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Re: [SANET-MG] BBC NEWS | UK | England | Tyne/Wear | Researchers hail organic potatoes
While we're at it we might as well put together a complete list of all
growth promoting, disease preventing, nitrogen-fixing, soil health and
invertebrates and other organisms. Elaine has a list of 7 of the most
We could use them as primary categories to build on.
I am probably a great disappointment to others in my profession of biologist
but I have so far not had too much interest in species specific
relationships in soil. We know there are at least 25.000 (maybe 40.000)
different species of micro organism in an average spoonful of soil. The
number of possible relationships between all these organisms is a bit too
complex for my purpose (which was growing potatoes organically in Ireland
without having problems with blight).
My reasoning was that there was probably some organism in all that lot that
would live on Phytophtora infestans (blight) and that would thus protect
potato crops from this disease if only it were plentiful enough.
To get it plentiful I grew blight prone potato varieties and let the
diseased plant-parts rot in situ then planted more potatoes on top that I
left in the ground over the wettest winter imaginable.
As I explained before on this list (it is slightly more complex than the
very shortened story here) I have been able to grow potatoes absolutely
blight free for at least 15 years now. Whether my guardian angel organism is
Pisolithus tinctorius I doubt because we don't have "dog-turd-mushrooms"
here at all.
I was interested in growing healthy potatoes in the first place for my own
family and that has been successful but to get rich out of potato blight it
is necessary to come up with specific names so that patents can be secured.
That I will gladly leave to someone else for I can see a few other
priorities in my life.
Wishing you every success though,
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