In the Age of People, the plow was, and remains, one of the most destructive inventions. In his new book Growing A Revolution, award-winning author David R. Montgomery calls on farmers to ditch the plow, bring back cover crops, and grow for diversity.
Such an agricultural revolution puts soil health at the center of farming. It transforms agriculture from a destructive practice that is very much part of the problem to a major solution that combats climate change.
In this episode, we talk to David and discuss:
- What soil is, and why farming depends above all on healthy soil
- What conservation agriculture is and why it works better, including:
- why tilling your land is not a good idea
- why an overdependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides turns plants into ‘botanical couch potatoes’
- Why monocrops are vulnerable to pests, disease, and climate change
- How labels such as organic or conventional are missing the point
- How farming can shift from a carbon-emitting activity to a carbon-storing activity
- What obstacles still remain to making conservation farming the norm
“The debate over the future of agriculture is misrepresented when cast as the simple choice between organic methods and AgroTech approaches like GMOs. It really comes down to the philosophical rift between agricultural practices based on enhancing nutrient cycling and soil health versus those that mine soil fertility and attempt to replace or compensate for degraded soil health with technology and commercial products”
David R. Montgomery
- Growing A Revolution: Bringing our soil back to life
- Growing a Revolution excerpt: 'Giving the Plow the Boot in the Era of Climate Change'
- Dig2Grow: David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé's website
- David R. Montgomery & Anne Biklé on Twitter
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