Rock wool waste will be there for a little slice of eternity, a big reason to start organic farming

This is only a preamble to the book “The Organic Grow Book” from Karel Schelfhout and Michiel Panhuysen.

Short biography about the author; Karel Schelfhout told by his co-author Michael Panhuysen. How did his interest in organic gardening begin? And how this has started a journey through organic farming from which there has been no turning back.

Karel was born to a family of farmers in the western part of the Netherlands called Zeeland. In his village, just about every household had a kitchen garden. He grew up eating vegetables harvested from the family garden.

When he was eighteen, Karel left for The Hague. Once in the big city, he found himself yearning to grow things. He was particularly interested in cultivating a particular species of fast-growing dioecious, to annual, which he always grew indoors. Along with a friend, he applied techniques garnered from commercial greenhouse horticulture, such as rock-wool substrates, synthetic fertilizers, and artificial lighting.

As Karel’s indoor growing career took off, he developed it by selecting and producing seeds at a professional scale. He was so famous in the early 1980s that his expertise is still renowned to this day in certain growers’ circles. At the time, Karel’s success was based on the use of chemical fertilizers.

But around 2007 he read several articles alerting him to the disastrous consequences of synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

The production of chemical fertilizers requires a significant amount of energy.

Worse still, these chemicals cause harm to the organisms that natu-rally live in soil, such as bacteria, fungi, monads and nematodes.

These microorganisms play a key role in breaking down animal and plant matter and transforming it into substances that plants can use. Artificial fertilizers weaken the root system and increase plant vulnerability, thus creating a vicious circle, because to battle plant diseases ever more toxic chemicals are used.

These microorganisms play a key role in breaking down animal and plant matter and transforming it into substances that plants can use. Artificial fertilizers weaken the root system and increase plant vulnerability, thus creating a vicious circle, because to battle plant diseases ever more toxic chemicals are used.

In agricultural areas that have been subjected toy ears of sustained use of chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides, soil vitality is extremely reduced. Karel began to realize that dependence on chemicals was a dead end. A complete about-face led him to become an organic gardener.

All rights reserved by © Mama Editions and available at www.mamapublishing.com; English, American English, German, Spanish, as well as the original, French Edition.

Luz Arroyo
Author: Luz Arroyo