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"We're treating soil like dirt"

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posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 08:37 PM
With a few recent threads on GMOs I felt that a further illumination is necessary for many people to fully grasp what is actually occurring on a microscopic level with not just our gut micro-biomes, but our biomes everywhere as a result of pesticides, insecticides all of the various toxic inputs and not so toxic inputs are still driving us rapidly towards a silent doom.

The complex interplay of bacteria, minerals, plant matter, animal matter, gasses and water work together in synergy to form nature in balance. In our race towards commerce and economic prosperity we have literally plowed our future under. This thread is not intended to become another political mudslinging festival, but a comprehensive discussion regarding the reality of our present paradigm and how I think the error of this paradigms vision is indicative of the myriad social problems we are experiencing today.

Goerge Monbiot writing for the Guardian presents the notion quite well:

Imagine a wonderful world, a planet on which there was no threat of climate breakdown, no loss of freshwater, no antibiotic resistance, no obesity crisis, no terrorism, no war. Surely, then, we would be out of major danger? Sorry. Even if everything else were miraculously fixed, we’re finished if we don’t address an issue considered so marginal and irrelevant that you can go for months without seeing it in a newspaper.

Heres the kicker, as described in his very astute article, even if all of the aforementioned were achieved

It’s literally and – it seems – metaphorically, beneath us. To judge by its absence from the media, most journalists consider it unworthy of consideration. But all human life depends on it. We knew this long ago, but somehow it has been forgotten. As a Sanskrit text written in about 1500BC noted: “Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel and our shelter and surround us with beauty. Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it.”

Look how we treat this, perhaps 2nd largest organism on earth when taken as a whole..IE our soil. We till under virgin ground destroying unnecessarily all the micro-organisms, beneficial bacteria, nematodes, mycelium, everything which supports a healthy bio-diversity of rich and abundant plant life. Then we spray it down with chlorinated water and plant more and more genetically modified crops in order to allow for the use of more and more pesticides. Oddly enough mono-cropping is what leads to the proliferation of certain weeds as does substandard soil quality and PH derived from the aforementioned practices. The bacteria destroyed doesn't sound harmful to most, but as science is now discovering a vast portion of Auto Immune disease are being traced to a lack of gut bacteria! Interestingly enough it seems our forest dwelling cousins in the Amazon may not suffer from Crohns disease and Colon cancer to name two as a result of a species of gut bacteria we no longer have!

Our bodies are home to trillions of bacteria—collectively known as the microbiome—but it’s unclear how our diet impacts the composition of these tiny organisms. Some studies have detected differences in the types of gut bacteria in obese and thin people, for example, while others have shown that hunter-gatherers harbor more diverse gut bacteria than do people in the industrialized world—a difference that may protect preagricultural communities from Crohn’s disease and colon cancer.

Well what does this all mean? With our population growing exponentially since the Industrial Revolution we have needed an ever increasing supply of food and shelter. To feed the population we have now under our particular slash and burn policy of Big Agriculture we need an ever increasing amount of new soil to be able to grow our mass mono-crops which also drive a major portion of our economy...but how we do it is not only unsustainable, it's also destroying countless millions, if not trillions of the very bacteria we need to live.

To keep up with global food demand, the UN estimates, 6m hectares (14.8m acres) of new farmland will be needed every year. Instead, 12m hectares a year are lost through soil degradation. We wreck it, then move on, trashing rainforests and other precious habitats as we go.

Globalization while great for joining humanity together as one big family (if that ever happens)is really serving to proffer a destructive model. Permaculture and Allotment gardens prove time and time again to resolve the problems mentioned above via local small community scaled operations as well as proliferating the growth and propagation of good bacteria, mycelium atc...

Another paper, by researchers in the UK, shows that soil in allotments – the small patches in towns and cities that people cultivate by hand – contains a third more organic carbon than agricultural soil and 25% more nitrogen. This is one of the reasons why allotment holders produce between four and 11 times more food per hectare than do farmers.

What I consider the only solution beyond a mass dropp=off in the worlds population only to continue with the same spiral of destruction down the road, is permaculture and similar methods of "stewarding nature." (I read somewhere that was what we were charged to do with our time here...but I digress) Following a basic permaculture method put forward by Sepp Holzer utilizing fallen trees and boughs as a base to build your soil over the top of accomplishes a multitude of actions. 1st the % moisture in any given tree is significant, once layers of soil and lime etc..are prepared like a giant lasagna the area is planted with a variety of companion plants which support one another in a variety of ways, the water in the tree, being slowly released supplements the water needs of the plants, especially under times of stress, encouraging deeper roots and healthier plants. Another benefit of the tree and the use of large boulders and rocks within the landscape is heat, as the tree slowly composts it creates heat, the rocks gather thermal mass from the sun and between the two of these agencies the soil is able to keep a much warmer temperature allowing for over wintering of plants otherwise incapable of surviving colder fact Sepp Holzer has gotten so good at this method of growing he has been growing lemons and peaches at 4000ft. in the Austrain Alps! Once the Tree is much further decomposed its remaining mass acts as a sponge collecting excess rainwater and snow melt in times of plenty, yielding this moisture in the much needed times of drought.

Pioneers such as Sepp Holzer and Geoff Lawton have achieved remarkable yields of fruit and vegetables in places that seemed unfarmable: 1,100m above sea level in the Austrian alps, for example, or in the salt-shrivelled Jordanian desert.

So what is it going to be just 60-100 more harvests before we have no more viable soil as some are now saying, or make a major paradigm shift or else:

This is what topples civilisations. War and pestilence might kill large numbers of people, but in most cases the population recovers. But lose the soil and everything goes with it.
edit on 26-3-2015 by BlueJacket because: syntax

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 08:38 PM
Sorry but the title of the OP just made me howl!!!

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 08:49 PM
a reply to: Jonjonj

Hehe yes, it is a portion of the title of one of two articles I was reading tonight that got me thinking about the beginnings of this thread. I am happy I could provide a chuckle

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 09:15 PM
I feel I must also add that this is a fantastically constructed thread, well done sir/madam

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 09:30 PM
Great thread.

Not a ton I can add to it, but this is also something I like to keep an eye on.
It is also why I have the greenest lawn on the street.

People just don't realize the impact of chemicals on the soils and the complex matrix of components that make it healthy.

The salt based fertilizers absolutely destroy all the micro and macro nutrients in the soil.
When they do this, it makes the soil a dead zone with most to all of the growth dependent upon re-application for "healthy" growth.

Natural fertilizers, properly diluted an pH adjusted add to soils health. I feed my lawn fish emulsion and wood ash. The results are amazing.

I like your tree/rock moisture and heat retention design, sounds interesting.

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 09:30 PM
a reply to: Jonjonj

Thank you, you and the crickets seem to agree, perhaps the dirt folks are all asleep

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 09:43 PM
a reply to: Mandroid7

Thank you. I cannot take credit for the lasagna style permaculture bed, but I have built a few with resounding success. My wife and I have created mini forest gardens under the likes of just one soft Maple, and then built the soil with its whole leaves, fallen branches etc...Maple leaves as an example are chock full of Calcium and Magnesium, leaving them whole on your garden, slows decomposition leaving a thin but powerful protective barrier for over wintering transplants and other hard to grow species.

Companion planting is showing great promise as well as we are finding amazing results growing nettles with Elderberry seemingly tripling growth year over year when planted directly next to the Elderberry. As well the nettles definitely create a higher level of essential oils in Aromatic /culinary herbs. The fact is by bringing a multitude of different species, but of the same local ecosystem, increases beneficial insect and bird predation and is vastly superior to simply buying lady bugs as you actually call in the appropriate local species.

We also do verma-composting, which is essentially creating worm towers that we plant into our vegetable beds, these towers are loaded with kitchen scraps and worm castings loaded with worm eggs. The worms eat the compost, excrete more castings which fertilize the soil while the worms air-irate the soil. By planting clover we fix nitrogen in the soil our veggies take out and then in turn bring in honey bees which in turn pollinate our flowering plants.
edit on 26-3-2015 by BlueJacket because: spelling

edit on 26-3-2015 by BlueJacket because: the same

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 09:55 PM
This is the most important aspect of living in a universe as a minor species with expansive Minds, taking care and maintaining the planet your species/kind inhabit.

There is only ONE EARTH, in this infinite space called universe. There are many like Gaea, but none as she is.

I borderline hate humanity for what they do to this precious being we coined Earth.
People uproot but don't plant. They consume and litter, but don't clean and maintain. They get entertainment, but do not entertain or express Self.

I belive personal-farming should be taught in schools, where by adult maturity (not always..) one has knowledge to be self sustainable, rather depending on corporations and GMO.

Everywhere you walk, there is earth under your feet. Everything you are, depends in earth being alive and performing her planetary duties. Everything you want or need in physical form, comes from Earth.

Learn to farm. Buy fresh soil, and plant plant plant.

Food, trees, bushes, flowers, build a pond in your backyard, farm fish. Whatever it takes to be self sustainable your entire life so you refute from raping your planetary mother.

And GMO is bad.

Thanks for the thread

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 10:06 PM

Hands down a topic that needs more attention yet you title says it all.

I am currently in an apartment but when i lived in my house I got oddly obsessed with soil health, composting and everything else you talk about. Dirt IS fascinating. Sadly, for now, all I can do is what can be done on an apt. balcony.

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 10:15 PM
a reply to: Elementalist

Your're welcome and thank you. I like to paraphrase a longer quote of Gandhi's thus: Lose touch with the soil, lose touch with your soul.

We share a similar view, I aspire to create a self sustaining 3 acre edible permaculture landscape with my wife and 4 year old daughter. We have our own well a large barn and plenty of land to reclaim for nature and our own well being too.

I am an herbalist of 23 years practicing and we will be planting not just foods but a multitude of medicinal plants as well as honey bee hives and inoculated mushroom logs, stumps and wood chips.

I refuse to allow my daughters generation to be utterly removed from a deep relationship with the world she will be living in for a long time to come. We hope that we are able to maintain the vision and bring others into the fold eventually. We close on the property tomorrow afternoon, I intend to do a photo and expository journal right here on ATS for all to watch as it grows.
edit on 26-3-2015 by BlueJacket because: spelling

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 10:16 PM
a reply to: BlueJacket

George Monbiot is one of my heroes.

Thanks for this.

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 10:20 PM
a reply to: soficrow

Thank you Soficrow. I have always envied your brilliant avatar. Mr. Monbiot really drives the reality home in the article I cited. The more I dig into this (pun intended) the more passionate I become, its infectious. This is the kind of thing that will resolve so many of the worlds woes.

posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 10:40 PM
a reply to: calstorm

You can do as much as you can imagine on your apartment balcony, only you'll have to go vertical and horizontal both! I am happy this thread got your attention, I agree we, as a society always seem to be having the wrong arguments.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 02:59 AM
Great thread, i was going to start a permaculture thread. I just recently got into it and i must say geoff lawton has been a great insperation to me, his website is the bsst iv seen so far. So much information and its all free, my allotment is looking great thanks to him and his ideas. We can heal the world by just covering the land and planting mord trees.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 03:27 AM
I wish i had that much land to use, cant wait ti read ur journal. Maybe we should ask for a permaculture section, id be posting all the time.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 06:08 AM

originally posted by: Elementalist

I belive personal-farming should be taught in schools, where by adult maturity (not always..) one has knowledge to be self sustainable, rather depending on corporations and GMO.

I'm one of the teachers that teach kids at school about growing and eating locally brought food and they are so in awe of what they can accomplish it amazes me. I get such a kick out of it I would do it even if they didn't pay me cause I believe this will be there future. We are now in the process of seting up Aquaponics at the school and encourage other schools to do the same it is easier then you think.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 07:02 AM
Great thread....with more people thinking like this our species has half a chance......permaculture is most certainly the way forward ....we could be living in the garden of eden ......

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 07:21 AM
a reply to: Lompyt

I appreciate your post, I look forward to recording our efforts on the new property like you cant imagine, especially since where we live is the Garden of Con Agra, Monsanto and all the rest of the gang...sigh one small 3 acre plot against millions of acres of Gyphosphate and other Herbacides and pesticides.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 07:43 AM
a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed

That's the hope with this movement and I hope like you that more and more people especially privately owned small family farms can see their way through to make the shift. The problem is money for many of them, so they fall victim to the prevailing system. I have never met a "bad farmer, " I have seen more than a few "greedy, not so nice corporately driven farm based corporations" however and sadly they own congress.

posted on Mar, 27 2015 @ 10:09 AM
GMO is very alarming. They want to force Seattle folk to compost. We haven't gotten composting yet, but intend to attempt it. This tiny house we're all sharing and using the basement in, is having hard enough time without being massively cluttered in recycling bags. However, its the next step.

But, I would never compost anything that is GMO or radiated. What does it break down to, agent orange? It would contaminate a property, within years it would be shut down.

Think small aquaponics and then growing it bigger, is the way to go, as the fish fertilizer used, would be fresh, organic and non polluted. It would be in your own environment.
edit on 27-3-2015 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)

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