What is wrong with our soils?

What is wrong with our soils?

A short history lesson, with the utmost respect to Joel Salatin.

1760's. The birth of our land. The third President, Thomas Jefferson, was an Agrarian. His entire wealth was built on the building and selling of crops, specifically wheat. This was a time when bread was gold, is it different today? Where does our food come from?

When we go to our local grocer and ask for a flank steak, a pork loin, a whole chicken or a bunch of cilantro, what has fed these foods? Corn. Soy. Wheat. NPK

America was born upon exploitation. We were a country of new beginnings based upon harvesting our new world. We harvested wood for building. We harvested soil for expansion yet more importantly we were building a new people, and we harvested land for crops to feed our people.

Our fertile land was quickly running out and we looked for other methods of fertility. Fertility was soon understood to be a limited resource. We started "Soil Societies" where the principle aim was to sustain production for our growing population.

As a nation of growth, we started harvesting the fertility of those near us. We took mountains of bat guano from nearby island nations, we recycled the manure from drag horses constantly. Yet, it became clear to our leaders that fertility was of key importance to the security of our nations' food supply and it was soon to outrun our technological capabilities. 

Crops needed healthy soil to grow strong and resilient against disease and pests. This has not changed.

What has changed is our method of application of nutrients to soil to support soil health.

After WWII and the advancement in scientific understandings of biology, there was an abundance of chemicals, which they found could sustain crop growth. When you look at a bag of fertilizer you will see the evidence. N.P.K.

This application of residual chemical fertilizers left over from the bombs created to destroy nations and defend liberty has been ironically deemed the "Green Revolution". A use of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to promote crop growth. This, however does not support soil health. What is soil health? Is it just a simple configuration of chemicals? Can we continue this use of chemical application in order to provide food for a world in need?

Did you know that in one double handful of healthy soil there are more living beings than there are people on earth? The soil we find in the fields growing our food is dead of these little beings. However...it is not without pause that we consider what happened in those years.

Imagine hauling tons of manure each year onto our fields without the mechanical advances we have at our disposal today. This all came at a time when farmers had lost their sons to wars and abundant city wealth. The farmers were given a choice. Apply this bag of 10-10-10 to your fields, or be left in the dust.

Through the 1950's we converted our rich, yet overly worked lands, from a place of abundant life, to a chemically driven yet productive place of supply.

We now, in 2022, are living in a land without any life in our soils at all. Our food comes from soil, which is now fed by chemicals and dead to any living being that may touch it.

I myself grew up with a Father that was an avid outdoorsman. His friends grew up through this change being born in the 1950's and 60's. They are hunters, fishermen, trappers, and they can tell the same story. Biodiversity has dropped in all locations they once knew were plentiful for wildlife and abundance. We speak of change to our world. We speak of mans implications on our Earth, yet we rarely speak of it's root structure.

We are what we eat, and what eat...is what it eats.

What does our food eat? Healthy soil is the wealth of our nation, our health, and our Earth.

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