The Solar Age – from original blog The Alchemy of Agriculture
Humus is the constituent of the soil that is manufactured and resides within the top four inches of the soils of the world and thus provides and is known as Earth’s green carpet.
Artificial, chemical stimulus, ever powerful weed killers and fungicides applied year after year and at the same times, must, and has, inevitably bred evils, the full extent of which are now being seen.
The time will come when yield will depend entirely upon quality, but quality must never under any circumstances depend upon yield. Factory made artificial fertilizers and pesticides are the weak link in the chain of agricultural economics. Humus is the real food of the soil and the crop; it leads to and maintains larger crops and improved quality.
We are living in an age of planning, in other words in a phase of acute contrition for the blunders of the past. Our industries, our trade, and our way of life are based first of exploitation of the earth’s surface and then on the oppression of each other – on banditry pure and simple. The inevitable result is now upon us in the form of obesity, deformity and degenerative diseases and a soil that cannot produce enough or of a quality we need.
The now, unsuccessful bandits are trying to despoil their more successful competitors.
At the root of this vast evil lies the spoliation which has destroyed the moral integrity of generations. While this conflict marches to its inevitable conclusion, it will not be amiss to draw attention to a forgotten factor which may perhaps help to restore peace and harmony to a tortured world. We must in our future planning pay great attention to food and especially local food – the product of the sun, soil, plant and livestock – in other words to the farming and gardening of the world.
The sun provides the energy for running this mechanism, so our power problem has been solved for us. The sole food producing machine is the green leaf, not any factory or unnecessary invasive attempt to modify the genes of inherited varieties. Mankind can increase the efficiency and output of this green carpet at least three fold by
1) the restoration and maintenance of the fertility of the soil on which it rests and
2) by providing varieties of crops that make the most of the suns rays and improved soil conditions.
The former can be achieved by converting into humus the vast stores of vegetable and animal residues that are still largely running to waste on the farms of the world in the form of uncomposted animal manure, weeds and grasses: the latter by modern plant-breeding methods. Once we do this, all will go well.
The roots of plants will have a favourable climate in which to function properly. The yield and quality of the produce will go up by leaps and bounds: The danger of any shortage of food in the world will disappear: the problem of price regulation will automatically be solved. The cost of food, therefore, enters not only into what we ourselves consume, but into everything we enjoy individually or in common. Once food is as abundant as possible, we obviously reduce the cost. The efficiency of Earth’s green carpet is, therefore, a fundamental question. There is no other foundation for these discussions on economics.
Once food is as abundant as Nature intended it will be as cheap as possible to make. The regulation and stabilization of future prices then follows. After that all we have to see to is to prevent anybody or any nation trying to interfere with the free interchange of the direct and indirect products of solar energy from one part of the world to another.
We can check our food production methods by means of Nature’s censors – the disease of crops and livestock. Provided we prepare the soil for its manorial rights by suitable cultivation and subsoiling, and faithfully comply with Nature’s great law of return by seeing to it that all vegetable, animal and human wastes are converted into humus, we shall soon find that many striking things will happen.
The yield and quality will rapidly improve : the crops will be able to resist the onslsaughts of parasites : well being and contentment, as well as the power to vanquish disease will be passed onto livestock who consume them : the varieties of crops cultivated will not run out, but will preserve their power of reproduction for a long time to come.
There appears to be a simple principle which underlies the vast accumulation of disease which now afflicts the world. This principle operates in the soil, the crop, the animals and ourselves. The power of all these four to resist disease appears to be bound up with the circulation of properly synthesized protein in Nature. The proteins are the agency which confer immunity on plant, animal and man. We must, therefore, study the nitrogen cycle between soil and crop, and see to it that the green leaf can build up proteins of the right type.
Then there will be little disease in soil, crop or livestock and the foundations of preventative medicine of tomorrow will be born. Properly synthesized vegetable protein will confer on the animal and then on mankind the power to overcome infection and to reduce disease to what in the future is certain to be its normal insignificance.
We shall then discover that the present vast and expansive fabric of social services has been built on the basis of malnutrition and inefficiency. Their foundations will have to be recast to suit a population in good health. The reformed services will obviously cost much less than they do now. A new system of preventative medicine and of medical training will at the same time arise. The physician of tomorrow will study mankind in relation to his environment, will prevent disease at the source, and will cease to confine himself to the temporary alleviation of the miseries resulting from malnutrition.
Does mankind possess the understanding to grasp the possibilities which this simple truth unfolds? If it does and it has the audacity and the courage to tread the new road, then civilization will take a step forward and the Solar Age will replace this era of rapacity which has already entered its twilight.