Soil is incredibly complex. Just as with the human microbiome project, there is so much we have yet to discover. If we want to fix climate change, the answer is literally right beneath our feet. Da Vinci had it right when he said we understand the movements of the heavens better than we understand what is happening underfoot. We understand the soil at an intuitive level but not at a practical level.
These days I’m focused on the true cost of food. We have the cheapest food in the world. Food purchases make up something like 8% of our GDP. But when you start to factor in all the chronic diseases and environmental impacts—the health footprint of food—then all of a sudden we have the most expensive food in the world. Not 8% but 25% or higher. How is it we have something that is so cheap but so expensive?
Jairo describes industrial agriculture as a ‘dishonest agriculture’ robbing us of our health and proposes an alternative productive approach harnessing the power of biological mineral ferments which will allow all of us to grow cheap organic food through enhanced photosynthesis – by Harvesting the Sun.
This year’s Fashion Revolution Week just wrapped up but the movement for transparency, accountability, and shifting the norms of a harmful and wasteful industry is gaining more traction and momentum than ever.
Known as the soil health movement, it is a management philosophy centered around four simple principles: reduce or eliminate tillage, keep plant residues on the soil surface, keep living roots in the ground, and maximize diversity of plants and animals.
In the same way forts have armies to protect themselves against invaders, plants growing in disease-suppressive soil have beneficial bacteria to defend themselves against parasites…
Soil is a vital resource that the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates contributes about USD $16.5 trillion in ecosystem services annually.
It’s time to come back to earth, and to reverse scales from the mind-bogglingly large to the infinitesimally small.
For the soil is the gut – the source of nourishment – for the plants we farmers grow. And it now seems there is a vital link between the microbiome of our intestines and the microbiome of the soil.
Where does soil come from? In keeping with the big-picture perspective of this series, let’s tackle that question from the god’s-eye perspective. We can zero in on the finer points later.
I found this profile featuring myself and SFT Board member Peter Segger when cleaning out my garage last week. It appeared in the Guardian on 1st December, 1984 at a time when the UK organic movement was still in its infancy but developing strongly.
I’m just an earthworm. An earthworm in the soil of a restorative economy.