Journal, Winter 2004, Soil Fertility

Wise Traditions, Volume 5, Number 4

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President’s Message: Back to Basics

by Sally Fallon

This issue takes us back to the basics with a look at the subject of soil fertility and how it affects the nutritional quality of the foods we eat. One surprising fact emerges: native or untreated soil is not necessarily the best soil. Just as our foods require wisdom and care in their preparation, so our soils require wise husbandry to produce crops and animal products that nourish us the best.

Good soil management and animal husbandry, like the subject of nutrition, call for the marriage of science and tradition. In this issue, Gary Wilson (page 13) and Rex Harrill (page 18) discuss some of the pioneers in this field, researchers like William Albrecht and Cary Reams, who merged scientific technique with their observations of nature.

Allan Nation then takes us back to the period between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of World War II with a description of how Americans farmed (page 30). For economic reasons, grazing and grass-feeding was the norm, especially with chickens and hogs; science has now provided us with knowledge about the nutritional advantages of grass-based farming. And the economic advantages remain, especially for the small farmer in an era of increasing energy and transportation prices.

Charles Eisenstein provides the compelling reasons for buying local to support the farmers who take care of their soil and raise their animals on pasture (page 36). Only by buying local can we reward the farmers who take the necessary steps to increase the fertility of their soil.

And finally, Ron Schmid outlines a dietary plan for recovery from chronic disease (page 39), a plan that naturally relies on the carefully grown products of local farms.

If you have not marked November 11-13 on your calendar, please do so now. Plans for our 6th annual conference are moving forward. Our theme for Saturday the 12th is “Honoring the Unsung Scientist,” and on Sunday the 13th we will have three tracks of speakers, one on heart disease, one on cancer and one on dentistry. We are planning plenty of activities for family members who may not want to attend all the lectures, including a dance on Friday evening and tours of museums and monuments, so do consider combining the conference with a family vacation. The location is the beautiful Westfields Marriott Hotel, surrounded by woodlands and blessed with every amenity, from wonderful food to a spa and golf course. Check out our website for the latest details. Work scholarships as well as paid scholarships will be available.

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