Back in the early 70s my good friends Christopher Bird and Peter Tompkins wrote a bestseller, The Secret Life of Plants. I learned many things from their research, often talking to the people they were writing about who were visiting. What really came through to me during those exchanges was the importance of microbial life in the soil. They went on to emphasize this in a second book, Secrets of the Soil.
A few years later I saw the potential of a soil based agriculture up close watching what my friend Alan Chadwick, perhaps the most famous biodynamacist of his day, accomplished in small fields. And I have come to know the benefits first hand through my wife Ronlyn's lovingly cared for biodynamic organic gardens built on a foundation of healthy soil. Her beds produce fantastic vegetables, and I feel notably healthier eating them.
I have never understood why it was not transparently obvious that the use of herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers would eventually result in a field becoming “dead” soil. Here is a report explaining what I mean.
Peak Soil: Why Nutrition Is Disappearing From Our Food
MONICA NICKELSBURG – The Week