The Status Quo
December 16, 2019
When I was attending College studying Horticulture, plant nutrition was all about adding fertilizers, using pesticides, and annual soil samples. Many of these ideas still are around today, often referred to as 'conventional'. I have discovered and I am discovering a different, vastly more effective science,
Soil Biology. In my context, Soil Biology boils down to one important idea.
The Science that growing the 'soil' is more important than growing the plant.
It starts, with a basic premise, proven many times over. 'The use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides destroys soil life which in turn makes plant growth reliant on external inputs'. Convention thinking and practices amount to putting our plants/crops into a realm that is quite similar to that of a drug addict. Complete dependence on chemicals just to stay alive. Not healthy, not vigorous. Unable to fight off any pest or problem that might come along, just alive.
So, what to do about that 'conventional' mindset, or the status quo. Well it's actually quite easy, swallow a bit of pride, and realize, 'you don't know, what you don't know'. When it comes to mother nature?? we as a species, don't know!! I've been learning/studying this lesson for going on 10 years now, and I have a new philosophy on soil and plant growth, "I don't know shit!!"
My firm belief is that everyone should explore soil health over the conventional rhetoric, Whether the motivation is climate change, nutritious food, farming for profit, doesn't really matter. I can however, tell you, it can be difficult. Having been on the receiving end of the criticism, conventional advocates will fight vigorously against this exploration, but they are generally intellectually incapable of grasping new knowledge or selling something; fertilizers, chemicals, snake oils, etc. Don't buy their products, don't believe the sales pitch, don't yield to their arrogance. Try this instead. Make compost from your lawn clippings, leaves, and kitchen scrapes (no meats). Raise some red wiggler worms, known as vermiculture/vermicompost. Save the dollars you've been spending on, (big time sarcasm right here) 'plant food', realize, nature doesn't actually need our help, I mean, when's the last time you saw someone fertilize a forest?
My best and only example is my work.
This year, I produced 3600 lbs of food in my market garden. That's up from 2000 lbs last year, my soils are getting healthier, my planting methods, better. I don't use any synthetic fertilizers, or pesticides, not even 'organic' pesticides. I rely on site made compost, ladybugs, birds, preying mantis, soil biology and a bit of hard work. I'm still learning more, everyday, about what NOT to do! Happy Holidays!!