Soil Matters More Than You Think

By Shauna Sadowski
Nov 8, 2017 11:00 AM ET
Blog

As I walked through the verdant fields filled with a dazzling array of sorghum, hairy vetch, daikon radish, collards, cowpeas, clover, millet, kale, and other crops, I was struck by how different this field looked relative to so many other farms I've walked over the years. When we conducted a spade test, digging out a section of the soil with a simple tool, it revealed heavily clumped, rich brown matter with visible earthworms: soil life.

The farmer showing me his soil was Gabe Brown, one of the most pioneering farmers in the world. His approach to farming leverages the power of diversity to feed the soil, which in turn feeds people and his pocketbook. Each crop planted in this field served a different purpose, be it nitrogen fixation, taproot penetration, nutrient scavenging capabilities or livestock feed.

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