- Alex Podolinsky, Bio-Dynamic Pioneer
The Importance Of Soil Structure

Humus is the Natural Food for Plants.
Loss of soil structure results in the loss of Humus.

Modern Science has no testing method for Humus – which is a living substance.
Tests of Organic Matter or Carbon are different to Humus.

Most of the Agricultural Soils on Earth today have lost soil structure due to the management methods that are used.
As a result, these soils no longer contain the natural food that a plant requires.
Such plants are dependent on the application of fertilizers for their nutritional requirements.

Under Australian DEMETER Bio-Dynamic Management, the whole focus of the farmer is to develop and maintain the soil structure of their farm.
This was the original meaning of the word AGRI-CULTURE (soil-culture).
By achieving soil structure, the farmer allows the plant to feed on food natural to them – HUMUS.

Plants feed from humus in a very special way.
It is a complex system, but can be somewhat understood if we realize that for plants,
the need to take in pure water is somewhat similar to our need to breath in air - if we stop breathing, we die.
When a plant is in leaf, it must continuously take in pure water to allow a transpiration process to occur, or else die (…breathing).
And just as the activity of breathing and of feeding are two separate processes for humans, so it should be for plants.
With plants, feeding is an activity directly related to Sun Warmth, because unlike humans and animals, plants do not have their own warmth organization.
Plants are entirely governed by Sun Warmth. When the Sun Warmth stimulates the plant, it responds by sending white hair roots into humus to feed.
As soon as the Sun withdraws and it is cooler, these roots slow down or cease feeding. In this situation, a plant never eats too much.
All that the plant takes up is assimilated within itself. Under these natural conditions, the mineral element nitrogen for example,
is assimilated and appears as a nutritious protein.
This is the plant feeding process that Nature designed.
If plants are grown on a soil that has no structure, then there is no humus (natural plant food) available to them.
When fertilizers are applied for the basic nutrient requirements of these plants, the fertilizers dissolve into the soil water,
as there is no humus present to incorporate the nutrients from these added fertilizers. Such nutrients remain in the soil water.
Under these conditions, when the plant takes in its water requirements (breathing) the plant must also take up the soluble nutrients,
irrespective of whether the Sun Warmth has directed it to feed or not.
Where this situation – which is not Sun regulated – occurs, not all of the nutrients that have been taken up with the soil water can be assimilated by the plant.
In this case, again using the element nitrogen as example, the nitrogen is not transformed into protein, but remains in the plant as nitrate elements.
Unassimilated elements within a plant result in low food quality, with poor nutritional value.
The situation of unassimilated elements within a plant can also arise when organic or biological farming is understood as simply applying animal manures or other organic substances in place of artificial fertilizers. Organic fertilizers work, basically, along the same lines as water soluble artificial fertilsers.
Only when application of manures or organic fertilizers is undertaken with the understanding and management to incorporate them into soil humus,
will the plants not be force fed.
Humus and Soil Structure are the basis of Organic Manuring within the organization of Nature.
They are fundamental to the Australian DEMETER Bio-Dynamic Method