1 Key to Starting Healthy Seedlings

Marjory Wildcraft
The GROW Network

Marjory is a 2022 Superfood Garden Summit Presenter.

“How to have FREE breakfast for life!”

Marjory Wildcraft is the founder of The Grow Network, which is a community of people focused on modern self-sufficient living. She has been featured by National Geographic as an expert in off-grid living, she hosted the Mother Earth News Online Homesteading Summit, and she is listed in Who’s Who in America for having inspired hundreds of thousands of backyard gardens.

Marjory was the focus of an article that won Reuter’s Food Sustainability Media Award, and she recently authored The Grow System: The Essential Guide to Modern Self-Sufficient Living—From Growing Food to Making Medicine.

By: Marjory Wildcraft, The GROW Network

In my experience, the vast majority of problems people have when trying to grow plants from seed stem from insufficient light. A strong, reliable light source is not a luxury when you’re starting healthy seedlings—it’s an absolute must. You can compromise on many other aspects of gardening, but don’t cheat your green babies on the one thing they need most.

If you have a greenhouse, choose the brightest spot for your new seedlings. If you’ve been setting your seed trays on a windowsill, re-evaluate that choice. Remember: weak light = weak seedlings.

If you want husky, healthy seedlings, don’t gamble on the fickle winter sun filtered through a window.

Control the light, and you control the outcome!

Choosing the Right Grow Lights

Setting up a grow light today is easy and inexpensive, and it doesn’t take up much room. Bulky shop lights and fiendishly hot tungsten bulbs are fading into history.

Existing Shelf Space

If you have some empty space on a bookshelf or an empty shelf in a kitchen cabinet, you can easily install a couple of tiny T-5 light fixtures. There are also several LED offerings on the market. LED grow lights are powerful and super-efficient, and they generate very little heat.

Simply attach a light or two to the bottom of one shelf to light the shelf underneath it where your tray will sit.

If the shelf is adjustable, you are all set. If not, the tray can be elevated when the seedlings are started, to bring the surface of the soil within two or three inches of the light. That’s right! The light will be very close to the seeds.

Tabletop Light Stands

If you have room to start seeds on a countertop or a table, there are several tabletop light stands that are designed for the space. The typical design is a simple metal stand that holds the light, suspended by an adjustable string or chain.

Tabletop lights are small and easy to use, and they are available in a range of sizes.

Grow Light Stands

The next size up is the shelf model. These resemble a regular set of utility shelves, with a grow light suspended from the bottom of every shelf. These lights offer enough space and power to grow starts for the whole neighborhood!

These shelf units aren’t cheap, but they are very useful. In addition to starting seeds, they can be used to overwinter plants indoors, and even to grow summer veggies and herbs all winter long.

Strong Light = Strong Seedlings

If the seedlings you’ve grown in the past haven’t been the strong, stout, deep-green variety every gardener hopes for, it’s likely that they haven’t gotten enough light as they’ve grown.

Fix that one thing, and you’re much more likely to say “goodbye” to weak, leggy, pale seedlings—and hello to starts that grow into strong, healthy plants!

Share your seed starting success stories with us!

Eat the Rainbow: Why Is it Important to Eat a Colorful Variety of Fruits and Vegetables?

Ocean Robbins
Food Revolution Network

Ocean is presenting at the 2022 Superfood Garden Summit airing June 22-25 2022.

He will be sharing about superfoods that are super easy and fun to grow. Be sure to register here:

Ocean Robbins is co-founder & CEO of the 700,000 member Food Revolution Network. He is author of the bestseller, 31-Day Food Revolution: Heal Your Body, Feel Great, and Transform Your World. Ocean founded Youth for Environmental Sanity (YES!) at age 16, and directed it for the next 20 years. He has spoken in person to more than 200,000 people, organized online seminars and events reaching more than a million, and facilitated leadership development events for leaders from 65 nations. He has served as adjunct professor for Chapman University, and is a recipient of the national Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service, the Freedom’s Flame Award, the Harmon Wilkinson Award, and many other honors.

SUMMARY

Research has shown that a colorful diet is a great way to boost your health and vitality. But how can you be sure that you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs to thrive? In this article, we’ll look at the whole spectrum of rainbow nutrition to show how adding color to your plate could add years to your life (and life to your years!). There’s also a shareable rainbow foods infographic that can help you choose a diversity of colorful fruits and vegetables.

“Eat the rainbow” is a fundamental healthy eating tip. (And no, we don’t mean artificially colored foods like Skittles or M&Ms!)

But what does it mean? Why is it important to get a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet?

You may be tempted to find a few foods you or your kids or family members like and focus on eating those. And it can be easy to fall into routines. But the truth is: Our bodies thrive on variety — a rainbow of nutrients.

In fact, the variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables may be more powerful for your health than any pill.

Eating a diversity of colorful foods can be an easy way to get the complete range of nutrients your body needs to thrive.

Eating the Rainbow Is Important for Everyone — Kids and Adults!

A varied, balanced diet gives your body the nutrition it needs to work properly. And without good nutrition, your body will be more likely to suffer from disease, illness, and poor performance.

Advice to eat the rainbow is often used with kids. And while kids especially need a diversity of foods in their diets, so do adults.

Why Are Fruits and Vegetables Full of so Many Colors?

rainbow food

Each color in fruits and vegetables is created by specific phytonutrients, which are natural compounds that help protect plants from germs, bugs, the sun, and other threats.

And each color indicates an abundance of specific nutrients.

Phytonutrients aren’t essential to keep you alive (unlike vitamins and minerals). But they may help prevent certain lifestyle diseases and keep your body working as it should.

Most Americans Aren’t Getting the Range of Colorful Foods They Need

A 2015 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the CDC states that “the percentage of the adult population meeting fruit and vegetable intake recommendation is low. In 2013, 13.1% of respondents met fruit intake recommendations and 8.9% met vegetable recommendations.”

And, according to an older 2009 report about phytonutrients8 out of 10 people in the US are falling short in virtually every color category of phytonutrients.

Based on the report:

• 69% of Americans are falling short in green phytonutrients
• 78% of Americans are falling short in red phytonutrients
• 86% of Americans are falling short in white phytonutrients
• 88% of Americans are falling short in purple and blue phytonutrients
• 79% of Americans are falling short in yellow and orange phytonutrients

Now, let’s take a look at what the color of your food can tell you about its nutrition. And how you can get more of a colorful range of phytonutrients to help your body function at its best. After exploring all the different colors and their corresponding foods and phytochemicals, stick around for a helpful rainbow food chart that you can share or print at home.

Healthy Red Foods Help Fight Cancer, Reduce the Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease, Improve Skin Quality, and More

red foods

Red fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals including lycopene and ellagic acid. These powerful nutrients have been studied for their cancer-fighting effects and other health benefits.

For example, regular consumption of tomatoes and tomato products (like cooked tomatoes and tomato sauce) has been shown to reduce the risk for prostate cancer.  Watermelon is even higher in lycopene than tomatoes, and the lycopene may be more bioavailable, too.

Watermelon is also rich in a phytonutrient called citrulline, which may work as a treatment for mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.

And red vegetables, like beets, have been shown to affect the nitric oxide pathway, helping blood vessels dilate. This improves circulation and helps reduce the risk of heart disease.

Also, strawberries have been found to prevent and even reverse the progression of esophageal cancer. Berries, in general, are rich in bioactive compounds that protect against chronic diseases like heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Getting your phytonutrients from whole foods is best. In fact, some studies show that taking phytonutrients, like lycopene and beta-carotene, in supplement form may actually increase the risk of cancer. But consuming these phytonutrients in whole food form, like tomato sauce, may help decrease the risk of cancer.

There’s plenty of evidence that eating an abundance of colorful fruits and vegetables offers protective effects for heart health, and may even help lengthen your lifespan.

Your skin benefits from eating red foods, too. The polyphenols and antioxidants in red fruits and veggies may help prevent skin cancer and offer skin protection against damaging effects from sunlight, excessive inflammation, and wounds.

Examples of Healthy Red Foods to Try

• Red peppers
• Tomatoes
• Strawberries
• Raspberries
• Watermelon
Apples
Cranberries
• Kidney beans
Cherries
• Grapes
• Red onions
Pomegranate
Beets

Yellow and Orange Fruits and Vegetables Improve Immune Function, Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease, Promote Eye Health, and More

orange fruits

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Some carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene, convert to vitamin A within the body, which helps promote healthy vision and cell growth.

Citrus fruits, like oranges, contain a unique phytonutrient called hesperidin, which helps to increase blood flow. This has important health ramifications. If you tend to get cold hands and feet, eating an orange a day may help to keep your hands and feet warm. Even more importantly, consuming citrus may also reduce your risk of stroke.

Two of the most notable carotenoids in orange and yellow foods are lutein and zeaxanthin. These fat-soluble antioxidants have been heavily studied for their ability to help protect the health of your eyes. In fact, they accumulate in the retina of your eyes, where they help prevent cataracts and diseases like age-related macular degeneration — the leading cause of blindness around the world. They also protect your eyes from damage caused by blue light emitted from phone, computer, and television screens.

Examples of Healthy Orange and Yellow Foods to Try

• Oranges
• Grapefruit
Lemons
Mangoes
• Papayas
Carrots
Sweet potatoes
Winter squash (butternut, kabocha, delicata, acorn)
• Yellow summer squash
Corn
• Cantaloupe
• Orange and yellow peppers
• Golden beets
Pineapple
• Peaches
Bananas

Green Fruits and Vegetables Boost the Immune System, Help Detoxify the Body, Restore Energy and Vitality, and More

green foods

Greens are some of the healthiest foods we can eat. Green fruits and vegetables are rich in lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, and vitamin K — which is essential for blood and bone health.

Green vegetables are also rich in folate — a nutrient especially important for pregnant women to consume to help prevent congenital disabilities.

Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cabbage, have been shown to enhance immune function, while dark leafy greens like kale may improve mood.

Research has even shown that eating leafy greens is associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline. One study among 960 participants aged 58–99 years old found that those who consumed at least 1.3 servings per day of leafy greens for nearly five years experienced cognitive improvement likened to being 11 years younger in age, compared to those who consumed fewer greens.

Greens are also a highly bioavailable source of calcium and vitamin K1, which have a positive impact on bone metabolism.

And kiwi fruit has been shown to help alleviate a wide array of maladies, from the common cold to IBS to insomnia, and it may even help repair DNA damage.

Examples of Healthy Green Foods to Try

• Broccoli
• Kale
• Romaine lettuce
Collard greens
Brussels sprouts
Green cabbage
• Green grapes
• Asparagus
Spinach
• Swiss chard
• Arugula
Green beans
Peas
Zucchini
• Kiwi fruit
Avocado
• Green apples
• Edamame

Purple and Blue Fruits and Vegetables May Reduce the Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease, Support Cognition, Decrease Inflammation, and Improve Skin Health

Purple foods

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are rich in anthocyanins and resveratrol and have been studied extensively for their anticancer and antiaging properties.

Studies show that the bioactive phytochemicals in berries work to repair damage from oxidative stress and inflammation.

The anthocyanins in blueberries and red grapes may help reduce the risk for heart disease, cognitive decline, and type 2 diabetes, as well as support healthy weight maintenance and a normal inflammatory response.

Red grapes are also full of polyphenol compounds and antioxidants. One of these is resveratrol, which has been associated with increased nitric oxide production and better heart health outcomes.

And red cabbage, which is really more of a purple color, is one of the best superfood bargains and has the highest level of antioxidants per dollar.

Blue and Purple Fruits and Veggies to Try

• Blueberries
• Blackberries
• Red (purple) grapes
• Red (purple) cabbage
• Plums
• Prunes
• Red (purple) onions
• Eggplant
• Purple potatoes and sweet potatoes
• Purple cauliflower
• Figs
• Raisins

Brown and White Colored Foods Protect Against Certain Cancers, Keep Bones Strong, and Are a Heart-Healthy Choice

mushrooms

Though they aren’t as brightly colored as other foods, white and brown produce are still great healthy choices.

Like broccoli, cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable rich in an anticancer compound called sulforaphane.

Garlic and onions are in the allium family of vegetables and contain the powerful health-promoting compounds allicin and quercetin. Aged garlic has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and anti-allergic effects, even more so than raw garlic.

And phytonutrients in white button mushrooms have been found to inhibit aromatase activity and breast cancer cell proliferation. This common mushroom variety also has antimicrobial activity.

Healthy White and Brown Fruits and Veggies List

Cauliflower
Garlic
• Onions
Mushrooms
Potatoes
• Parsnips
• Daikon radish
Jicama

A Visual List of Phytochemicals

Whew! That’s a lot of colorful foods and nutrients to remember. Luckily, we’ve made it easier than ever to get a healthy dose of antioxidants with this rainbow chart of nutrients. In this nutritional infographic, you’ll see what color foods correspond to what phytochemicals, so you can create beautiful and health-fulfilling rainbow meals.

Color_Chart_Nutrients_Infographic

Tips to Help You Eat the Rainbow Every Day

Tacos

Now you hopefully see why eating a variety of colorful foods is good for your health. But how do you make that happen? Here are some tips you can use when creating your meals:

• Eat a beautiful breakfast. Instead of drab bagels, eggs, or yogurt, start your day with a green smoothie, oatmeal topped with red berries, or a tofu scramble filled with red peppers, mushrooms, carrots, or other colorful veggies.

• Enjoy exciting salads. Large, colorful salads topped with beans and a diverse selection of vegetables are the perfect way to incorporate lots of colorful veggies (and fruits!) into your diet. Eat them for lunch or dinner. And try to have at least one per day.

• Liven up your lunch. Veggie sandwiches and wraps (including lettuce wraps) and soups, stews, and chili can help you get a balanced selection of colorful foods for lunch.

• Make vegetables the main dish. Try new recipes for dishes, such as tempeh vegetable stir-fries, vegetable curries, and Buddha bowls.

• Make a rainbow meal. Try creating a meal that uses every color — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, and brown. (If you have kids, they will love this idea.)

Recipe Ideas to Inspire You to Add Color and Variety to Your Meals

Below are several colorful recipes to help you eat the rainbow. In fact, each one of the recipes below includes at least five colors from the rainbow!

Try the Garden Breakfast Wrap for a nourishing savory meal to start your day. Get a burst of flavor with each bite when you enjoy the Rainbow Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing, which is YUMMY! Let the Quinoa, Bean, and Vegetable Soup (any veggies you have on hand go well here!) comfort and satisfy you. And experience a meal that’s almost too pretty to eat when you make (and eat!) the Thai Peanut Rainbow Noodles. Then blend colorful fruits, veggies, and seeds together to create the beautiful Autumn Sunrise Smoothie (yes, indeed, it looks like a stunning sunrise!). Share your colorful, culinary experience with us!

Garden Breakfast Wrap: One of the beautiful things about this wrap is that you can use any veggies from your fridge or growing from your garden to make it your own. Beginning the day with leafy greens, like kale, collards, or romaine, is the perfect way to jump-start your morning with nutrition. Once you spread the hummus on your green wrap, start adding your favorite veggies — and get ready for some creamy crunch to stimulate your palate and a variety of nutrients to energize your body!

Rainbow Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing: One way to uplevel just about any meal is to add a delicious and nutritious plant-based dressing or sauce. Carrot Ginger Dressing is bursting with flavor while adding healing carotenoids from the carrots, gingerol from the ginger, and prebiotic fiber from the shallots. Not to mention, the dressing is over-the-top scrumptious! Drizzle it over dark leafy greens, like kale, then add all of your favorite colorful veggies like radish, cucumber, beets, and avocado. Or, get creative by using any veggies growing in your backyard or that you need to use from the fridge!

Quinoa, Bean, and Vegetable Soup: Yellow onion, red bell pepper, orange carrots, and green spinach add to the rainbow of colors in this comforting and satisfying soup. If you truly want to fulfill all of the colors of the rainbow then swap out either the kidney or white beans for black beans (which are actually purple!) and add organic blue corn to the veggie mix. If you want to wow your family and friends through a colorful table then serve this soup at your next dinner party!

Thai Peanut Rainbow Noodles: Raw, colorful veggie noodles bring this dish to life. What’s more, it can add vitality to your life when you enjoy its nutrient-dense, health-building ingredients! Enjoy the crunch, savor the flavor, and observe all the beauty that plant-based foods offer.

Autumn Sunrise Smoothie: While this smoothie may not be exactly like a rainbow, it certainly looks like a pretty sunrise! Beets, pomegranate, and blood orange give it a beautiful purple-red hue while pineapple, mango, and carrot give it a stunning orange-yellow hue. Stir in a handful of blended blueberries and leafy greens to see all colors of the rainbow in one tasty smoothie. And, if you do, please snap a photo and share it with us!

How to Learn to Love Vegetables and Fruits

If you grew up eating only a few fruits and vegetables, you might not have developed an appreciation for produce. But don’t worry. You can retrain your taste buds to love broccoli, kale, and beets!

Here’s what you can do for yourself and your kids:

Step 1: Avoid processed food with lots of meat, cheese, salt, sugar, and fat. These foods overstimulate your taste buds and put you into the Pleasure Trap, making fresh fruits and vegetables taste boring in comparison.

Step 2: Try new vegetables and fruits over and over again in different ways. It can take 12–18 tastes to acquire a taste for new food. So, if you once hated arugula or mushrooms, that’s OK. Try again in a different recipe. You might surprise yourself.

Share your family’s favorite fruits and vegetables!

3 Vegetable Plants for Busy Gardeners

We know that there are lots of busy gardeners out there. You’re trying to get fresh food on the table, but you have all these other priorities as well. There’s always lots going on.

What’s the easiest thing to grow when you’re busy? In this video, Stacey shares three crops she likes to grow and why she grows them together.

Grow greens with ease and enjoy fresh food even when you are busy!

We love to hear from you! Share your busy gardener tips below!

[Recipe] Pizza Sandwiches!

Curiosity in the kitchen is a fun way to connect with kids and inspire their creativity! Join your favorite young person in the kitchen and start creating!

This fun recipe is both a really tasty treat and a fun experience to share with the whole family. It’s quite simple to prepare, so it’s a great meal to create with family and friends of all ages. In fact, this sandwich is inspired by the first dinner I ever remember making when I was probably six or seven years old, and it has stuck with me long enough to write this for you!

Preparation & Cook Time: Around 30-35 minutes
Yield: Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients:

• Sourdough Baguette
• Pizza Sauce (*Some suggestions for store-bought options are in the notes below)
• Pizza Toppings of your choosing!

• Pepperoni or other cured meats, sweet peppers, parmesan cheese, and basil is a great combination for those who consume meat!
• Sweet and/or hot peppers, basil, parmesan cheese, and tofu or mushrooms is a great meat-free combination for this dish!
• For a vegan combination, my suggestion is sweet and/or hot peppers, basil, and tofu tossed with olive oil, black pepper, and a dash of salt! Plus nutritional yeast, if you would like.

• Olive Oil, 1 Tablespoon
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste (fresh-cracked)

Steps of Preparation:

1. Start by preheating your oven to 350°F – 400°F (or 176°C – 204°C°C°C).

2. Cut the baguette lengthwise into three roughly equal pieces. Cut each of these sections in half like you would for an open faced sandwich.

3. Pour the olive oil onto a plate, and wipe the oil up with the halves of bread until they each have a glaze of oil. Add more oil as you go if necessary. Oil helps toast the bread as it bakes in the oven, but also allows you to toast the inside of your bread in a pan before loading it with toppings if you want extra crunch!

4. We are now ready to load our toppings! Start with the pizza sauce and finish with the cheese, salt, and black pepper. I suggest layering softer herbs like basil under other ingredients that need more cooking, such as sweet peppers, or even adding your soft herbs after the cooking is finished.

5. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil. Arrange your sandwich halves on the sheet tray with space between each of them.

6. Move this sheet tray to the oven to bake until nice and toasty! Bake for roughly 10-20 minutes based on the ingredients used and your preference for char.

7. Once they are as roasted as you’d like, use an oven mitt to remove the sheet tray from the oven. Set the tray on a heat-safe surface such as the cooking range or a trivet.

8. Next, you can add any seasonings you like. A few examples to choose from include chili flakes, balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, extra virgin olive oil, barbecue sauce, or whatever you like with your pizza!

9. Put the two halves back together, and enjoy your sandwich!

Notes:

• Recommended store-bought brands of pizza sauce:

• Most store bought-brands of pizza sauce will be great for your pizza sandwiches. Explore the options and find your favorite!

• Of course, organic tomato sauces generally will both be better in flavor and nourishment and also come with a slightly higher price point.

• Check your local farmers market!

• Making your own is quite straightforward. I recommend it for the height of tomato season!

• It is also an option to simply slightly cook down spaghetti sauce for a tasty and convenient pizza sauce for those who already have that on hand.

Attention all gardeners! We have a BRAND NEW Kids Micro Course available!

Five reasons to check out the BRAND NEW Micro Course for Kids:

🍅 Introduce veggies to even the pickiest palates
🌽 Build movement skills that will help kids gain strength and confidence
🥕 Help kids get ahead in school–plant knowledge is part of Next Generation Science Standards!
💖 Strengthen your bond with them by sharing what you love
🌍 Develop kids’ respect for the natural world…and help create a better future for our planet