Make Soil Great Again: A series in Making America (or the whole world) Great Again

Ok liberals, Let’s Stop complaining!! Lets instead take Donnies message to heart. Face it, America, also better known in the world as the states, is not great. It’s a war mongering, disease ridden, drug plagued, feudal lordship, colonialist mentality, grossly polluted, shallow society full of hyper consumption. So indeed lets make it great again. In this series we will detail concrete steps to indeed make the states, more pc for us liberals, better now!! Environmentally we rely on monocultures, prop that up with dangerous polluting chemicals and fertilizers. Our soil has been eroding since Europeans arrived and our waterways are grossly polluted with sediments and chemicals. Our forests have been degraded or wiped out, our wildlife has faced extinction, and biodiversity in general has declined immensely.  That is not great and the deregulation of environmental policies shows that capitalism inherently gnaws at the environment. And honestly, it stifles innovation and really is very unclever and not great.

Long have we known that the government policies of the farm bill or common agriculture policy of Europe, are not geared towards building soil. They are instead bent towards increasing GDP. It’s not their fault. It’s the rules of capitalism at play. Consequently if you are not a farmer, gardener, or ecosystem regenerator, please invest in those who are building soil through your purchases. If you do have access to land or capital to influence others here are 13 tips below. Links are embedded to learn more.

The basic pattern of Soil building: Add organic matter to the soil. Feed the microbes in the soil known as the soil food web. Plant diversely, reduce tillage, reverse erosion into water infiltration.

1. Compost your wastes: the most obvious choice here is your food wastes and other carbon resources such as cardboard from your egg cartons or newspaper you see lying around at a cafe. On a small-scale use the worm bin and on a larger scale use hot compost, pit gardens, or again worm bins.

2. Compost waste of others: I utilize my delivery van also for picking up wastes from commercial food processors such as my fermenting friends and also the next door neighbour coffee roaster. I blessedly have access to land so i can compost their waste.

3.Other waste cycling: pee on a tree. The nitrogen and phosphorus found in urine are a precious resource not a waste. Also consider utilizing a compost toilet for your fecal waste and also your urine.

4. Buy local and organic: even if local farmers aren’t certified organic, often they grow beyond organic. Ask them and build a relationship. Purchase from them as you literally are giving them a job. Remember the famous Wendell Berry quote of “eating is an agricultural act”.

5. Grow organic: start a garden, grow on your families land, join a community garden, rent land from those who aren’t farming. Do whatever creativity it takes to gain access to land and begin to cultivate organically. Heck even take the leap as many others are to start a farm instead of pouring your intelligence and resources into a soul sucking desk job.

6. Add organic matter back to soil: once you have composted wastes, give the soil this stable carbon resource. Another way is in your gardens grow a cover crop or utilize the chop and drop management of plants. In this case, your autumn leaf drop also becomes a great resource instead of a waste. Bio-char is a form of organic matter that is rapidly becoming a regenerative input.

7. Stop using chemicals: the notion of our lawns being perfect without weeds is grotesquely egoic and a fallacy counter to nature. Hence the need for chemicals. Lawn is the largest agricultural sector in the states. You can build soil by cutting the lawn and leaving the residues behind (chop and drop). If organic management is in place the soil will improve below.

8. Rotate animals in the landscape: animals, when rotated properly easily build soil through eating plants and leaving manure behind. They must be rotated but when this is done soil builds. If you don’t have access to land to keep animals buy meat from local farmers who are as I do. Yes eat meat and sequester carbon.

9. Eat less grain through factory farmed meats and in general: farming grain inherently needs the soil to be tilled over and over again. Even if organic it is extremely difficult to do this and build soil as opposed to animals raised on pastures utilizing the pattern of rotation.

10. #letsplantsometreesyo: trees build soil slowly, stabilize climates and water cycles. Planting and caring for trees gives you the option of not having children and still being a parent. Many give food as well allowing you to grow food locally. If you don’t have access to land, give 25 dollars to a person who does have land and ask to have it planted there. And help take care of it in its infant years so when it matures you can enjoy its tasty fruit, delightful blooming flowers, its changing leaf color, and much more!!!

11. Spray Bio-fertilizers in the landscape: Compost can be turned into a biofertilizer through making compost extract or tea. Spray that out in a liquid form to seed and feed microbes. There are quite a few other bio-fertilizer sprays that can be purchased or made at home.

12. Use earthworks to stabilize the water cycle: Rushing water overland causes erosion and ruins attempts to build soil. Work the earth so water infiltrates instead of running off. Rainwater builds microbial populations where as grid city water dimities them with the chlorine.

13. Embrace Diversity and layering: monocultures degrade soils, while diversity of plants and layered growing builds soil. Till less and rely on perennials for more of your caloric input.

At the end of the day it’s up to us individually and organizing in local communities to make america great again. Well anywhere, think globally, act locally. This make the soil great again was the first of a series on as macron of france it, let’s make the earth great again. He did recently stand up to trump. Will you stand up or even embrace his attitude with mere words or will you indeed act upon his call to action? You get to define what great is, a very ambiguous word. Making the Planet Great Again is not rocket science, learn the pattern, apply it, and voila. You want to fix climate change, one is to sequester carbon in the soil. Pont final.

Written by Doug Crouch

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