Co-authored by Lee Glenn
In a Tacoma holding pattern, waiting for Lee's return from sailing across the Pacific, I continued seeking out American heroes who are making changes in food quality. The on-going mission of our series, Farm To Fork Across America, is to broaden awareness of those involved in the betterment of food -- those changing the tide of toxic industrial farming practices for the benefit of our health and of the planet.
In that league and a man on a mission, is scientist Arthur Zeigler. His work "captures more than a century's worth of agricultural research of turning sea energy agriculture into a practical reality." His starting point: 50 percent of all species of life on earth are found in the oceans, which three dimensionally,contain 99 percent of the planet's living space. This includes plankton, the largest single biomass on earthproviding nearly 50 percent of the oxygen to our atmosphere.
Marine life contains none of chronic diseases such as cancer and arthritis found in land animals, especially man. Arthur believes that mineral deficiencies are the missing links. His technique is to feed nourishment derived from the sea to the soil that nourishes the crops that nourish us... completing a sustainable exchange. This unadulterated form of vitamins, minerals and proteins are untired treasures from the sea. Where else can you find a soup of 89 elements, natural-source minerals, 50,000+ organic substances and the related bioactivity to benefit you soil?
Arthur's product is Sea-Crop, a soil amendment mined from the ocean. I worked with Sea-Crop in a 10-month, six-crop, field trial study on an organic farm in Thermal, California -- a story in and of itself with tribulations and remarkable results: Julie's Adventures With Bio-Nutrient Soil, A Sea-Crop Story.
For the entire time, Arthur was on the other end of the telephone, confirming, reconfirming and reaffirming proper protocol procedures for a scientific soil study, as well explaining the nuances of Sea-Crop. We were two nerds in a pod, frequently going off on lengthy tangents regaling the exquisiteness of "microbialism" and its impact on the quality of food we eat.
As I'm a relative amateur in the realm of science, Author's knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness and patience made for an exciting experience instead of what could have been a dry and "what have I gotten myself into" ordeal. As you can imagine, I was looking forward to finally meeting him in person at his home in Washington state, tucked away in the wild and wooly lumber mill town of Raymond, where Nirvana played their first gig in 1987.
His wife, his son, Adam, and his grandson greeted me at his door, we gathered around the kitchen table, drinking coffee and talking shop as Arthur recounted his story. For him, it started 12 years ago when Adam fed his ill tropical fish a prequel supplement that Arthur developed from the studies of Dr. Murray Maynard. Within days the fish's health returned. For fun, Adam next tested it on orchids and within three months increased their bloom 50 percent. Arthur's other son, Aaron, tested it on a barren pear tree. The tree became so laden with fruit that five branches broke from the weight. Others tested it on dairy cows suffering from Mastitis and on chickens toxic from New Castle disease... the infections cleared.
After a few years of redesigning and testing, the Zeigler's believed they witnessed epigenetic influence on plants and microflora, especially important for microbial activity becoming multigenerational. In organic farming, microbes are the farmers within the soil, breaking down the nutrition in the soil into forms digestible by the vegetables. If microbes aren't flourishing in the soil, crops will starve; become disease prone and susceptible to viruses, fungus and insect invasion. Arthur's approach with Sea-Crop is to encourage and support a thriving microbial community.
After four years of research and development, they revealed it to the Ag business. Sea-Crop is nutrition and a probiotic for soil microbes: a sea water induced fertility for soil. Arthur has just published Seawater Concentrate for Abundant Agriculture. I'm proud to say the results of my field trial study are a part of his book.
Here in the rural Pacific Northwest, we recounted these stories and made our way through the Zeigler's family garden. We stretched our legs and relished tomatoes and basil while toasting the healthy abundance of his Sea-Crop fed edibles with homemade rhubarb apple wine. Arthur exuded a moral authority and wearing a jumpsuit, he reminding me of the Lone Ranger, a hero leading the fight against land abuse through nurturing healthy soils... then I noticed his boots: substantial support, waterproof leather sealed in perfect rubber soles, the ultimate for working long hours in the year-round rain. I had searched high and low for something like this during my farm internship. My boots had been so unsupportive that my feet, legs and back never recovered during my days off.
Arthur tuned-in to talking shoes, describing the wonders of his Georgia Romeo, low ankle boots.
"Where can I get a pair?"
"Right down the street," he replied, "Turn left and you'll see the only department store in town."
So in a tiny lumber town, in remote Washington state, I found soils-scientist Arthur Zeigler and the perfect working boots. As I drove away through the scene of broken timber on the outskirts of town, I muttered the words of Tonto, "Ke-mo sah-bee"... a trusty scout and a trusted friend.