The more I read about George Washington Carver, the more I care about our soil. To learn about his agricultural stations where he singlehandedly set up, tested, analyzed and wrote reports on different methods of soil care at Tuskegee University in Alabama with limited funding makes me marvel. He cared about teaching people how to grow their own food in a way that benefitted the soil and their health.
One bulletin I read was how to build up worn out soils. He explained the history of why resting the soil made sense to the ancient Egyptians and then how progressive farmers learned that that the “crop-yielding power is increased by rotating or changing his crop every year, or every few years upon land not occupied by such crop the year previous.” This was printed in 1905.
What would he think of the chemicals we inject into our seeds, spread over and in and our soil and drop from the skies a century later? Is this progress?
Just several decades (1932) after Dr Carver published this bulletin, the first anhydrous fertilizer was injected into the soil to boost the nitrogen content.
The recent return to the family type farming where I was raised gives me hope. The soil and it’s peoples can return to the ways of caring for the soil that Dr Carver so carefully tested and shared. Knowing why crop rotation makes sense is the first of many lessons.