Unfortunately, lessons on retaining and improving the soil learned in the past are forgotten and rediscovered, and in large farms, tenant farms and those run by overseers the economic incentives are for short-term profit over long-term soil health. Overall, the Times, for a nineteenth-century publication, was generally progressiveand sympathetic toward Indians on a range ofissues. Finally, the civilization pushes to its geographical limits. Montgomery did support no-till, conservation tillage, and cover crops; which I expected and was very happy to see. However, it was extremely repetitive! Despite the thick layers she put on top of the planting beds, they inevitably thinned out after a few months. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations explores the compelling idea that we are—and have long been—using up Earth's soil.
The Indian problem referred to in the title isan elusive term, varying widely in the Times ed-itorials, sometimes in support of Indians, some-times in opposition. They seem to have devised a sustainable form of agriculture that majors in agroforestry food-producing trees. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it's no laughing matter. Cultivating living soil provides plants in gardens and on farms with a robust and reliable built-in health plan. He includes examples of soil degradation ranging from Ancient Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica to contemporary America.
Farmers can wean themselves off of agrochemicals and slash one of their biggest expenses. The story of Easter Island, a favorite fable of conservationists appears, and is compared to sustainable soil efforts of other island peoples like the Tikopians. Montgomery cautions us that our survival depends on treating the soil like a valuable inheritance and investment, not as a commodity or, derisively, simply as dirt. Eventually, more land on erosion-prone slopes is planted to avoid famine. We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil—as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. When we got the lab results back, we learned that our kale did pretty well.
If you want to read a book about this subject: how we have have mistreated our land, created severe erosion problems and destroyed our topsoil--read The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Du I'm a soil scientist and my soil scientist friends highly recommended this book. But there are some small nuggets of hope, proven ways of preserving soil and its productivity over the long term. Others specialize in making compounds that plants need, like growth hormones, or that signal to a plant that a pathogen has entered the biological bazaar. In response, the poorest of us will be forced to work even more marginal land and work it even harder the tropical rainforests are the one remaining supply of untapped arable land. But the complexity that brings resilience may also impede adaptation and change, producing social inertia that maintains collectively destructive behavior. But the complexity that brings resilience may also impede adaptation and change, producing social inertia that maintains collectively destructive behavior. Montgomery — 92243 members — last activity 1 minute ago A place where all Goodreads members can work together to improve the Goodreads book catalog.
A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology, Dirt traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward. Second, there's the big pictures. Adding organic matter stashed tons of carbon belowground. Reading Dirt offered me the opportunity to explore the history of agriculture and how different societies interacted with soil, one of our most basic and sustaining elements of nature. I selected Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations because I am very interested in sustainable agriculture and the interplay between culture and ecology. Montgomery shows how soil conservation or lack of it has been a deciding factor in nearly every case.
After the catastrophic in Washington State in March, 2014, Montgomery appeared on various news segments to discuss the science behind landslides. Montgomery believes that a civilization is only as good as the soil on which it grows its crops, and previous civilizations would fall apart when the soil fertility dropped. This is a link to the first few pages of the book: I read the audio version and felt it was w This book was a recommended read in honor of the International Year of Soils 2015. Basically, almost every society with agriculture has caused soil erosion. A neutral tone is mandatory for textbooks, and this may encourage casual readers to be less concerned about the future than they should be.
In Kansas, for example, over 66% of the farmland in the state is under conservation tillage or no-tillage practices, and cover crop use is on the rise. In return, these bacteria turn phosphorus into a form that the plants can readily take up. A book about soil might interest gardeners. Abundant populations of these nitrogen-capturing bacteria can free gardeners and farmers from buying synthetic fertilizers. This is an informing and terrifying bookandvery useful to students in American culture be-cause it covers the rise, continuity, and possibly fallof the United States unless all citizens, those whowork in the soil, and those who do not, work tosave the soil on which we live. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it's no laughing matter. I should have known that soil has different levels of fertility, or not, as may be the case with my lawn.
In the twentieth century, when farmers bought millions of big, powerful machines, the 10,000 year war on soils mutated into a new and horrifying form. In some ways, the state of fertile soil is a little bit like peak oil: a valuable natural resource was built up over many times longer than humans have been around; it helps civilization grow; people start placing greater demands on the resource and taking it for granted; finally. Montgomery elegantly weaved together a fascinating tale of culture, history, economics and politics driven by soil health. I loaded my loot into buckets and bags and packed them into our Subaru hatchback. Dirt, soil, call it what you want—it's everywhere we go. Life does not have an undo button. The concepts behind this book are very important and I wanted to love this book.
Completely paved, Silicon Valley won't feed anyone again for the foreseeable future. Soil exhaustion was a primary driving force behind the westward expansion of the colonists. I loved the first two thirds of the book. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations explores the compelling idea that we are—and have long been—using up Earth's soil. I enjoyed Dirt: the Erosion of Civilizations because it was an entertaining read that added another important layer to how agriculture shapes history and will shape the future. Gabe Brown surveys his cows at Brown Ranch in North Dakota.
In the thin soils over rock that characterize most of the rest of the planet, the bottom line is that we have to adapt to the capacity of the soil rather than vice versa. This book presents the compelling argument that similar circumstances applied to more modern periods like the American Civil War and Soviet Russia. Non-librarians are welcome to join the group as well, to A place where all Goodreads members can work together to improve the Goodreads book catalog. We are close to peak food production now. This will give birth to a new agricultural revolution — the return to muscle-powered farming, on severely depleted soils, fertilized once again by nutrient-rich sewage. They combined this with a draconian method for maintaining a sustainable population, which was far less painful and destabilizing than the effects of over breeding.