We’ve been treating soil like dirt for too long. Dirt needs to be fed in order to produce. Healthy soil contains tens of thousands of microbes pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and turning it into food for themselves and for us.
Investing in soil health is an investment in future generations continuing to eat, according to David Montgomery, a University of Washington geologist. His first book, “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations,” looked at the consequences of ignoring soil health. He recently published “Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life.”
Focusing on common ground over food is a healthy way to start the new year. It’s a place where government is, as is often the case, both the problem and part of the potential solution.
“Our biggest mistake in 20th-century agriculture is we tried to make the land respond to a single set of practices. We’ve undervalued both the land and the creativity of farmers,” Montgomery said.