Re: [tomato] blights

Olin (
Wed, 28 Apr 1999 10:20:37 -0700

My objective was to point out that the narrow technical definitions of
organic chemistry did not necessarily carry through to the definitions of
commonly accepted  "organic" gardening practices.  I would concede there
seems to be a fair amount of hair-splitting as to which compounds and
practices are or are not "organic".

As to rock dust, I have no idea as to it's "organic" gardening
acceptability.  It is not available locally and would be inappropriate to
our desert alkaline soil.


 -----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Giannou <>
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, April 28, 1999 9:45 AM
Subject: Re: [tomato] blights

>Dear Olin,
>So, it might be "safe to say" that organic could embody something that is
>not "chemically formulated."  I've been looking at a Rock Dust product...
>it's a fine powder made from volcanic rock.  The WSDA fertilizer division
>wants a chemical analysis by certain EPA standards so they can see the
>metal content of the product.  Since the manufacturer says the application
>of their product is cumulative and their analysis shows there are small
>amounts of heavy metals present, I have more than a little concern about
>putting their product on soils year after year.  They say their product
>works well with tomatoes.  It can be dusted onto the leaves and washed off
>after 24 hours and/or mixed into the soil.  This kind of product certainly
>is a natural substance and even has carbon in it.  It's NPK is 0 .003 .007.
>A couple of questions:
>Would you call Rock Dust an Organic product?
>Has anyone out there used Rock Dust on their tomatoes?  If so, what kind of
>observable results did you obtain?  What was the brand name?
>Thomas Giannou
>Spokane, Washington
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Olin <>
>To: <>
>Date: Wednesday, April 28, 1999 8:41 AM
>Subject: Re: [tomato] blights
>>From: John Sorge <>
>>To: <>
>>Date: Tuesday, April 27, 1999 5:49 PM
>>Subject: Re: [tomato] blights
>>>Any copper fungicide is, by definition, not organic.  Organic, as I
>>>understand it, means some compound of carbon and another commonly
>>>element such as oxygen.  etc...
>>There are many "organic" gardeners who are aware of the branch of
>>concerned with carbon compounds, have also taken classes in organic and
>>inorganic chemistry, and are aware of the chemical definition of the term
>>"organic".  But most have accepted the term "organic gardening" with the
>>knowledge that the term is chemically imprecise (as applied to organic
>>chemistry) and don't get too hung up over it.  Most organic gardeners
>>practice the "organic gardening" discipline" to avoid using synthetic
>>chemicals whose harmful effects are not known and to practice
>>environmentally responsible gardening.
>>The 10th Edition of Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary lists one of
>>definitions of "organic" as":
>>"of, relating to, yielding or involving the use of food produced with the
>>use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of
>>chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or