See, just like food feeds us, the soil feeds our food.
When you grow a potato, the potato is “eating” the trace nutrients, minerals, and vitamins in the soil.
And when you eat the potato, YOU eat those same nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
Why Is Soil So Important?
Now, the reason soil is packed with these super healthy trace elements is that it’s constantly replenished with dead plants.
When a plant dies, it decomposes back into the soil. And that means all the healthy stuff goes back into the soil too.
So when you put it all together, this is how every human, ever, has gotten their nutrition:
Soil feeds the plants —> Plants feed the animals —> Humans eat the plants and animals and get the good stuff…
When plants and animals die, they go back to the soil, and so does the good stuff.
This is Mother Nature’s amazing cycle for sustaining life… and for most of history, it has worked perfectly.
Modern Day Farming
But then, factory farming came on the scene. Farms got industrialized. Food production became a business instead of a way of life.
‘Quality over quantity’ was replace by ‘more is better’. Profit became the motivator and health, of both the land and the humans, was less considered.
Perhaps the thinking went like this…“Why waste time and money letting plants decompose…when we could plant new seeds the same day? We’ll grow twice as much and make twice as much money.” So they rip the plants out or kill them with Round Up, add some more chemical fertilizer (10-10-10 is an example) and start a new crop.
Soil depletion happens when vitamins, nutrients, and minerals get sucked out of a piece of land, for years and years, and never get put back in.
It happens quickly when topsoil erodes.
Not just inches but feet of topsoil have been washed away in the rich soil of the midwest since factory farming began.
I believe soil depletion is the main reason why so much of the food we eat today is devoid of the good, nutritious stuff we need to stay healthy…
Because virtually every piece of food you put in your mouth has been stripped of the minerals and nutrients our grandparents enjoyed — the minerals we need to be and feel truly nourished.
This is why a lot of produce in grocery stores isn’t as healthy as it might appear…
So what can you do?
Well, fortunately, once we know what’s wrong with something… we can actually fix it.
All soils are not created equal
Growing up in central NY state we were surrounded by small dairy farms.
A family could make a living on 40 milk cows.
They grew their own hay and grain for the herd.
Manure from the barn was put down as fertilizer on the hay fields to nourish the soil Spring and Fall.
Cows were allowed to roam huge pastures and graze all day, coming in at night to be milked.
When my dad was a kid many farms were diversified with a variety of animals and vegetables.
The manure from the animals fed the plants and plant and crop residue was left on the fields to decompose at the end of the season.
This ‘old fashioned’ way of farming, sadly, is long gone.
Unless you’re a small, sustainable farm like Oak Spring.
-use compost to feed our soil
-hardly ever till
-plant cover crops that are mowed and left to decompose
-leave residual crops like lettuces, mustard greens, arugula, and spinach on the soil to decompose and nourish the soil
The soil of a small, sustainable farm is so much richer than factory-farmed soil it’s hard to compare.
Get truly nourished by the food you eat
Buy local food grown on small farms that use good soil practices.
Buy truly pastured eggs and grass fed meat. Sustainable farmers who raise grass fed meat are more grass farmers than animal farmers.
Sustainable vegetable farmers use crop rotations, cover cropping and good old fashioned decaying plant matter to feed their soil as well as balanced, natural fertilizers and lots of compost.
If you grow some of your own food make sure you start with rich, healthy soil, then feed it and add to it every season.
The soil is the foundation; nourish and care for it. Build it to last.
Eat raw food.
Don’t be so worried about a little dirt in your diet-as long as you know where the dirt came from!
My kids Nana says ” ya gotta eat a peck of dirt before you die.’
So eat local, eat your dirt and know where you food comes from.
That’s the best recipe to feel and be truly nourished.
WEEKLY DELIVERY BAGS & BOXES
If you’re looking for local farm-fresh vegetables to help you in a specific way, consider joining us for weekly, peak of the harvest deliveries of :
- low carb vegetables
- vegetables to contribute to liver health
- vegetables to support hormone health and wellness
- immune support vegetables
- vegetables to support gut health
- vegetables to contribute to brain health
- heart-healthy vegetables
- vegetables for a cancer-prevention diet
- vegetables to include in an autoimmune diet
- vegetables for preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum