Restoring the Earth to Vibrant Health23 May 2012
We need to swiftly, consciously and wisely become the generous species on Earth. We've taken so much from the soils, plants, trees and animals; we have a huge debt to repay to restore humanity's health as well as that of the whole interdependent chain of life. We can do this by remineralizing the world's soils with natural mixtures of rock dust, returning the increased amount of organic matter back to the soil. This builds fertility and depth while enabling abundant production to meet our needs for pure natural foods, fiber, timber, bamboo, biomass energy like alcohol, bio-diesel, wood and hemp, as well as beautiful landscapes, parks, and wild lands. By choosing healthy vegetarian, vegan, or raw-food lifestyles, hundreds of millions of acres now used for animal-based agriculture and drug crops can be converted to organically mineralized orchards, farms and new forest land. Fast-growing tree plantations on remineralized soils can simultaneously build soil fertility and convert CO2 to leaf and wood for alcohol fuel and wood energy. Leaves and residues can be returned to the soil. This can replace the practice of burning carbon stored in the ground as oil, coal and natural gas, which is wrecking our interglacial climate.
This conversion can eliminate what currently comprises 20% of total CO2 emissions from animal husbandry, enabling us to quickly plant the many billions of trees needed to bring CO2. Remineralizing much of the current forest land will greatly reduce widespread disease and insect and fire epidemics, enabling forests to again grow healthy and strong. This will pull in billions of tons of CO2 through renewed nourishment and vibrance from soil microbes up to treetops while reversing soil acidification, allowing the soil life-system to hold much more moisture for year-round availability and ameliorate the increasing tinderbox conditions in many malnourished forests. Stabilizing CO2 levels and the planetary climate is the sensible approach to save what is left of our forests and nurture the growth of new ones over much of the Earth.
Whether you lean toward the widely accepted Global Warming theory and related evidence, or the new Glacial Period thesis and evidence as put forth by John Hamaker, myself and others, I think we can all agree on the wisdom of remineralizing and re-greening the Earth to reverse the current slide into climatic chaos. For example, in the winter of 2007 - 2008, there were record cold and crop-destroying snowstorms all the way into southern China, Greece, the Middle East and Florida as well as north to Alaska, Canada and Greenland, with the highest level of Northern Hemisphere snow cover in at least 52 years.
Along with the understanding that we've reached Peak Oil, we need to realize our soil-devouring civilization has already passed Peak Soil. Earth is in urgent need of replenishment. Can the human mind and heart awaken and shift from egocentric to ecocentric, from the shortsighted habits of exploitative materialism to regenerative compassion, simple living and co-creation of natural abundance and health for all?
Health and Ecology Education Are Key
The signs are hopeful that in time, we can all realize that a new earth is possible through our heartfelt understanding, vision and actions. The alternative is simply unacceptable. A working knowledge of the basics of health and ecology is the key to discernment when it comes to the teachings of our current educational system on these subjects, as well as in detaching from brainwashing about Earth-detrimental products and so-called lifestyles touted by most media and the 36-billion-dollar advertising industry in the U.S. Ongoing self-education throughout life seems the wise course. John Robbins' excellent new book, Healthy at 100, contains information on the wisdom of other cultures, including some of the healthiest and longest-lived. As John writes, "Depending on what we choose to affirm and cultivate within ourselves and our children, we can collectively turn this planet into a hell or a heaven. Whether we like it or not, and whether we accept it or not, our choices make an enormous difference. How we treat ourselves and each other always matters."
This is why I believe that the world's healthiest and most long-lived peoples offer us a vision of hope for our time. In Okinawa, Abkhasia, Vilcabamba and Hunza, there is a deep sense of human connection and social integrity. People continually help one another and believe in one another. There are always ways for people to make amends for mistakes and be forgiven, so people are not discarded or rejected. Wealth is shared rather than hoarded. As one Abkhasian proverb puts it, I am whole because you are whole.
Dr. Allen Banik, author of Hunza Land says, "In Hunza, I seemed to be in another world, a world of friendliness and good nature. Covetousness, envy and jealousy were nonexistent; no police force was needed to keep order; unlocked doors were not a temptation. People of these cultures eat a mostly raw and mostly plant-food organic diet, as well as lead an outdoors active life close to the land for the young and long-time young alike."
John describes the Hunza model of soil replenishment in depth, quoting J.I. Rodale's The Healthy Hunzas, "The magnificent health of the Hunzans is due to... the way in which their food is raised... I am sure that the powdered rock dust which flows onto the Hunzan land is a significant factor in the outstanding results obtained by the Hunzans."
Since people of all of the cultures studied in Healthy at 100 have eaten whole, mineralized, organic food throughout their lives, they've been virtually untouched by cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc. In contrast, Healthyday.com reported on December 17, 2007, there are "12 million new cases of malignancy worldwide in 2007," with almost 8 million dying from their cancer and/or their medical treatments. The incidence of obesity in the U.S. has increased from 13 to 32 percent since the 1960s according to a report from Acres USA from September 2007. Both junk food addiction and hidden hunger for nutrients lacking in soils and foods are primary causes of obesity, along with sedentary lifestyles. With less energy to exercise, garden or even to think rationally when we are malnourished, we circle endlessly in this vicious cycle. Let us avoid seeking to fill our needs for emotional and spiritual nourishment with food. Consider how love for self and others can be the inspirational foundation to bring about a full restoration of human and planetary health.
Organiculture Can Restore the Earth's Health
Fruition, a farm on Maui, is another model of the health-oriented agriculture of the future, thriving on 11 acres of previously neglected pastureland. Former San Franciscans Stephan Reeve and his mom, Dorli, have co-created an Edenic garden and orchard a la Hunzans with generous soil remineralization, mulching and composting. Fruition produces a growing abundance of mineralized avocados, mangos, papayas, lychees, jakfruit, sapotes, tangelos, rambutans and many others, probably exceeding the variety grown in Hunza. Continued generous remineralization and compost return should soon allow Fruition to match the quality of the Hunzan Shangri-La. We can all strive for such high standards of soil fertility, food quality, health and active longevity. While fortunate to have some mineralized fruits and veggies year-round from my gardens here in California, my two weeks working at Fruition this past January was extra-nourishing and rejuvenating to body and spirit. Along with eating a variety of fresh, ripe, mineralized produce, renewing great friendships and swimming often, my rock dusting of a new grove of rollinia trees was a highlight, as I love to help young trees grow to healthful fruition.
The marvelous fact is that when we grow foods in remineralized and organic matter-enriched soils - animal manures and slaughterhouse byproducts are not needed, thankfully - the development of the flavor and of all the health-promoting compounds can, if you are truly hungry, make each food a favorite at the time of eating! The more we intelligently give to Nature, the more Nature gives back, often a hundredfold or more!
The fruits and vegetables grown by remineralizing farmer Bob Cannard, chosen by Alice Waters to supply the produce for Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, and by Rick and Kristi Knoll at Tairwa Farm in Brentwood, California, also come in for high praise. Many appreciative customers agree with the Knolls' own assessment of their farm and food as "beyond organic." With Cal-Organic, California's largest organic farm, adding at least 3000 tons of Summa Minerals rock dust to their increasingly remineralized acreage, it is clear that mineralized-organic can succeed from the smallest garden to the largest farm and beyond. The need for global Earth Regeneration work can eliminate unemployment and make crime as scarce as it is in the well-nourished, engaged-with-Nature cultures.
The fact that crime, war and ecological destruction are virtually unknown in cultures such as Hunza that Robbins writes of in Healthy at 100, tells us that these are extremely unnatural practices; their existence in our own culture is telling us we must heal ourselves at every level of being, in every inter-relationship, from soil to psyche.
Wouldn't it be great if, instead of spending $5 billion or more per week on warfare, we would use it to fund all the crucially needed Earth Regeneration projects? Is anything more important? A new and vibrant Earth calls us forward. Now is the time to exercise our response-abilities and express our love and gratitude for the gift of life! It is my hope that you will joyfully discover your own vital role in restoring vibrance to your health and that of your larger body, the living Earth!
Positive Steps to Consider
1 Start a garden, orchard, farm or Earth Regeneration Center to provide food and inspiration to yourself and others. Buy seeds and trees from independent and organic growers as there is a major corporate push to control, hybridize, chemicalize, and genetically modify agriculture and the food supply. Save seeds and propagate plants yourself as well. Start a plant and tree nursery.
2 Remineralize the soil, make compost, feed the microbes and earthworms to restore the basis of health and life.
3 Buy only organically grown foods and other natural products; try eating mostly or only plant foods and mostly or only fresh, raw, ripe foods; share the good news about soil mineralization and organic growing practices with farmers and as many people as you can.
4 Simplify every aspect of life to promote health for people and planet; work together with those supporting global health; withdraw your support from those people and companies whose practices are harmful to the ecosystem and encourage them to go constructively green.
5 Become knowledgeable about your own region as well as about the world in general so you may better influence local and global politics and consciousness through writing, speaking and leading new positive initiatives. Community gardens, orchards, tree nurseries and tree planting projects are needed almost everywhere, as are more Community Supported Agriculture enterprises, natural food potlucks and healthy living education centers and events.
6 Explore co-housing and cooperative community and eco-village options for you and loved ones, and retrofit your current residence for increased solar power, food growing and green living. Study Permaculture principles to see how they apply to your living and growing environment.
7 Help schools start organic, mineralized gardens and orchards - the Edible Schoolyards founded by Alice Waters in Berkeley, California are an example to build upon. Share Nature's beauty and miracles with children to prevent further spread of Nature Deficit Disorder.
Resources: Valuable WebsitesTreePeople:
Treesfor Life: www.treesforlife.org
Organic seeds resources: www.tilth.org
Sudden Oak Life: www.suddenoaklife.org
Fruit Tree Planting Foundation:www.ftpf.org
General Eco-Agriculture: www.acresusa.com
Remineralize the Earth: www.remineralize.org
School gardens + ecology center: www.oaec.org
Friends of the Trees: www.friendsofthetrees.net
Soil and Health Library: www.soilandhealth.org
Whole Systems Education:www.wholenessbook.com
John Robbins' Healthy at 100: www.healthyat100.org
Fuel and permaculture: www.alcoholcanbeagas.com
Organic seeds: www.vegparadise.com/heirloom.html
Vol 29 Issue 4 page 21