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You need Nitrogen (N), Phosphates (P) and Potassium (K). So how do you get all these things for good soil when the store isn't available?

manure, plants, animal tissue, soil rotation. Beans replenish Nitrogen and wheat and corn take it away
animal bone remains, plant remains (vegetable mold)
potash (this is a lot tougher but absolutely essential). Run water slowly through the ashes of burned wood and boiling down the solution in large kettles. The residue, a white solid is called potash because it was made from ashes in pots. The potash obtained form leaching can be used to prepare soap as well. Potassium is never found by itself, but it can be prepared from the mineral sylvite found principally in New Mexico. Some nitrates containing saltpeter also contain potassium. For those of you who didn't think you needed wood, you do.

Offered by John.