29 Feb New chapter for REMIN (Scotland) Ltd
INTRODUCTION: This news is written exactly as it is – just as I’ve written all REMIN news when things are happening, fast! Following a discussion over the always welcome hog roast supper at Four Oaks Trade Show 2019 with Alan Frost, founder and owner with his son Paul Frost, of Agralan Ltd and Agralan Growers it turns out we had, indeed, hit on a winning formula. REMIN (Scotland) Ltd has now set up a business partnership with Agralan, starting from January 2020.
Our first joint event was The Garden Press Event 2020 in London, an event that I have exhibited this product at, on occasions, since 2012. Corona virus was just finding its way into the headlines and I chose the Caledonian Sleeper train, Stonehaven to Euston Station, for travel. Very comfortable it was too, with train engine and carriage movement reminding me of my work on a North Sea platform! Anyway, one of the journalists we met at the well-attended event was Neil Pope, Editor of Garden Trade News . Neil subsequently sent me a list of questions on REMIN. He must have asked the right thing at the right time, as I have found the words flying off my fingertips. As it turns out however, due to the virus, he is expecting a delay in printing the next issue of his magazine and so he has kindly given the OK to publish my answers / news on REMIN website. Here we go:
How does REMIN Volcanic Rock Dust work in favour of gardeners?
Does it sound crazy to say the answer to this is so simple and so basic that it is hard to understand? REMIN (for short) contains all 17 essential minerals and trace elements required for healthy soil and compost. You need healthy soil to grow healthy and nutritious crops. These minerals boost the essential soil food web, the latter as so well described on Soil Food Web website. REMIN makes this incredible army better able to extract the minerals, that we rely on for good health, both from our soil and from REMIN itself. This MINERALS / MICROBES partnership in our soil and compost has been over-looked in modern crop production and yet I truly believe it is our critical and sustainable route back to our good health.
What are REMIN benefits in a garden situation (its properties etc)?
Every time we take a crop out of the soil, a tiny percentage of that crop is minerals and trace elements. It is now well documented that most fertilisers only put back N P and K / nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium and very little else and furthermore that these fertilisers damage soil life. By adding REMIN, growers find this reverses the downward spiral of chemical growing as their plants become healthier, with a higher yield and requiring less pesticides and herbicides. The REMIN testimonials speak for themselves.
Who discovered that volcanic rock dust could help to improve soil condition?
Remineralize the Earth movement founded in America, now with a worldwide network, has pioneered the understanding of the benefits of adding rock dust to soil and compost. Going back further, pioneering Scot, John Muir who emigrated to America from Dunbar and helped establish America’s National Parks, shows in books that he well understood how “God’s Glacial Mills” ie glaciers, crushed volcanic rock and spread the rock’s minerals along the glaciers inexorable tracks. He tells us that the largest growing plants on the earth, the Giant Redwoods in Yellowstone Park, follow the paths of the glaciers and that their exceptional growth was thanks to the nutrients the glaciers deposited along their way.
How has Newcastle University helped to enhance / grow the product?
The partnership with Newcastle University is thanks to a phone call I received in January 2018 from their Professor of Soil Science, David Manning . REMIN has long wanted to address the lack of scientific understanding and research into role of Minerals and Microbes and their interactions in soil. Whilst we have a growing army of satisfied REMIN users “the scientists” have so much more they need to investigate before they properly understand our soil and, critically, the key central role that soil, given a chance, can play in addressing climate change. So, with Professor Manning’s backing, Newcastle University brings the scientific support that enables us to state that by adding REMIN to our soil and compost we are sustainable capturing carbon in our soil. Yes, by adding carbon we are CARBON CAPTURE GARDENING, a feature further explained below. This is one vital piece of the jigsaw we at last have firmly in place.
Where do you source the volcanic rock dust?
At present, REMIN is sourced from one Scottish quarry and the quarry has asked that we do not circulate its name as they wish to supply this market only via REMIN (Scotland) Ltd.
Do you have to do anything with it before it is bagged up for the consumer?
Great question! We do absolutely nothing to organically certified REMIN before bagging it for the consumer. We merely ensure that the material is freshly crushed and finely screened. As described later in this article, this rock is all the more reactive when it is freshly crushed. Anywhere in the world with volcanic soil, ie soil in the vicinity of geologically recent volcanic activity, is known as having very rich soil – this is thanks to the minerals the rock adds and, as explained, the microbes it stimulates. REMIN is also a very ancient rock. When this rock first came onto the surface of planet earth, over 360 million years ago, there was not even vertebrate life on the land. I love the fact that REMIN has remained there, silently, throughout the millennia and is only now releasing its minerals to us – just when we need them the most. To be sure, the bare rock drops from the crushers in the quarry into the back of the lorry that takes it to the bagging plants or in bulk loads direct to the farmers fields. Growers can be confident that when they get their organically certified REMIN they are getting the real McCoy!
You use words ’carbon capture gardening’ in your marketing material – what does that actually mean?
To answer this question properly it is important to understand the difference between organic carbon and inorganic carbon. Organic carbon is carbon that forms part of living tissue. Carbon is the backbone of DNA, our own bodies are over 20% carbon. So as REMIN helps grow the life in the soil, ie grow the bacteria that the earthworms live on, and the rest of the soil food web, REMIN also helps boost the crops that the soil produces. REMIN is therefore boosting the carbon captured in the soils living organisms, ie the soil food web and the crops the soil produces. Yes, in both cases, this carbon comes from the greenhouse gas, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).
Inorganic carbon is different however as it has never formed part of a living tissue. What Newcastle University brings to the table is the fact that REMIN, in its natural freshly crushed form captures atmospheric CO2 on a quantifiable basis. A bit like iron goes rusty naturally as it forms iron oxide, so REMIN weathers naturally and captures atmospheric CO2 in the process. Newcastle University now gives us the scientific backing to be able to state by adding REMIN to soil and compost we are capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. What is more we can say this on a quantified basis. For every tonne of REMIN added to soil, gardeners, farmers and landscape architects alike are capturing between 70kg to 250kg of carbon dioxide in the soil. We are already finding the scientific recognition of this aspect of REMIN is helping growers understand its benefit and so boost sales, especially amongst professional growers. This is just the start of the journey however. Now that we have the scientific proof, we need to persuade our politicians, and businesses interested in carbon off-setting, that how we manage our soils, inclusive of regenerative agricultural practices, and adding REMIN, has got a significant part to play in tackling climate change.
You now work with Agralan Ltd – how does that benefit your product?
At the end of 2019 I had taken REMIN as far as I could on a solo basis. I really needed investment to realise what I believe to be REMIN’s significant still-to-be realised potential. I have known of Agralan Ltd for the last 15 years that I have been on the rock dust case. They have always been a few stands down when I have been exhibiting this product at the leading gardening shows eg GLEE and Four Oaks. Agralan Ltd, a company that specialises in products that reduce our dependence on pesticides and herbicides, is already established in a very compatible market. They are based in Southern England and with an extensive customer base and well-staffed resources, they are far more able to get the product to the retail customer. Along with Newcastle University this partnership is a second real breakthrough for REMIN (Scotland) Ltd that comes at a time when REMIN has, I believe, never been more needed!
Are you currently stocked in garden centres?
Yes, REMIN is currently stocked in garden centres. Thanks to the new partnership with Agralan Ltd, we plan to grow this market rapidly through the lead wholesalers with whom Agralan Ltd is already established.
Are you hoping to grow your distribution base?
Another massive “yes and thank you for asking!”. The plan is whilst Agralan Ltd grows the gardening market I move more into farming and professional landscape gardening markets. I exhibited REMIN at Groundswell UK , the regenerative agricultural exhibition / conference held just north of London for the last 2 years and gave a presentation last year. Groundswell delegates are keen to break out of the downward spiral that the chemical fertiliser market has led them and to which they have been held hostage for too long. With the help of Agralan I hope to grow the farming market along with the landscape gardening market where new houses and businesses are developing.
If you feel there is anything not covered in the above questions, please feel free to add more information.
Thanks to the new partnership with Agralan Ltd I can be freed up to help our politicians realise that the solution to stabilising climate change lies in our soil. Take a listen here to CHARLES MASSY’s TED talk on this issue, Mr Massey being the key note speaker at the afore mentioned 2019 Groundswell exhibition along with ALLAN SAVORY, ALLAN SAVORY’S TWITTER . Soil has far more capacity to absorb carbon than can ever be achieved by planting trees. There is a movement in France, 4 per 1000, that states if we can increase soil carbon by as little as 0.4% we can stabilise climate change in 10 years. If we are serious about climate change, farmers need to be paid to increase the carbon in their soil, yes, CARBON CREDITS – not just to plant trees that will may ultimately be turned into fuel. Here’s the bit folks…. this is maybe a bit ahead of its time, but to turn things round, as we need now, more than ever before, we need to pay farmers to GROW OUR SOIL!
There is work ongoing in Jersey in the Channel Islands, where another key contact, Glyn Mitchell has set up The Credible Food Project that is working to be a catalyst between companies interested carbon off-setting investing in farmers who he is working with to capture carbon in their soil.
Last but not least, I am writing this the week we learn Chelsea Flower Show, where REMIN was going to make its debut, has been cancelled and the country is going into lock down because of the Corona virus. It is fundamental to why I have made a slave of myself to the cause of REMIN for the last 15 years that, as well as climate change, REMIN has a part to play in improving our health and integral to this is improving our immune system. What comes through time and again in REMIN testimonials is that growers are finding their crops less susceptible to pests and diseases. Some find it has cured everything from their susceptibility to greenfly, to white rot in their onions and club root in their brassicas.
It is well documented by McCance and Widdowson that our food has less minerals and trace elements in it than it did in our grandparents’ time. REMIN, whilst it is not an instant fix, over time can help put them back and, I believe improve the nutritious value of our food.
Of course, I am NOT saying REMIN is the solution to corona virus, an ailment that has succeeded in upstaging even climate change for the time being, but I would like to leave the last word to Les Jackson. As you see from the REMIN website Mr Jackson was Entry 9 in the REMIN 2019 Testimonial competition and he tells us: “Because the soil is healthier (with REMIN) it helps to strengthen the plants Immune System. Myself having been in hybridisation for many years now, I know that a strong immune system will keep virus at bay. Remember viruses are everywhere – they are in the soil, transponded by the air and on your hands, so the plants need to be strong when you handle them.”
Little were we to know in 2019 what was waiting in store in for 2020. How profoundly true do Mr Jackson’s words about viruses ring now from what he said back then, as he rounded up from his life’s work in horticulture.
Jennifer A Brodie, Director, REMIN (Scotland) Ltd
email@example.com t. 01330 820914 m. 07715 707009
20th March, 2020