The revolution starts with the earth
Our health, the health of the soil and that of our planet are all connected.
Healthy soil is the first step to a stable climate and to healthier living conditions, for everyone. Lowering our gaze, rethinking our relationship with the earth and the very concept of agriculture, is the key to responding to contemporary urgencies related to climate change.
Reinventing a cooperative relationship with nature is the first step towards attempting to reverse the dramatic phenomena of erosion and desertification underway.
The key lies in carbon, an element that is crucial to life on earth.
Think of photosynthesis: the classic narrative emphasises the ability of plants to produce oxygen from carbon dioxide. But an equally important aspect of this process is often overlooked: plants are able to store about 40% of carbon in their roots. This is slowly released to the micro-organisms of the soil, which exchange mineral nutrients with the plants. The presence of these “reserves” of carbon in the soil is closely linked to the vitality of the soil and the plants and animals that inhabit it.
The advent of conventional agriculture is responsible for the process of soil degradation and impoverishment that we are currently witnessing. Massive use of pesticides and mechanical equipment that “stress” the soil deprives it of those micro-organisms needed to absorb and retain carbon. Damaged soil releases carbon dioxide and water, which return to the atmosphere, setting the scene for the process of desertification.
This has immediate effects on the microclimate: bare (desertified) soil has a lower temperature regulation capacity. This phenomenon, if extended on a global scale, results in the modification of the macroclimate, which we are witnessing today.
We are trapped in a vicious circle: the use of chemicals only masks the degeneration of the soil, which has now reached a situation of chronic stress. “Spoilt” soil requires increasingly intense and frequent care. The roots of the plants, which are short and weak, having been made lazy by external supplements (fertilisers and manure) become more and more vulnerable to climate fluctuations, as they are unable to penetrate deep into the soil to absorb the nutrients they need.