The earth’s soil is by far the most valuable resource to all life on this planet. From conception, every living thing is developed into being by the elements and nutrients obtained from the soil. Every single food that we consume is derived from the soil. Fruits and vegetables are dependent on the health of the soil in order to prosper, and the meat we consume is the flesh of animals that obtain their sustenance from the earth. Every single mineral and element and cell in the human body was at one point part of the very earth we tread upon day after day. The soil is itself is a highly complex ecosystem, teeming with life and elements, all interacting in harmony to sustain itself and grow. The natural cycles of life and death and decay are nowhere else more perfectly displayed than in the soil. All that lives comes from the earth, and all that dies returns to it, and this process is vital for life on this planet to continue surviving, and for new generations to be born and grow and die.
The quality of the soil, and, in turn, the quality of everything that comes from the soil, i.e. we human beings, relies on that vast ecosystem and all the biological and chemical interactions that occur under the soil’s surface. If a soil is too sandy and granular, it will have a hard time retaining the water essential to life. If the soil contains too much clay and is too compact, it will absorb water to an extent, but it will not allow for a diverse ecosystem or organisms and microorganisms, the interactions of which with each other and the soil itself creates nutrients that help to build the soil. If the soil is void of organic matter, life cannot be sustained therein.
Modern industrial farming does not take the health or quality of the soil into account because those that practice this type of farming believe that their methods and inputs, generated by the advancements in science and technology, to be superior to the natural cycles the earth has been developing for billions of years. I believe that this is a common misconception that has become rampant in the human psyche. We, as humans, have decided that we are above the rest of the world, and have thereby defined ourselves as separate from it. This could not be further from the truth. We were not always on top of the food chain. We are no more above the natural world than the worms that help build the soil. We came to be in this global ecosystem, and we rose to power by our reason and our intellect, but we’ve lost sight of where our place is in on this earth. All life exists in a delicate balance, and by attempting to place ourselves upon a pedestal above the rest of the life on this planet, we have drastically disrupted this balance, irreversibly in many ways.
I am excited to be an organic farmer so I can put myself and my future family back into balance with the environment where we reside. I can’t wait to spend my years building the soil and stimulate a balance ecosystem within it. I especially can’t wait to taste how good the food is that I grow from it.