ECO-Tours only purchases trees and dirt to plant them in...

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Monetizing Good Sense.

Be forewarned, you will be asked for money before this post is over.
In the realm of ideas, we have been witnessing the bullies getting all the cash, all the attention, all the press, even though they are an extreme minority we let them guide not only public discussions, sometimes the very definition of terms we use to speak but they also guide our policies as well. I have noticed that in all my days, the bullies have invariably been wrong, about everything. From the "importance of sport", to the equating the stock market and the economy. From the dog-eat-dog world they theorize to the competition for scarce resources. they all stem from a lack of awareness about physical reality and what actually exists. The vast majority of people I meet are co-operative, curious, compassionate and are, generally speaking, trying to make the world better or at least they hope to not make it worse. In fact, many have a deep and sometimes unexpressed self-loathing because they know our systems are prearranged to make some forms of harm unavoidable. Think, for instance of the number of times you have felt a pang of guilt or regret when you realize you left the water running, or let it continue running as you watched it run down the drain for no reason. Perhaps you are one of many hundreds of millions who would want to carpool if you knew a co-worker or co-shopper who lived along your route to the store or work. Maybe you're one of the people who never washes clothes unless the washer is at maximum capacity,perhaps you ar eone who still line dries clothes or who hangs shirts out in the yard to wear a second or third day. Whatever your ecological awareness leads you to do or to "know" about has interesting ramifications, if/when you are willing to learn. This message may seem far from the talk of bullies, but they are right here, in the blind spot of our discussion. So much is it the rule that bullies are the oddities, we often stand dumbfounded when they spout their strange ideas. In essence yeilding the floor to them because their ignorance and blindness. What we know to be true, is so far from their reality that they seem to be coming from a distant planet, so we stare in utter disbelief blinking and questioning, "Did they really say that?" The vast majority don't even want to call people out for stupid comments or the expression of misogyny, racist hate or anti-whatever-the-case-may-be. Inhumanity. It is obscene. Flat-out, unquestionably loathesome, but we stand there, with our mouths hanging open, wondering where to start.
I have often wondered how many steps back we would have to go to help educate and inform someone who already thinks they know it all about one person or another based solely on their sex (or how they express it) their creed or color, yet it happens. Usually we given it some quarter, regrettably. This is how a tiny percent of the population can have out-sized voice and control over our culture. Remeber, they already know that they are right. (Otherwise they wouldn't say it.) We even tell them that they ar e"right" with terms like we use in The U.S. of America, right-wing, conservative...terms that sound authentic and which reflect being right and good. There was a time not that long ago, when Democrats, or the "left-leaning" party, made room for the racists in their tent. I get it, thinking the balance is so precarious that you hav eto enlist the fringe to get your way... My grandmother was a staunch Democrat who left the party when the Southern Democrats (racists) made their play for power back in their heyday. Again, regrettably, there are still a few of those racists among various "liberal" causes. We need to turn the corner on bullies, call out their "Competition is god" mentality and remind them that human beings, like the rest of nature are stronger and have a higher quality of life when we work together insted of estranging over half the population, as misogyny does, or demonizing and or isolating ourselves from other groups. Most anyone with a lick of sense will agree, every human being loves their children the way we do. Every love, no matter how you think it is being "expressed" is not an attack or reflection on you. None at all. All moral objections you may have about what others do in the privacy of their own bedrooms, closets or kitchens for that matter are none of your business and fall flat when yo urelize that your judgements ar etearing a tthe fabric of humanity. Demeaning others, de-moralizing them and/or trying to shame them is not adaptive in any way, it burdens not only the person being bullied, but our entire human race. This is where the rubber hits the road my friends, I am calling everyone to expect the unexpected, when you least expect to be burdened by bullies, be ready, perhaps even practice what you will say the next time you hear a blithering idiot trying to tear down someone else with their harmful rhetoric, their blatant disregard for the truth and prejudicial statements. Or just practice saying, "This is where it stops." That will give you time to collect your thoughts and decide what the best words are to say, "No, you are out of bounds." and "This is why." Peace Warriors is the rough translation of shanti sena, a term used by the Rainbow Family of light and Love to describe our common responsibility. A concept that is rarely taught but essential to living without the yoke of capitalistic dogma that servitude is righteous is to know that we cannot have true freedom without ultimately paying the price of responsibility. If you cannont bear the costs of your own behavior, you certainly should not be allowed to foist your shortcomings on others! Surely, we can all agree with that! Finally, our group, ECO-Tours of Wisconsin, Inc. works constantly to bring about awareness regarding the give-back, otherwise known as the give-away. Reciprocation. Just this week, we shared a resource of our organization with another not-for-profit that will be able to sequester several, perhaps many tons of carbon in their soils using the equipment. The people involved with that non-profit are working to bring a heavily impacted, eighty-acre parcel back to health and although it is just a tiny place in the middle of other severely impacted areas, it will be an outdoor school, working to re-train humans to be part of, not estranged from, nature and the natural world around them. Thousands of people are starting new ventures that honor the Earth and her people, the creatures we share the land with and the natural cycles of energy, water, carbon and nutrients. None of them came to that awareness because they listened to bullies. They did it because of what they learned is actually true, not someone's opinon. I have done everything in my power to keep this site from falling behind a paywall, but it does cost something to put these posts together. I pay nearly constant attention and it takes time to clarify my thoughts on these issues. I'm a slow typist so it takes time to translate my ideas to words and getting the money to purcase an occasional new piece of equipment or upgrade/continue internet services all cost money, so this is the blatant pandering for money that I try to avoid. Checks and cash can be sent directly to ECO-Tours of Wisconsin, Inc. at 522 Acreview Drive, De Pere, Wisconsin 54115, our temporary home until we find our post-covid place. You can send contributions directly to paypal using my e-mail address, which is also our account number for them...tnsaladino42@hotmail.com. You can send contributions directly to the gofundme page, https://gofund.me/52fa3b77 where we are raising money to purchase land to create our own outdoor school, or you can send directly to our ECO-Tours of Wisconsin, Inc. account at Capital Credit Union using Zelle. We can make the change we want to see in the world, we have both the right and the responsibility to make it happen.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Upcoming Class Near MPLS

Next week, we will be having a day-long biochar class. It will be held near Osceola, about an hour Northeast of Minneapolis. I can be reached for more information, by e-mail at: biocharmaster@gmail.com Contact me to reserve tickets.

Monday, November 8, 2021

DE-stabilization of Servoglobe

Since WWII, there has been a proliferation of Western thinking dominating and colonizing the planet. The idea that Plato and Socrates were special, or that the apex of human intellectual activity was centered around people whom they believe looked quite a bit like themselves. We have sold the human race short if we do not honor the fact that the great figures we tease out of history are only able to be pretty much like us, for other parts of the planet were not even "discovered" in their time. Intact human cultures with great schools and scientific enquiry had been established even before those greats, but they were from other races and places. The edge of the known world even today is amorphous, changing based on who is telling the stories. Our culture is based on a finite, shared knowlege and what had become a variety of distinct, culturally unique and relatively stable sub systems. In days of old, since vast regions and cultures could exist far beyond the edge of the "known world", it became easy to be self-absorbed and functionally fixed in our specific and unique pattern language, our definitions and our own understandings, shaping our perceptions. A person of five hundred, or fifteen hundred might not even be able to conceive of people from Asia, Africa or the Americas, but in each of those locations, great thinkers were present, ancient engineers with a gifts for their necessary science. For a sobering insight into world knowledge, study the early libraries and what happened to them. Our archaeological history is replete with astronomic and geographic awareness beyond what modern humans typically even imagine. Exacting scientific awareness brought to the ancients by trial and error, asking rigorous questions, making hundreds, even thousands of experiments and observations, appreciating the results of multiple trials. Apart from publishing their results, pretty much all the styeps involvedin our refuined science to this day. We now know that at least nine thousand years ago, people were making anthropogenic soil from virtually pure carbon, made pretty much the same way charcoal is made today. The process is still fascinating to modern humans even though we have lost much of our daily contact with fire, it still stirs our primal spirit. Why wouldn't the ancients thrill to a fire the same way we do in 2021 or two or ten...? There really is not better symbbol for the cleansing, re-birth possible when all that stored energy gets thrown off in a raging inferno! The Westrnization of thought has taken us all the way to confronting the very limits of the planet. Our atmosphere, drenched as it is with carbon dioxide is the direct result of linear thinking and exploitation of all resources with little regard for the cause and effect relationships between our actions and what they unleash on the world around us. The concept of Servoglobe is not new, like the "Twittering Machine" of Pual Klee, our fragile, and broadly applied systems have been contrived in the idyllic world of Autocad and Newtonian Physics. Disneylandesque flow charts and diagrams in real life trying to standardize and mega-size everything, without regard for the planet. What we have not planned for is resource limitations, the end of fossil energy and continuing and prolonged disruption of global trade. The tiny and widely spread gearboxes get ornery when their preferred energy sources are withheld. Much like asking a thoroughbred racehorse to pull a gypsy caravan over a mountain range without food or water, the tools of our daily trades are giving up the ghost without fuel or the throughput that they normally require for daily operation. Even the throwaway workers, have been retiring at record rates. They know life is more about experiences than things. what is life without time to enjoy it? As supply chain impacts continue, there will be continuded loss of functionality, whether it is from large scale truck assembly facilities, not being able to get computer chips, to daycares, elder care facilites and schools that can't get enough food to feed children, students or elders, even down to tire stores and places you would normally get your windshield wipers. None of the things we used to take for granted are for sure in the unique time we are living in. Who really knows what product we will be told is about to be in short supply next, leading to runs and price gouging. Fortunatelty,we can turn our technologically advanced communications system to work bridging gaps and making connections. I know that my ability to teach biochar classes has increased a hundred fold over having to get people to attend in-person classes. Outside the one-size-fits-all approach there exists a large array of systems that co-create, enlist the help of one another, co-operatively own or manage properties and other resources. The more humane, smaller is better groups are often the most efficient and it is with that reality firmly in my sights that I say, we do have the power to step off the fragile and fracturing old-way systems in favor of a new paradigm. That is why ECO-Tours of Wiscosnsin continues to fund-raise for our outdoor school, to have a large enough facility to host class events for dozens of students, possibly hundreds. Our growth has been organic and slowly growing, as most natural things are. This is the qualitative opposite of plopping a franchse store from a national chain in a town. Though our organic growth, we have taught many hundreds, perhaps thousands of people to create biochar. back in th eday, we planted sixty thousand native trees and many tens of thousands of native plants to help stabilize the soils and rebuild a maor natural environment in our wake. The real stability comes when we take these management strategies that value the give back or give away into practice in th ereal world. As we see modern structures failing, it is natural to look to the way we did things before, but we also need to take the valuable tools we have available today and turn them to good uses. That is what we teach on our ECO-Tours.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Lake Superior Traditional Ways Gathering

Char created, approx. 130 gallons everyone who received char also received instruction on turning it into a forever soil amendment that will enhance the habitat available for the soil microbiome for tens of thousands of years!
This was my process laid out to mimic the timeline. First, on the left, a small retort made from a dog dish and a lid found at St. Vincent DPaul thrift store as well as a cookie tin and self tapping screws. When making char using a retort like this, you need to put your dry woody material inside the tin, secure the lid with three self-tapping screws, then poking a few holes in the top to let the flammable gasses escape. The evidence that you char has finished, is when th egasses stop coming out, to cool, just flip the container upside down, holes down on a relatively flat surface that is fire proof. Between the two retorts for making char is a one ounce chunk of completely pyrolyzed char, propped up on an herbal supplememnt container. For scale, the container is just over four inches (10.16 cm)tall and two inches wide (5.08 cm) on the bottom part The white lid is 2 1/8 inches (5.4 cm)across.The one ounce chunk easily fits inside. Just a handful of char has fourteen acres of surface area, so adding the proper amount of nutrients, minerals and essential life takes time. The next two items can be interchanged, but the best end of the wood to mount the crusher was after the screening step. In fact, they must be interchanged, until it is crushed, it can't really be screened. I heard of an event that took place this weekend, where three and a half tons of char were "danced" down into small particles! That will be some seriously energized material! The crusher in small scale can be a hand crank coffee mill. Larger scale crushers can be made from concrete mixers with a few boulders in them, hammer mills and grain mills are also serviceable. A functional large scale screen can also be made by inserting 1/8 inch (2mm)screen inside a slotted 55 gallon drum, then rolling it on a tarp or over a wheelbarrow. Again, for maximum efficiency and carbon free operation, human powered units count for more carbon storage points than electric ones. Beyond that, of course are the nutrients and minerals. I found an eloquent way of saying succinctly what folks need to know about nutrients and minerals. Add nutrients and minerals that are abundant under your management scheme and cultural practices. That allows each farm to understand the words the way their scale and particular land offers. If you have livestock and manure is available, use it! If you have slaughter operations, or catch a lot of fish, use that waste! As many sources as you can get, added a little at a time. When you can't have the scent of the nutrients disappear after stirring the char for a few days, stop adding, you are approaching stauration! Between the black box and the blue box, is where the longest part of the process takes place, adding microbes and allowing time for their maturation. Think of it like having a pet for about six to ten weeks. During this phase, you need to check on and stir your 3-D black petri dish two to three times every day. At 14 acres (5.6656 ha.)per handful,microbes need many, many generations to populate it.Since most of them are not very mobile, the stirring helps tranfer them surface to surface, so stir them with love and compassion, you don't want to be aggressive and violent about the stirring, but just take some effort to thoroughly mix the material, it really helps get the transfer to take place. If youhave done well, providing a wide varit=ety of nutrients and minerals will enhance the availability of habitable space when the ransfer is complete. Several "tricks" exist for getting good microbial communities. It does not hurt to have them be local either, the stronger the members and local winners of the local microbiome, the stronger your biochar will be. Find the best microbes under compost heaps, elder trees wherever your best soils are, or make a compost tea. Try a little of all three! The blue topped container is the biological "test" that I use to determine whether char is "done" or not. The sides, which I temporarily segregate with a small piece of cardbord, are labelled "WORMY SOIL" and "BIOCHAR" I fill the two sides, then remove the cardboard, loosely cover it overnight in the garage or basement. If the worms can be found on the biochar side the next day, it is ready to be released into the environment. I have had them reject the char and after stirring and keeping th emoisture level perfect, abotu a swet as a wrung out sponge, they deemed it finished! At the very end were a few containers of crushed, charred material that I had for sale, enough to do three to five gallons and a larger one that would be enough for a four by four foot (1.2m X 1.2m) bed. After the burn, the tools were packed up and the buckets were filled with finished char. We also had a few larger volume containers, a couple thirty gallon ones and a twenty gallon one, plus a half dozen containers large enough to hold two grocery bags full each. It was a veritable char fiesta!

Friday, August 6, 2021

Human Ecology

When I first heard about the covid-19 virus, I prepared myself mentally for two to two-and-a-half years of quarantine. Understanding how viruses work and how little people seem to understand the science we have about nature, I knew that this was no short-term problem. A year-and-a-half in and we are finally getting some movement toward a resolution, at least in my country. because I'm inquisitive, I have been reading up a bit on the history of vaccination and how long it has taken to eradicate different illnesses using vaccines. The first disease eradicated through widespread innoculation was small pox, which took 200 years to eradicate. In fact, charles Darwin encouraged people to not get vaccinated because he felt that nature would save some people and that they would "naturally" be immune. The problem is, he didn't understand virology and may have personally doubled the length of time it eventually took to vaccinate enough people to defeat the disease. We have had much better luck with other vaccines. Many of us remember getting regular tetanus shots or the boosters for that. We all lined up to get our polio vaccines, measels, mumps, rubella (MMR) and others. The idea that public health and the lives we could save by getting vaccinated have no value is particularly heinous especially when the same people are ready to jump at the opportunity to say "all lives matter" and every fetus has the "right to life".
If we start from the perspective that claims all lives matter, it follows that we would use scientifically proven methods to protect and defend life, but that's not what right-wing folks believe. We are now seeing the most vehement denial of fact I have seen in my lifetime. About half of the people in my nation don't intend to get vaccinated against covid-19. The fact that the overwhelming majority of deaths are currently in the un-vaccinated population matters not to many who still claim that thei rlies are more important than the facts. I won't list the dozen or so excuses that people are clinging to or muddy the waters with repeating their lies. We have all heard them. I want to point out that just yesterday I heard of a brilliant way to gain compliance from those who refuse to step up and do the right thing. I can't recall what company has done it, but they have developed policy that specifically and explicitly states that if an employee gets vaccinated and later gets covid-19, they will be paid their full salary during their illness and convalescence. Any employee that refuses to ge tthe vaccine that later contracts covid-19, will be fired without receiving any compensation. changing the work environment has led to a massive increase in employees getting vaccinated. It seems that when people are put in an environment where they can clearly see the difference between one course of action and what may result from it and another that has very different possible outcomes, they frequently make the best choices. This is no longer theoretical. Humanity faces a clear and present threat and those people who think they have the right to do what they want, even if it risks all of the rest of us need to be removed from society. We have the right to a safe environment, that's the only way to practice what we preach.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Rhinelander, Wisconsin Closes Two Wells

Most people who are familiar with Wisconsin know about the Rhinelander/Eagle River Area. Many who live there or have cottages in the area refer to it as God's Country. This is the area that I typically harvest wild rice. It has gotten more difficult over the past thirty years to find waters that are not contaminated with oil and/or gas, but that is the cost, it seems, of places being popular. There are places that still remain somewhat untouched by modern maladies, but two municipal drinking water supply wells have tested positive for PFAS, you may know it as an ingredient in high performance fabrics made by DuPont, or perhaps as Teflon, the non-stick cooking surface that was touted as revolutionary but that flaked off the pans it was coating. It may be something you have un-knowingly purchased as flame retardent clothing. Most children's sleepwear has it and a tiny bit is released every time you wash the garment. These wells in Rhinelander are not just a little bit contaminated, the health advisory has been exceeded by nearly fifteen times. Regulators set the action level at 40 ppt (parts per trillion) these wells are at nearly 600 ppt. The reason PFAS is called the forever chemical is because it literally does not breakdown, not in nature and certainly not in our bodies. It presents a long term problem that cannot be ignored.
Especially now, when property values are peaking and tourism brings in 90% of the income to several couties around this great lakes and rivers district, having to deal with forever pollution of the public water supply has an even more profound cost.The Mayor was interviewed and he said that they are taking a position that noone is at fault.7,500 souls spread out over nearly ten square miles will have a difficult time funding even one more well and for the people outside the city limits, they are completely on their own as far as finding clean and fresh water. This problem has been known since 2013. Since the municipality only had five wells to begin with, this makes their fresh water source rather precarious. It has been reported that if they have to close one more well, they won't have enough water to meet the needs of residents.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Emergent Prophesy

I am coming to understand that seeing the future is not as much about having some sort of divine intervention or transformative experience involving the divine, but it is arrived at by paying acute and critical attention to details, motivations behind some of the slightest actions and grasping minute details about the now and trends that have been established over time. The more deep the dive we take into experiencing fully both the past and how it affected our moment in time, the more likely we are to "see into the future". Not one of us can say with certainty what the next big thing will be. A short list of trends will prove that. For instance who could have said before hand that chipotle, which has existed for centuries, perhaps millennea, would become so ubiquitous that you could not swing a cat without hitting something with smoked pepper spice in it? Pet rocks, clackers, fidget spinners, blogs and books "on tape" seemed extremely odd, quirky and arcane until they became ubiquitous. In hindsight we say, that it was inevitable, but to presage those trends required not just out of the box thinking, but an element of understanding what humans want and need, their underlying perception of lack that drives them to the marketplace, or what makes them feel guilty. Even though if you asked the person they might not know or admit to it, but we all have a sense of guilt that we are not being "productive enough" when we drive to and from work every day, or do the tasks that have become rote with basic,boring repetition. I mean, there is only so good a job you can do pairing socks or folding shirts for heaven's sake and driving, well...One of my mentors who taught me little else used to say, driving is like a contest that everyone can win if we all get safely to our destination with no damage to any of the vehicles. The books on tape allow us to learn, have fun with and be read to while doing some jobs that just need to be done, but that we could nearly do without a thought. If the stressors get too high to pay attention or you have to concentrate on changing loads of laundry for instance or if you like the turn of phrase and just want to hear it again, you can always rewind the tape a bit or have an instant "do over". All of these trends have been based on conscious as well as unconscious wants, needs and desires. The main taproot of prophesy, it is my contention, goes deep into the heart of humankind and pulls up what is salient when others might scoff or blatantly deny those needs, wants and desires. Honestly, I still don't understand the fascination with chipotle.
Growth and adaptation are the rule, not the exception. We can look at trend lines until we are blue in the face, but in virtually all things sociologic (dealing with people and their behavior) all trends seem to have a break point where things steadily change and then suddenly, the sky is the limit or the next day the trend falls flat. Anyone who has participated in a trend knows what I'm talking about. Remeber when the cool kids collected Pogs or when beanie babies were the hot new item? What about the Mrs. Beasley dolls or Cabbage Patch Kids? If you are of a certain age, there was a time when yo-yos were hot, or stuffed Smurfs and E.T.s could not be kept on the shelves of stores. I know it sounds odd, but trends almost presage their own elimination simply because they are trends. Trends start with a few odd balls. in the business, they are called early adopters. Then, the cool kids think it makes them special to get on board or it fills a need in them. Soon everyone wants to, using the yo-yo example "Walk the Dog", successfully pull off "Around the World" or perform "Cat's Cradle". The only reason they still sell yo-yos is because some people are still fascinated by the inertia of the spinning top turned horizontally. If a trend helps us to excel or refine hidden talents, develop or show off, have more time to do the things we love or to simply feel seen or heard, in the case of clackers, standing out from the crowd, the trend line goes up. If these factors get removed, that is when the trend line crashes. That is why the most annoying trends have to constantly reach extreme levels. That is why some people juggle while standing on their head and simultaneously balancing on three chairs stacked on a ball. Or two people do all these things on opposite sides of a teeter-otter. To keep things interesting at this point, one person may juggle knives while the other juggles flaming batons. It is also why luxury cars, monster trucks and blowing coal exist. There will always be those who want to be the oddballs and will pay any price to remain the most extreme.
This is a photo of me in my garden. When I bought this property, every inch of it was hard-packed, expansive clay. When it was dry, cracks up to an inch across would open up across the whole surface, deep enough that until there was a full inch of rain, they would not fill up. when it was dry, there was so little life in it that you could throw a sharpened spade down, in an attempt to pierce the surface anywhere in the yard and it would bounce off and ring like a bell. My passion was for organic gardening and this image is of me when I had acheived three crops on the same square foot of soil for the first time. Now, I'm up to five crops on one square foot in a single growing season and don't get that level of joy from it because it is not as novel as three crops was back then. This is another reason trends occasionally die out. If you need to constantly out do yourself but the technology or technique has finite limits, once you are up against them, you may lose interest. Going back to yo-yo tricks, I have seen it claimed tha tthere are fifty of them, but if the cool kids only did ten, you may lose interest when you master those ten. you may only get good at three and that could make you lose interest. You could even tangle the string or tie it to the shaft with the wrong knot and you might give up the whole undertaking on day one, but at least you bought the hot "new" trendy item. But, for now, let's go back to the garden. What allows some people to sustain what would otherwise become just a trendy diversion or after the activity or item loses that lustre that can only come from "newness"? I contend that it has to do with how well it serves the future and this is where we can sidle up to prophesy. When we can see through the now into a future time and understand the wants and needs of those people who inhabit it. We have always known that some people will always say, "I have a black, (or brown) thumb." or "I can't keep a cactus alive." So, the chia pet was created. That one, as strange as it may sound was sort of a no-brainer. What is odd, to my way of thinking is that they have not yet offered chia self portraits. I guess not enough people want to see themselves with green afros. How much people invest in trends is often directly related to what they get back. For some, having a crowd pay to see them perform does the trick. Chances are, if you ever see the two people balanced and juggling on a teeter-totter, you will have paid to see them perform or you are also part of the troupe who are backstage watching them practice. My gardening gets practiced in relative isolation, but as I offered neighbors some of my extra produce, it brought a handful around to start asking, "Hey, how did you do that?" When I strted, I was the weird guy at the end of the block collecting everyone's leaves that they put out to the curb in the fall. those who asked, or paid attention realized that the yards that were full of trash or outright garbage had their leaves passed over and when the leaves turned to lawn clippings the next spring, the people who used chaemicals also had their grass clippings left behind. If I didn't see parts of dandelion leaves or flowers in their yard waste, I didn't want or use it.
Building up the organic matter in my soil took years but I never got bored with it. I pushed the limits of what I had heard is a "good amount" of soil organic matter. I began to study just what I was doing in a scientific sense and tried to grapple with how and why I inherited such awful soil. It was because it had been treated like dirt for so long, abused and taken advantage of, there really wasn't any soil left. Then, I learned that on average, agricultural soils in the U.S. have as little as 1% SOM (Soil Organic Matter)I have seen soil tests as low as 0.6% and heard of them as low as 0.4%. I stopped checking when I got over 10% but I know that you can and I did go higher. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)and the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) have known for decades that increasing SOM 1% will allow soil to hold 25,000 gallons of water per acre, making that water available to plants. It does not take a sage or soothsayer to understand that if humans are to survive on this planet as a species, we will need to increase the moisture holding capacity of soil and this trend has already begun. The results of what we have done since the advent of fossil energy use in agriculture has created a devastating trend and the line, when followed into the future will give us more drought and more floods, more desertification and less healthy crops. The trend we are on the threshold of is to flip the script and build soil, with organic carbon. Not doing so will result in the elimination of our species. The stakes are high but the propensity of people to jump on the hottest new trends should not be overlooked, it may be the only thing that can save our species.