Suelo in Spanish, Sol in French, Suolo in Italian, Aferi in Ethiopia, Boden in German, Soil in English. Every country has it and everyone needs to care about it. The top 6 inches of the earth’s crust is where we get most of our nutrients to live. It is also the home to millions of microscopic bacteria and fungi and also the home to a host of insects, insect eaters, eaters of insect eaters, plant eaters and eaters of plant eaters. Everything starts with the soil, suelo, sol, suolo, aferi or boden. We have to protect it, nurture it, and feed it. Basically, we have to respect it.
For the last 20 years, Klesick Farms has done just that. We have never used synthetic chemicals on our fields and only supported farms that had the same passion. My friend Dave Hedlin tells a story that his mom would always share when anyone used the word “dirt” when referring to the soil.
“My mom worked with a soil scientist at Oregon State University in the 1940’s, and whenever one of his students would refer to the soil as dirt, he would correct them and say, ‘Dirt is what you sweep off the kitchen floor; soil is what you grow food in.’” Dave is full of wisdom like that and obviously, his mom was too. It comes down to respect. If we respect the soil, we are in a very real sense saying that we understand how interconnected life is—not only for us today, but for those who came before us and those still to come.
Organic farming is at its core a statement of RESPECT. Organic farming stands against a tide of easy, cheap and government subsidized food production that disrespects the soil and our health. Sure, it is easier to kill every good and bad pest, bacteria and fungi, and treat the soil like a sterile medium, but that is so short sighted. Nature always makes a comeback, but with more ferocity and determination. And our response to this natural correction by nature? Stronger chemicals and more toxic chemistry! For the most part since WWII, we have turned our attention to killing Nature to grow food. Why?!
That is a good question for another newsletter, but essentially, we don’t believe that health starts with the SOIL! Without soil, every culture has diminished or died out. We have this gift, a life changing, life sustaining gift—the Soil. The Soil is foundational to health. Change your food, change your life. It works both ways. Live on processed foods and that will change your life. Live on Organic produce, legumes, grains, nuts, proteins (and in that order) and that will change your life.
The health of the soil and our health is inextricably interconnected. Separate the two and you have what America has today—a health crisis. I am passionate about your health and my soil’s health. What we eat does matter! Organic is better for you and for the soil. And thankfully, we still get to pick what food system we support. Thank you for choosing the organic food system.
Health Advocate, Farmer, and Small Business Owner for the last 20 years