Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Interesting Dirt – Roger Ingalls

Most of us don’t think about dirt or topsoil but we should. Without it we don’t exist.

photo from popsci.com

The diameter of the Earth is approximately 8,000 miles which is equivalent to 506,880,000 inches. That’s roughly a half a billion inches across. Now, this next fact is something we all should think long and hard about; only the outer two to eight inches is suitable for plant life. Look at your hand…precious dirt (topsoil) is only as deep as your hand is long. That’s an amazingly thin layer of life giving material.

We treat dirt like…well, dirt. We wash it away, pollute it, sterilize and kill it. Yes, natural and healthy topsoil is a living ecosystem full of beneficial microbes and fungi that can be killed with manmade synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Did you know that a tablespoon of healthy soil has more living critters than there are people on Earth? The invisible creatures help feed the plants. Microbes or beneficial bacteria break down minerals into elements the plants can uptake and the fungi pump water and nutrients onto and into the plant’s roots. The plant roots, in turn, give sugars (carbohydrates) to the bacteria and fungi which they use for food. It’s a symbiotic and sustainable relationship.

Plants will grow in dead dirt or lifeless sand if they are treated with manmade fossil-fuel fertilizers, pesticides and a lot of water. However, they will not be as nutritious as plants grown in living soil because they lack nutrient density.

Improve your health and save the soil…eat local, eat organic.

Better yet, grow your own.

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Roger Ingalls is well-traveled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

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One thought on “Interesting Dirt – Roger Ingalls

  1. Thanks, Roger, for another graphic reminder of the fragility of our planet and life on it. AL

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