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Experimenting with Magic Energy from Nature:



"Nature's Secret Force of Growth," known and used by the ancients, Paramagnetism has been rediscovered and made known by a "true" natural scientist, Dr. Phillip S. Callahan. I first heard Dr. Callahan talk about these magical rocks and their secret powers at an Acres U.S.A. conference, and soon after, I began collecting and studying volcanic rocks that contain this mysterious force.

Paramagnetism is a low-level energy, physical force that has shown to have beneficial effects on all forms of life.

Because of our organic farm and compost business, we make and sell all kinds of natural farming, gardening and horticultural supplies. I am constantly searching for, trying, and testing new products. In the past forty years, I have tested many widgets, gadgets, foofoo dusts and snake oils. Some were worth­less, most worked some times, under some conditions, few worked consistently.

Paramagnetic rocks and sand have shown more consistent results under more conditions than anything I have ever used, other than compost. Paramagnetic rocks and compost complement each other. They will both work alone, but I have found that each works much better when they are used together.

We blend a product using paramagnetic rock and sand, including zeolite collected from four volcanic deposits, plus the addition of a high iron greensand to balance the minerals. We have labeled this blend "Volcanite." It reads 2000+ on the PC meter. Below are some tests comparing Volcanite with controls.


TEST #1 - Six cactus plants grown in potting soil; six cactus plants grown in straight Volcanite and six cactus plants in 60% Volcanite and 40% potting soil. By 3 months, the six cactus in the 60/40 mix averaged 50% bigger and healthier than the other 12 plants. The potting soil was 40% compost.


TEST #2 - Two plastic trays 20 inches by 26 inches by 6 inches deep were filled with soil contaminated with a hormone herbicide. One tray contained contaminated potting soil; the other contained contaminated potting soil plus Volcanite. Beans were planted in each tray. The merged plants in both trays soon showed evidence of the herbicide. The plants in both struggled along with distorted leaves that were yellowish and they grew very little. They continued in this shape for five weeks. Then the tray that had the Volcanite in the mix started to green up, grow, and was soon blooming and producing beans even though you could still see some herbicide distortion. The tray without the Volcanite never did green up; the plants grew very little and never bloomed.

TEST #3 - Four tomato plants were planted in a raised bed containing Volcanite in the soil. Fourteen more tomato plants of the same age and variety were planted nearby in the garden soil containing no Volcanite. All the plants were blooming and setting fruit when a late cold northern hit with a high wind, dropping temperatures well below freezing. All the leafed-out trees, shrubs and other plants were severely damaged. All of the tomato plants were killed, except the four in the soil containing Volcanite. This test is too good to be true. However, I can find no other factor contributing to their survival. Those four plants were completely untouched, as if a freeze had never occurred. You can bet I will be trying to duplicate this experiment! Just think what this could do for the citrus industry if we can learn to give trees 3 to 4 degrees of cold tolerance and at the same time have a natural supply of minerals constantly becoming available that could last for years from just one application of volcanic rock.


TEST #4 - Seven one-gallon nursery containers were used. All were filled with potting soil. Two were used as controls. The other five had different rates of Volcanite added. Radishes were planted in each and thinned to six plants per pot. The five pots with the different ratios of Volcanite all grew about the same. The two controls were only about 5% smaller. When all the fruit was about nickel-size, the growth of the two controls stopped and on close inspection, I noticed the underside of the leaves were covered with aphids. All seven pots were in a row with the leaves touching. The two controls were in the middle. None of the five Volcanite plants had aphids or got aphids until weeks later when the plants were old and going down hill.


TEST #5 - Four of the plastic trays were filled with potting soil. Volcanite was mixed in trays #1 and #4. All four trays were planted with an equal amount of rye seed. Trays #1 and #2 were watered with electric treated water. (Electric water is supposed to make plants grow better and keep calcium from building up in the soil.) Tray #3 was used as the control. Tray #4 with Volcanite and regular water did the best by doubling the amount of grass growing in the control tray. Tray #1 was second best, but grew only about 30% bigger than the control. The electric water seemed to cancel some of the Volcanite's benefits. Tray #2 was only about 5% better than the control.


I have since done many other tests. Never was there a negative result. All tests, in pots or in the garden, always showed better growth, less insect damage, and better color in the leaves and the blooms when Volcanite was used. The plants seemed to withstand stress of all types better.

Other people were given some of the Volcanite to try. Among them were a rose grower, retired County ag agent, a PhD, and a commercial native plant grower. All did tests against controls and all reported amazing results.


Naturally, I had to have one of the first PC meters that Bob Pike and Dr. Callahan designed. It is my favorite toy, and I am always testing rocks. On a trip to the area of Enchanted Rock, north of San Antonio, I collected chips flaking off the giant granite rocks, some of the decaying granite in the creek beds, and some fresh chips from the very center of giant granite boulders being cut with a diamond saw. The center of the granite boulders measured 325 on the PC meter; the flaking chips from the outer edge measured 144; and the old decaying granite measures 124. This indicates that paramagnetic rocks could lose the magnetism with exposure, but I would assume this loss would be an extremely slow process.

Some lava sands register only 180 on the PC meter, but sand that looks identical from different locations registered five to ten times higher. I wonder if they could be a million or so years difference in their ages? Also, why does zeolite, a volcanic ash, read low on the meter? I have tested zeolite from three different locations. The highest tested only 47, with the lowest testing 02 on the PC meter. Fred Walters sent me some volcanic ash he picked up on the roadside that was blown out when Mt. St. Helen erupted. It is similar to some of the zeolites I tested, but the fresh St. Helen ash tested over 2,000. My meter reads to 2,000 and it hit at least that level. It would be interesting to expose this ash to air and annual test to see if it loses power, If it does, how fast?

Even though the paramagnetism of volcanic zeolite may be very low, even minus on the meter, it still is very valuable in growing plants. Zeolite has a very high "Cation Exchange Capacity" (CEC). Cations include calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, ammonium and other minerals that are necessary to plant growth and health. However, these minerals are not available to plants without a chemical process called "Cation Exchange."

Zeolite contributes to this chemical process by giving soil the power to hold base or positive-charged plant nutrients in the soil, especially sandy soils and light potting mixes. When the microbes break down the proteins in organic fertilizers, they release ammonia, a form of nitrogen. Ammonium is a Cation, so is calcium and potassium. All of these nutrients could quickly be lost from soils low in clay and organic matter. Zeolite can hold these nutrients in the warehouse, you might say, until the growing plants need them. I have done numerous tests with volcanic zeolite. Every test I did with zeolite gave good results. I know a researcher who got a grant to study zeolite for two years. He never got any results and gave up. I suspect he was using a chemical form of nitrogen, which was an anion instead of a cation.

If a rock can lose its paramagnetism, can it regain it? Out of curiosity I was testing some pieces of brick and broken commode one day and found them both paramagnetic. I didn't know if the clay they were baked from was already paramagnetic. We grind new but broken red clay pipe to make an aggregate that makes a decorative ground cover. The company that makes the pipe is south of San Antonio and in an area where red clay is abundant. The red clay tests 0 to 4 on the PC meter. The pipe baked from the clay reads 75 to 100.

At one of our compost locations, we collect old and broken wood pallets to be ground into a mulch. Over 20,000 had accumulated in one pile. Before we had a chance to grind them, they caught on fire during a time when we had 40 -50 mph dry north wind. Needless to say, they all burned up real fast, making an extremely hot fire. The black clay soil down-wind of the fire was burnt to a rock, in fact, it looked like rusty lava rock. This burnt soil tested 329 on the PC meter, while the unburned soil nearby only tested 21. High temperatures must cause paramagnetism. My rich garden soil, however, that has been getting lots of manure, cover crops, and compost reads 138 on the PC meter, while the field nearby that receives less organic material reads only 90. Neither field has ever had paramagnetic rock or sand applied to it. The compost we make reads minus 2 on the PC meter. In his book, Callahan mentioned that oxygen is paramagnetic. On the internet, some researcher reported the earthworms and even microbes can make soil paramagnetic. More reasons for the organic way of growing!

At our mill, we make two types of organic fertilizer. The first type contains two formulas made from food and feed-grade proteins that we run through a 1/8 inch pelleting die to granulate it. The other type contains two formulas blended from VIVO (sludge) that was made into hard, small beads or prells using extremely high temperatures. The pelleted fertilizer reads 7 on the PC meter. The fertilizer made from the VIVO with high temperatures reads 40 on the PC meter. At present I am experimenting with upping the PC and mineral value of both formulas with volcanic materials.

I have used all ratios of Volcanite mixed into the soil and/or spread on top of the soil. It works either way, but mixed into the root zone, it gives plants extra minerals more quickly. Tests have shown volcanic rock from different locations to contain different minerals. Our Volcanite blend is working well, however, I am constantly seeking to improve it. It may be that different blends may be needed for different parts of the country. Blending could be a whole new science.

As far as the best amount to use, I am still not sure. I have learned that more is not always better. Each situation seems to be a little different. In the root zone of the tomatoes in test #3, 1 used about 4 lbs. per plant. When growing in containers, I used 1-3 tablespoons per gallon of soil mix. Maybe more would have done better, or perhaps less would have done just as well. From all of my testing and experimenting, I learned a lot. I learned mostly how much I still don't know. What an exciting future. One thing I am sure of, however, is that volcanic rock and paramagnetism deserve a prominent place in agriculture.

Volcanite: A New and Enchanting Product


Nature has been re-mineralizing the soils of the earth through volcanic eruptions since the very beginning. One result of this process is the creation of paramagnetic rocks.  Volcanite contains five different, highly paramagnetic crushed volcanic rocks, including zeolite, plus glauconite-a sedimentary mineral-rich sandstone commonly called greensand. Volcanite reads 1900 to 2000 paramagnetism on the Phil Callahan PC meter. Most agricultural soil in the San Antonio area will read 12 to 25. The soil near volcanoes will read 600 to 700. Lava rock reads up to 850. Some rock formations in the core of volcanoes can read 3800 and up.


Directions for Use: 

  • Use 40 to 80 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft., tilled into the garden or as a top dressing on lawns. 
  • In potting mixes, use up to 50 percent of mix if desired. Or may be used 100 percent as a cactus mix. However, one tablespoon added to each gallon of soil mix has shown good results.
  • In commercial container mixes, 25 lbs . per cubic yard has been found to be ideal and economical.
  • Lab testing has shown there are no concentration of heavy metals in any of the rocks or sand blended in Volcanite.
  • On the farm or ranch, apply 1000 to 2000 lbs. per acre. When applied at heavy rates, the benefits last indefinitely.


The Garden-Ville Method - Lessons in Nature


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last updated:  March 6, 2004