While pruning blueberry bushes with a friend this week, he was sharing about the process of Creation, and how God speaks and things happen, so why the process? The world, the universe, and Life itself are INTRICATE. Biochemistry teaches us of the amazing intricacy of genetic codes, of the vast volumes of information encoded on each strand of DNA, so vast that it has taken decades and innumerable researchers to transcribe the code, and resulted in so much information that it takes a Mega Computer to store the data.
So why should I be thinking that raising healthy crops should be easy? For my MS research, I worked on a disease complex in Strawberry, call Black Root Rot. From this work, we came away with the deepened understanding of the necessity of a rich soil ecosystem, a robust community of microorganisms, arthropods, protozoa, earthworms, fungi, springtails, things seen & unseen.
During undergrad, I had a couple of soil classes, which were great introductions to soils & soil water. But the organic layer was typically understated, and looked at as a percentage, a very low but meaningful number (in Georgia, soils are typically 2-5 % organic/humic matter, which turns over or burns up so very quickly because of the heat & humidity). The humus was there. And it was supposed to be nurtured, but as to why, this was not really addressed.
In my first Soil Ecology class, the Professor passed out a brochure put out by the NRCS, Soil Biology Primer. And from there on, I started to see things differently, understanding that minerals themselves, whether derived from humus or soil particles, do not make a healthy system. So here you go:
Here comes the complex problem: How to help steward a truly Healthy Soil (the foundation) which then leads to truly Healthy Plants, then Healthy Animals, and Healthy People?!?