Soil Regeneration

Soil regeneration, an understated solution.

A call for the rapid shift to small scale regenerative agriculture, reforestation, applying permaculture principles and working on a community scale to avoid the extremes of climate change. It all begins with regenerating and rebuilding soil.

Soil vs. Dirt

We should aim to understand the difference and speak respectfully about the medium that sustains all life. Soil is teeming with microbial and fungal life. Dirt is devoid of life, dry, inert.

A single teaspoon (1 gram) of rich garden soil can hold up to one billion bacteria, several yards of fungal filaments, several thousand protozoa, and scores of nematodes, according to Kathy Merrifield, a retired nematologist at Oregon State University. … There may be thousands of them living in that teaspoon of soilSource.

What’s the problem?

When farmers till and apply chemical fertilizers and biocides, it breaks up the soil communities and releases massive amounts of carbon back into the atmosphere. This turns topsoil to lifeless dirt, leaving agricultural chemicals in place of microbial communities. Scientists everywhere are sounding the alarm, we are running out of time to apply effective solutions. Healthy soil is a combination of microbes, minerals, rock, water, air and organic matter. With a billion organisms in a single teaspoon of healthy soil, perhaps we should view our current agricultural practices as an ongoing genocide.

Consider this: “There are more than 34,000 pesticides derived from about 600 basic ingredients currently registered for use in this country by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, of which agriculture uses over 20,000. The use of agricultural pesticides in the United States occurs on more than 900,000 farms, where approximately 75% of all cropland and 70% of all livestock are treated with these substances.” Source.

The widely shared UN report from back in December 2010 clearly states that we need to shift back to small-scale regenerative farming practice to feed the world, and phase out monocultures and genetically modified crops that are bred to withstand ever-increasing amounts of pesticide applications. Our food production, forests, and land animals depend on a healthy ecosystem. As a species we must embrace soil building as a daily practice, cycling nutrients from food scraps into the compost, and employ techniques to rapidly rebuild topsoil.

Does it work?

Carbon farming, radical reforestation, soil building practices, regenerative agriculture, permaculture, community farm initiatives, supporting local farms, composting food scraps. These are not new ideas, but rather a lost way of interacting with each other and the natural world. The mainstream media would have us think that we are hellbent on destruction. However, if we tune into alternative media and seek stories that show progress, we see people working together and advocating for regenerative ecology and harmony with the natural world.

All is not lost if we can organize effectively and work together. 

India planted 50 million trees in 24 hours.

Radical reforestation by the global Tree Sisters movement. 

Building with hemp for carbon negative buildings. 

Over 100 stories of ecological restoration.

Next Steps

In conclusion, we must collectively focus on solutions and working on a small community scale projects. And this is what RawAutonomy does. We have everything we need to retrofit, tweak and improve existing systems for food, medicine and material production.

We are the change we have been waiting for.

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