Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Soil Matters Most

Everything living must trace its existence to the soil. Everything dead returns to that soil. Conserving soil is a moral imperative and the creation of soil is a spiritual endeavor.

Modern farming practices destroy soil. About the only thing more damaging to the soil than modern farming is suburban lawn care.

We are going through one of  the wettest years at the horse lot that I have seen in my lifetime.  The weather has created a great deal of inconvenience to program participants. A few paddocks have succumbed to the mud. No one likes going into a muddy pen to catch horses. Some people do not understand why we do not move more horses into empty, drier pastures.

I understand the confusion, but the fact that the question exists at all shows that I have been an ineffective teacher. I have too many participants that do not understand that the land must heal. Under these weather conditions moving into a drier pen that has been without horses for months will simply create another muddy pen and erase the healing that is happening in those pens.

It takes a while for program participants to understand the importance of rolling round bales out in the pastures. To an uninformed mind the practice looks wasteful and messy. It took me quite a while to understand that rolling round bales was the best thing that we could do to increase the health and productivity of our pastures.

I suspect that for most humans happiness is dependent on creation--most particularly the creation of art. The art that I create is  soft, nearly fluffy, black soil loaded with earthworms, beetles, and millions of microscopic farm hands working to not merely conserve the soil--but to create it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mankind exists merely die to 1 mile of atmosphere, 6 inches of top soil and the fact that it rains. I live in the high desert of NW Wyoming. This valley was turned into an agricultural area in the 1900 by the building of a dam west of Cody. Next irrigation canals were dug and the soil was broken. There was little humus in the soil and there is still little humus in the soil after a hundred years of farming. We moved here 20 years ago, bought land and built a home. We have been working on a garden spot for attest 18 years, building the soil. I get great satisfaction from seeing the amount of earthworms in our garden and feeling the soil in my hands. I have often felt silly that this was of value to me in this modern world. But then maybe I don't belong to this modern world