ANDI, the SOM of Garden building
Soil Organic Material or SOM is the foundation where the plants we grow get their nutrition. These nutrients are locked away within the plant fibers until it is broken down and ultimately released. This release is accomplished by the various de-constructors that live within the soil. We looked at them in the blog "Beneath the Surface".
Each of these various agents are created to aid in the decomposition of the plants to release what some refer to as the ANDI or “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.” As each plant grows, it absorbs certain nutrients from the previous generation of decomposing plant life that make it the plant it becomes.
This ANDI scoring was designed by a Dr. Fuhrman, to try to figure out the plants that had the optimum nutrients for good human health. Dr. Fuhrman based his ANDI scores on thirty-four important nutritional parameters for human growth. The higher the concentration of these thirty-four nutrients the higher the score. At the top end of this scale is the leafy green vegetables.
If we look at the ANDI scale, we can see why we want to have our SOM to have as much diversity as possible. Each plant will draw more or less of the various nutrients from the surrounding SOM.
Based on the ANDI Scale, Kale as a plant has a score of 1000, which means that it contains the highest amount of the thirty-four nutrients for proper human development, per Dr. Fuhrman. So, if all we use for our SOM, is Ice berg lettuce, which has an ANDI score of 127, we are limiting what nutrients that are available for the Kale to absorb.
Look at it this way, if a plant needs 35 mg of a certain nutrient to be fully nutritious, but only has 25 mg of that nutrient available, it not only becomes less nutritious but also becomes more susceptible to disease.
Over the past fifty years or so, we have limited the diversity of plants that are allowed to decompose in our fields, which includes the various "Weeds". By eliminating these "weeds through the application of the various weed killers, we limit the the nutrients that are available. Because of this scenario we have had to implement the chemical process to add back in what once was available via natural decomposition.
I am sure that this is partially the reason that Donald Davis and his research team in 2004 found; “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century." 
Lets give our plants a better SOM by increasing the ANDI we provide.
#ANDI #SOM #Nutrient #decomposition