The widening gap between humans and nature has worked out all too perfectly for the agriculture industry giants. Corporations such as Scott’s, producers of Miracle-Gro, has capitalized on selling fertilizers and other gardening products that are damaging soil food webs. Bacteria, fungi, arthropods, and nematodes all make up a healthy food web in the soil. Each one of these serve a vital purpose in maintaining a balanced pH level and nutrient rich soil.
When the average gardener gives his tomato garden cups full of fertilizer, he his salting the earth. Salt sucks the moisture out of the soil, thus killing vital parts in the aforementioned food web. When the salt dries out the mucus-like fungi hyphae, plants, arthropods, and nematodes all lose one of their main food sources. This forces them to focus on feeding off of bacteria. Over a period of time, the soil becomes devoid of nutrients and natural nitrogen. The gardener then has to put more nitrates and false nutrients into his soil to grow anything, creating a vicious circle.
The reach of chemical fertilizers extends much farther than decimating the life in soil. Only a small minority of these nitrates and chemicals are actually kept in the rhizosphere, the area of soil that roots secrete and intake nutrients. The rest of it is washed away into the local water table, effectively poisoning it.
You can render these poisonous fertilizers useless by learning how to maintain or reach a perfect, sustainable soil food web. It is important that this become common knowledge across the nation, and I believe that it can start here at our schools. Learn more about permaculture and healthy soil food webs in Mr. Powers’ room every Friday at lunch.
Written by: Bowe Peelman