When you think of soil what comes to mind?
Nitrogen? Tillage? Fertilizer? Healthy crops? Sick crops? Healthy people? Pests?
Throughout history, our relationship with the soil has affected our ability to cultivate crops and influenced the success of civilizations. Without healthy soils, feeding the world’s people becomes even more challenging. Soil is the foundation of everything we do in agriculture. Our jobs as farmers and agronomists is to enhance that process; not inhibit it. Ideal soils for agriculture have a proper balance of mineral components, clay, organic matter, air, and water.
In fact, if you’ve ever read the book One Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming written by the pioneer of natural farming Masanobu Fukuoka then you know just how important healthy soil is. In his book Fukuoka talks about his life journey, philosophy, and farming techniques as he was a proponent of no-till, no-herbicide grain cultivation methods. He was born and raised on the Japanese island of Shikoku and devoted 65 years of his life to developing a system of natural farming that would surpass the most productive farms in Japan. Since his passing in 2008, Fukuoka has become a leader in the worldwide sustainable agriculture movement, however critics argue that some of his techniques are difficult to apply on large commercial farms.
Join us this month as we dig deeper into his story and discuss how soils support agriculture.