Out Of The Earth

Author: Daniel Hillel
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520080805
Size: 67.93 MB
Format: PDF
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A moving tribute to the physical and spiritual properties of nature's richestelement by one of the world's leading soil conservationists.

Dirt

Author: David R. Montgomery
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520952111
Size: 55.97 MB
Format: PDF
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Dirt, soil, call it what you want—it's everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it's no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations explores the compelling idea that we are—and have long been—using up Earth's soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology, Dirt traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward. We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil—as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. David R. Montgomery sees in the recent rise of organic and no-till farming the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.

Soil And Civilization

Author: Edward Hyams
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780719533112
Size: 30.16 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Hyams presents an ecological perspective on human history, describing people's relationships with the soil as being integrated, creative, or parasitic.

Growing A Revolution Bringing Our Soil Back To Life

Author: David R. Montgomery
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393608336
Size: 64.56 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A MacArthur Fellow’s impassioned call to make agriculture sustainable by ditching the plow, covering the soil, and diversifying crop rotations. The problem of agriculture is as old as civilization. Throughout history, great societies that abused their land withered into poverty or disappeared entirely. Now we risk repeating this ancient story on a global scale due to ongoing soil degradation, a changing climate, and a rising population. But there is reason for hope. David R. Montgomery introduces us to farmers around the world at the heart of a brewing soil health revolution that could bring humanity’s ailing soil back to life remarkably fast. Growing a Revolution draws on visits to farms in the industrialized world and developing world to show that a new combination of farming practices can deliver innovative, cost-effective solutions to problems farmers face today. Cutting through standard debates about conventional and organic farming, Montgomery explores why practices based on the principles of conservation agriculture help restore soil health and fertility. Farmers he visited found it both possible and profitable to stop plowing up the soil and blanketing fields with chemicals. Montgomery finds that the combination of no-till planting, cover crops, and diverse crop rotations provides the essential recipe to rebuild soil organic matter. Farmers using these unconventional practices cultivate beneficial soil life, smother weeds, and suppress pests while relying on far less, if any, fertilizer and pesticides. These practices are good for farmers and the environment. Using less fossil fuel and agrochemicals while maintaining crop yields helps farmers with their bottom line. Regenerative practices also translate into farms that use less water, generate less pollution, lower carbon emissions—and stash an impressive amount of carbon underground. Combining ancient wisdom with modern science, Growing a Revolution lays out a solid case for an inspiring vision where agriculture becomes the solution to environmental problems, helping feed us all, cool the planet, and restore life to the land.

Soil In The Environment

Author: Daniel Hillel
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 9780080554969
Size: 48.53 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Soil in the Environment is key for every course in soil science, earth science, and environmental disciplines. This textbook engages students to critically look at soil as the central link in the function and creation of the terrestrial environment. For the first time, Dr. Hillel brilliantly discusses soils as a natural body that is engaged in dynamic interaction with the atmosphere above and the strata below that influences the planet's climate and hydrological cycle, and serves as the primary habitat for a versatile community of living organisms. The book offers a larger perspective of soil’s impact on the environment by organizing chapters among three main processes: Physical, Chemical, and Biology. It is organized in a student-friendly format with examples, discussion boxes, and key definitions in every chapter. The book provides students of geology, physical science, and environmental studies with fundamental information and tools for meeting the natural resource challenges of the 21st century, while providing students of soil science and ecology with the understanding of physical and biological interactions necessary for sustainability. First textbook to unite soil science and the environment beyond what is traditionally taught Incorporates current knowledge of such hot topics as climate change, pollution control, human expropriation of natural resources, and the prospects for harmonious and sustainable development Organized in a student-friendly format with examples, discussion boxes, and key definitions in every chapter Full color throughout

As In The Heart So In The Earth

Author: Pierre Rabhi
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1594776474
Size: 64.71 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The world’s leading expert on reversing soil desertification shows how ecology can flourish only when spiritual elements are present • Uses a parable from the African oral tradition to provide a living testimony of what has been lost with the rise of modern technology • Provides a vital account of the strong relationship between soil and soul and how this relationship can be restored As in the Heart, So in the Earth is a strong indictment of a civilization that, while seeking domination over the earth, mutilates, tortures, and desacralizes it. For Pierre Rabhi ecology is inseparable from spirituality. He shows how the growing desertification of North Africa is a reflection of the “desert” that is claiming the hearts and souls of the inhabitants of the Western world--how dead soil is mirrored in our deadened souls--and how reconciliation with Mother Earth must be accompanied by relearning our ancestors’ reverence for the soil. Using a traditional African parable grounded in the very wisdom of the earth, Pierre Rabhi seeks to initiate the reader into a time when the people that dwelled on this planet did so harmoniously and could converse easily with the land. Village elder Tyemoro recounts the gradual destruction of his village’s culture and all that has sustained it as the miracles promised by modern technology brought more harm than good. This same drama is recurring throughout the world, where indigenous value systems that have endured for millennia are torn apart by contact with modern civilization. Yet Rahbi offers hope--if those in the modern world will stop to hear the words of their ancestors who worked the land, for our destiny is linked irrevocably to that of the earth.

Earth Matters

Author: Richard Bardgett
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019164563X
Size: 77.69 MB
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For much of history, soil has played a major, and often central, role in the lives of humans. Entire societies have risen, and collapsed, through the management or mismanagement of soil; farmers and gardeners worldwide nurture their soil to provide their plants with water, nutrients, and protection from pests and diseases; major battles have been aborted or stalled by the condition of soil; murder trials have been solved with evidence from the soil; and, for most of us, our ultimate fate is the soil. In this book Richard Bardgett discusses soil and the many, and sometimes surprising, ways that humanity has depended on it throughout history, and still does today. Analysing the role soil plays in our own lives, despite increasing urbanization, and in the biogeochemical cycles that allow the planet to function effectively, Bardgett considers how superior soil management could combat global issues such as climate change, food shortages, and the extinction of species. Looking to the future, Bardgett argues that it is vital for the future of humanity for governments worldwide to halt soil degradation, and to put in place policies for the future sustainable management of soils.

Can Poetry Save The Earth

Author: John Felstiner
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300155530
Size: 52.83 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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In forty brief and lucid chapters, Felstiner presents those voices that have most strongly spoken to and for the natural world. Poets- from the Romantics through Whitman and Dickinson to Elizabeth Bishop and Gary Snyder- have helped us envision such details as ocean winds eroding and rebuilding dunes in the same breath, wild deer freezing in our presence, and a person carving initials on a still-living stranded whale.

The Hidden Half Of Nature The Microbial Roots Of Life And Health

Author: David R. Montgomery
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393244415
Size: 23.29 MB
Format: PDF
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A riveting exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves—and could revolutionize agriculture and medicine. Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. Good health—for people and for plants—depends on Earth’s smallest creatures. The Hidden Half of Nature tells the story of our tangled relationship with microbes and their potential to revolutionize agriculture and medicine, from garden to gut. When David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé decide to restore life into their barren yard by creating a garden, dead dirt threatens their dream. As a cure, they feed their soil a steady diet of organic matter. The results impress them. In short order, the much-maligned microbes transform their bleak yard into a flourishing Eden. Beneath their feet, beneficial microbes and plant roots continuously exchange a vast array of essential compounds. The authors soon learn that this miniaturized commerce is central to botanical life’s master strategy for defense and health. They are abruptly plunged further into investigating microbes when Biklé is diagnosed with cancer. Here, they discover an unsettling truth. An armada of bacteria (our microbiome) sails the seas of our gut, enabling our immune system to sort microbial friends from foes. But when our gut microbiome goes awry, our health can go with it. The authors also discover startling insights into the similarities between plant roots and the human gut. We are not what we eat. We are all—for better or worse—the product of what our microbes eat. This leads to a radical reconceptualization of our relationship to the natural world: by cultivating beneficial microbes, we can rebuild soil fertility and help turn back the modern plague of chronic diseases. The Hidden Half of Nature reveals how to transform agriculture and medicine—by merging the mind of an ecologist with the care of a gardener and the skill of a doctor.

Life In The Soil

Author: James B. Nardi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226568539
Size: 71.19 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Leonardo da Vinci once mused that “we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot,” an observation that is as apt today as it was five hundred years ago. The biological world under our toes is often unexplored and unappreciated, yet it teems with life. In one square meter of earth, there lives trillions of bacteria, millions of nematodes, hundreds of thousands of mites, thousands of insects and worms, and hundreds of snails and slugs. But because of their location and size, many of these creatures are as unfamiliar and bizarre to us as anything found at the bottom of the ocean. Lavishly illustrated with nearly three hundred color illustrations and masterfully-rendered black and white drawings throughout, Life in the Soil invites naturalists and gardeners alike to dig in and discover the diverse community of creatures living in the dirt below us. Biologist and acclaimed natural history artist James B. Nardibegins with an introduction to soil ecosystems, revealing the unseen labors of underground organisms maintaining the rich fertility of the earth as they recycle nutrients between the living and mineral worlds. He then introduces readers to a dazzling array of creatures: wolf spiders with glowing red eyes, snails with 120 rows of teeth, and 10,000-year-old fungi, among others. Organized by taxon, Life in the Soil covers everything from slime molds and roundworms to woodlice and dung beetles, as well as vertebrates from salamanders to shrews. The book ultimately explores the crucial role of soil ecosystems in conserving the worlds above and below ground. A unique and illustrative introduction to the many unheralded creatures that inhabit our soils and shape our environment aboveground, Life in the Soil will inform and enrich the naturalist in all of us.