March 7, 2009

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All soil is not created equal. I am planning my veggie garden and such a big part of having a successful garden is the consistent building of rich soil. My friend Barbara Putnam has been farming for years- whenever she comes over to see my little, humble garden her comments always center around more organic material, more compost, richer soil, more soil organisms. I am eager to get out and play in my healthy soil, adding more nutrients so I can grow yummy food.

Hurray for my great information source: Organic Consumers Association! At the annual meeting for the American Association for the Advancement of Science research has determined, “once again, that the path to healthy soil and healthy food is organic farming”. Are you surprised? I am not.

A frightening factoid about the negative impact of GMO crops on living soil:  also from OCA:

A recent scientific study carried out by Navdanya, compared the soil of fields where Bt-cotton had been planted for 3 years with adjoining fields with non GMO cotton or other crops. The region covered included Nagpur, Amravati and Wardha of Vidharbha which accounts for highest GMO cotton planting in India, and the highest rate of farmers suicides (4000 per year)!?!?!?  In 3 years, Bt-cotton has reduced the population of Actinomycetes by 17%. Actinomycetes are vital for breaking down cellulose and creating humus. Bacteria were reduced by 14%. The total microbial biomass was reduced by 8.9%. Vital soil beneficial enzymes which make nutrients available to plants have also been drastically reduced. Acid Phosphatase which contributes to uptake of phosphates was reduced by 26.6%. Nitrogenase enzymes which help fix nitrogen were reduced by 22.6%.

At this rate, in a decade of planting with GM cotton, or any GM crop with Bt genes in it, could lead to total destruction of soil organisms, leaving dead soil unable to produce food.

PEOPLE- shout this information from the rooftops. There are no redeeming factors in genetic-modification. And we need our soil to be rich and productive.

Back to my garden….so, I really need to find a source of horse manure to add to my compost. I’m getting ready to order some blueberry bushes and I plan to put in a raspberry patch- the last one got out of hand and invaded my veggie garden- Going to help Barbara start some onion seeds on Monday. It’s time for you all to look at seeds- even if you just have a container of tomatoes or basil. Wonderful to grow something. Spring is so in the air.

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3 Responses to “”

  1. Meg Wolff Says:

    Hi Joan,
    Great you are already planning your garden, me too! If you would like I will post your post (shout it from the roof tops) on my Ellsworth American (newspaper) blog. It’s a “downeast” paper which is also online.

  2. joanspear Says:

    Sure, Meg, let’s spread the word. j


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