Back to the Roots of Soil Health

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back to the rootsThe Back to the Roots blog was started because we want to help growers and gardeners all over to return to Mother Nature’s nurturing, more productive, and eventually more environment-friendly way of growing plants, especially those plants that we grow for our food.

Climate Change

In 1997, countries all over the world agreed to address global warming, and the main strategy is to reduce the carbon footprint of every organization, event, product or person in the world. (Carbon footprint may be too high-falutin’ a term but put simply, it means reducing the carbon dioxide emitted by any activity on earth.)

Our “modern” way of growing plants in our farms and gardens—whether it’s for our own supply or for selling—is also a culprit behind the growing problem of global warming.

The increased need of growers and gardeners for more fertilizers, pesticides, and water for irrigation—among other things—fuels our oil use…and thus our carbon footprints.

So, even something as harmless as growing and gardening also need to reduce its emission of carbon dioxide.

That’s when the idea of sustainable farming and organic gardening (Back to the Roots’ pet advocacies) started taking root in the industry.

Conventional Farming

For the longest time, commercial growers have depended on conventional farming (or the so-called industrial farming) to increase their yields.

The goal, of course, is an attractive bottomline that makes their accountants and financial managers happy. After all, a bumper harvest equals more profits, and huge profits means a business constantly in the black.

But it’s been proven that conventional farming methods weren’t as efficient as they appear to be when seen through the lens of what it does to (or leaves in) the environment.

Consider some of its more serious negative effects:

  • Decreased soil productivity. The nutrients in the soil, its capacity to hold water to ward off droughts, the microorganisms that help plant absorb nutrients, —all of these are drastically reduced because of the heavy salinization of soil because of fertilizers that the soil becomes unable to support life on its own.
  • Water scarcity. Because the soil can’t hold on to water, increased irrigation becomes a habit to protect plants from drought stress. Overuse of water supply, ignoring the fact that it is a non-renewable source, have led to surprising droughts around the world.
  • More resistant pests and pathogens. The USDA says there are more than 400 plant predators and over 70 harmful fungi that could tolerate certain pesticides…which certainly calls for harsher, stronger pesticide formulations.
  • Contamination of food and water. Our drinking waters and the foods we eat are no longer safe from pesticides. There’s proof that pesticides has polluted our surface and ground waters through water runoff, especially in our farming areas.

Certainly, there are more ills to list, but this is enough reason for Back to the Roots to help spread the more earth-friendly practices of sustainable farming and organic growing.

Back to the Roots

If we go back to the roots of Mother Nature’s way of nurturing plants—a tradition that has been proven for thousands of years by thriving rainforests and jungles—then we go back to feeding the soil.

Feeding the soil means restoring the soil biology that allows plants to absorb nutrients, withstand environmental extremes, deny predators and pathogens room to breed, and hold on to water and nutrients more tightly.

We’re talking about those icky organisms—big and small—that keeps the soil teeming with life: fungi like mychorrizae and trichoderma, and living things like earthworms, among other things.

When we feed these friendly little critters, we’re certain to be feeding our plants. In effect, we’re returning to the roots of Mother Nature’s nurturing ways.

This site is our small part in helping address climate change.

Through our work on Back to the Roots—the tips, advice, updates, and news that we’ll be sharing on this blog—we hope to help growers and gardeners do their part in protecting the environment.

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