Permaculture Designers Manual
CHAPTER 8 – WATER IN PERMACULTURE
Section 8.5 –
Soil and Water Elements in Permaculture
Of the 103 known elements, only some are commonly dealt with in the literature on soils and water.
Soil itself is predominantly composed of aluminum, silica, iron, and (in certain shell, sand, or limestone areas) calcium.
Only mineral ore deposits have large quantities of other elements.
The modified form of the periodic table is given below and a more extensive annotation on specific elements is given in Table 8.1.
It is essential that designers in any field have a basic knowledge of nutrients, poisons, and tolerable or essential levels of trace elements in food, water, and the built environment.
The health of plants, animals, and the environment of soils and buildings are all dependent on the balance of elements, radioactive substances, radiation generally, and water quality.
Of particular concern in recent times is the level of radioactives in clays, bricks, paints, and stone, and both the emissions from domestic appliances (TV, microwave ovens) and microwave radiation from TV transmission and power lines.
Thus, the annotations in Table 8.1 cover a range of topics, including short comments on human health.
In this case we are using the periodic table not as an aid to chemistry but as a guide to understanding the role of the elements in soil, water, plants and animal tissue, and nutrition.
The colour-coding and the dots on the periodic table, plus the following annotations of elements give some of their known effects on soil, plant, and animal health, or their special uses.