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  “God did not give us this amazing dirt to mistreat it.”

From Dirt: the Movie:   www.dirtthemovie.org:

FACT: 1/3 of our topsoil has been lost in the last 100 years. If we start now we can reclaim the soil in 10 years.

FACT: 1/3 of the world lives in dirt structures. The “dirt”  used is cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

This documentary reminded me again of our relationship to this earth. We are intimately linked to the soil. Many of the folks interviewed were passionate about reclaiming our land and theirs, from USA, Europe, Africa and others and valued the soil. As humans living here we have a choice: to work with nature or against it. Natural fertilizers enrich the soil. Enrichment is the key word because this concept and application gives back the nutrients needed to grow our crops. Give and take: a relationship . Over and over from research scientists in the lab to those with a long history of farming know there is a language to the soil.

What happens when fertile land is gouged out to make room for another housing area? Who will grow our crops? We’ve taken the farmer away from tending the land and replaced it with monocrop farming. Monocrops produce less not more. The tons of pesticides needed each year to grow these crops destroy the soil structure. Pesticides deplete the soil on all levels. Some bind minerals and make them inaccessible for the plants nutritional needs. Monocrops need excessive amounts of Nitrogen. The excess nitrogen flows into streams and oceans creating super weeds which mean a dead zone for the local fish and algae populations by increasing the amount of nitrous oxide in those waters.

We are asking hard questions today and I am so grateful we are. My elders taught me to offer a prayer of thanks when taking a plant or animal from the land for consumption. To simply give back.

Great things are happening around the world in relation to our relationship with soil, the crops we produce and consume.

check out: edibleschoolyard.org and landinstitute.org

Enjoy this beautiful day. Judith

 

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