No Till Farming and the Land Ethic II

In 1978 I was one of the very first in N. MO to implement the use of No Till Farming. Today it is the most common way to farm. Basically it is to plant your seed with little or no damage or disruption to the soil such as plowing or disking. As I was talking to an older farmer the other day he explained that I was probably 5 years to early as the large implement companies and chemical companies had not developed to full use their necessary inputs for no till to work. The following article which I found in one of my grandmothers books  is so necessary reading in today's over used world. As one of my friends said to me the problem with today's world is no one knows what is enough. There is only so much of mother earth. The following are from pages of a book that I am currently reading written by Dr. Aldo Leopold called "A Sand County Almanac" A truly great book on conservation. I will in future blogs expand on other parts of the book. When there are rainy or blustery days it is fun to go thru my grandmothers old books. She was also quite a woman who inherited her farm from her father when she was orphaned at 14 years of age. To say she loved her farm is the understatement of all understatements. She was also quite the conservationist in her own right and her notes and books during the war and the war effort pertaining to farming is just very good reading. I hope to share all this with you in the upcoming blogs. Basically everyone says write a blog and you sit and think of what and when you start you cant stop. But I am going to make it a ritual for who ever reads and for me to remember so many good times. Thank you and we will get on with the purpose of this essay.

Every great and lasting civilization in recorded history has been built on this layer of topsoil; often in the valleys of great rivers and in climates slightly warmer than temperate.  Each of the civilizations has lasted as longs as its soil fertility was maintained and has fallen when this fertility was depleted. Other minor causes may enter into such depletion, yet the primary cause has always been soil erosion, whether by wind or water. 

When erosion has exhausted the topsoil layer or washed it away , theirs is no amount of modern fertilizer which will maintain its productivity or life carrying capacity.  Only through  geological time, through the slow weathering of its basic mineral elements and the long, slow evolution or invasion of new plant and animal species which live and die on the land, can its life-supporting fertility be restored.

Thus we will do well to think of our land in more than economic terms-and to consider what course of action toward it is esthetically and ethically right.   Only thus can we preserve its stability and integrity - which is to say, its capacity for the sustained support of such higher life forms as mankind.