Preventative medicine for the soil and the soul

 


The more I embrace Mother Nature's teaching the more I find the living soil and we human beings have more similarities than differences. We both respond to good care and bad care. We humans are prone to get diabetes from a bad diet. The soil will show it's disdain for a bad diet when different plants and trees leave the scene before their time.

            So what should we do now? How about if we take all the food we citizens are about to eat and cut the amount in half or we could have a mercy killing of all our oh so good carbohydrate. We will know of our success if we start reading in The Wall Street Journal that General Mills, Dunking Donuts and Domino's Pizza have filed for bankruptcy. And, we’re not finished yet for it will be necessary to add into the mix a 30 minute, 5 day a week exercise routine that’s success can be measured by a steady rise in the number of orthopaedic surgeons who are out of work and will need some job training for a new line of work. 

            So what's the chance of all this happening? SLIM AND NONE. What is for sure is that all the weight loss programs, gyms and the people that make all the designer workout clothes will prosper and multiply as new clusters of folks from every corner of Uncle Sam's domain. Couch Potato's with the very best of intentions will mostly lose resolve and founder on the beaches of New Years resolutions within 30 days. To be replaced by another wave of new graduates fresh out of The University of Good Intentions ready to try and beat the odds of SLIM AND NONE. With that bleak and sarcastic summation of "we the people" where do we look for salvation? Ah “necessity is the mother of invention” that’s where. 

             For me "hope springs eternal" and is derived from a whole new generation of Stewards of the Land that believe that by learning how to treat the “whole” somehow or another it will help us all to muddle through these dark times and come out the other side older and wiser and with our Earth home still in tact. We're going to do it by assuming the decisions we make about almost everything are wrong. I'm sure this statement will raise many eyebrows as they ask, how can that be? So I’m going to tell you. 

                   For too long “We The the People" have been making a lot of bad decisions. Why, because it’s easier to follow than to lead so we let ourselves be guided by that old saying “we’ve always done it this way”. I know old ways can be very comfortable and easy but I believe we can no longer afford the luxury of using the easy way out as our guiding light. No, this time the decision I'm about to make. I will accept that it could be wrong for if I assume it's right I will never get the chance to change it. This time I’m going to give myself the courage to make a different and possibly better decision but upon examination I might find the old way is still valid. Which ever way knowledge and Common Sense directs me I must follow this new path. For me that’s real progress. This game changing bit of wisdom was given to me by Allen Savory who created the Holistic Resource Management movement. 

             Agriculture today has some wonderful new tools to measure the health of the soil or it's lack. There are new tests that can be performed on our soils that will tell you very accurately all the things you have plenty of and all the things that need fixing. The more I learn about "preventative medicine" for the soil, the more I must visualize what the unseen must look like. We can't see CO2 in the atmosphere but we can measure if we have the right amount. We can't see the balance of acid to alkaline (PH) but we can measure it. We can't see if our soil is low in Sulfur or Nitrogen or a multitude of other things that reside in the top foot of our Planet but we can measure them. Soil and water testing today is cheap compared to the amount of information we collect so cost is not an excuse for ignorance. 

                But way more important than all these tests is my relationship to Mother Nature. You can't see her either but you can sure feel her presence. Each day I like to just look around at the Diablo Mountains that surround me and nature will tell me in many subtle and not so subtle ways if things are better because of my care or have I made an errant step into the past and stupid flashes in front of my eyes. Boy it’s hard to break old habit! But break them I must, for we folks are totally dependent on how well I can turn dirt into life giving soil and then do the things necessary to keep soil, soil.  That’s my recipe for keeping a healthy habitat for the now and the ever after. I will take my leave now, asking my friends and enemies are you willing to put that donut down? 

                     

See Ya 

Jack

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