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Common Sense Solutions - Starting Now

Topsoil Erosion

From A Permaculture Perspective

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Losing The Ground That Feeds Us

The way we farm conventionally is to plow the soil every year. This results in 1.9 billion tons of eroded topsoil annually.

We have in fact consumed half the topsoil on the North American continent since we started plowing, 200-400 years ago.

The means the ground is literally washing away and not being regenerated. It's not able to retain even water distribution. The land becomes parched if there is too little rain, because moisture and nutrients are not retained, or flooded during heavy rains, also because the soil is turning to dust.

"That's our precious resource. That's the birthright of future generations and we're losing it because of the way we do annual agriculture which is turning the soil every year." says Bill Wilson of Midwest Permaculture.

The Permaculture philosophy does not include plowing. The beauty of that system is that the topsoil stays where it belongs, nourishing the crops and distributing water evenly instead of being stripped by wind and rainfall. Not to mention no chemicals or pesticides are used to further bankrupt the soil.

One thing we can all do right now to put nutrients back into our ground wherever we are is to compost all organic matter, and at least create healthy soil in our own backyards or community gardens.

--Bibi Farber

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