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What’s a handful of soil worth? Be it the soil from your garden, or from your homeland, or the sacred soil from a place where wonderful or terrible things happened, we all, however subconsciously, recognize the precedence of soil. In kinship with wind, rain, and sun, soil is an amazing, living kingdom beneath our feet.
It’s too bad that in practice, many of us don’t give soil the reverence it deserves. We till it, strip it, treat it with poisonous chemicals, lay asphalt over it, build very pricey and very big houses on it, toss our garbage into it, and systematically kill its inhabitants.
In a single handful of soil lives the greatest concentration of biomass (total mass of living organisms) anywhere on earth. Soil is manna. It feeds us with plants and gives us the highest medicine with which to treat disease. Soil is beyond agriculture and permaculture. It’s sacredculture.
We should honor the soil - this finite resource that provides us, in conjunction with sun, wind, and rain, everything we need to live – with all our hearts. In the soil are found the flesh and bones of our ancestors.
When we garden, it should be in ways that enhance and protect soil and the vulnerable communities that live in it. Veganic gardening is the only way to responsibly work with soil. Using veganic soil health practices, we draw out the best of the genetics of plants without endangering the soil’s inhabitants or violating the integrity of the Earth.
Veganic gardeners enrich soil homeopathically with nutrients like spirulina, compost, Epsom salts, and animal manure. We supplement rain with gathered rainwater. We till lightly or not at all, and if insects come along and decide that the garden melons would be good to feed to their families, or bunnies want to munch the lettuces, then we release those crops to that purpose.
Mother Earth and Mother Energy are always poised to give to us what we need, and even gifts above and beyond that. Since we appeared on the scene, Mother Earth and Mother Energy have been lovingly supporting our existence. All that they ask is that we reciprocate by not exploiting and harming them.
Non-human animals ennoble the soil by treading lightly, and returning vital nutrients to it – be it in their manure, their discarded food, or their very bodies when they die. Insects and microorganisms live in harmony with soil. Rain, wind, and sun work in tandem with soil, creating a perfect platform where plants and trees thrive, produce necessary oxygen, create food and shelter, and bloom beautiful flowers.
Animals and insects understand all this. Humans alone have lost respect for the soil. Humans have also disconnected from the sanctity of plants, viewing them as insentient things that are either inconsequential or financial assets to be brought under our control.
The plants that grow from sacred soil deserve to be honored and loved. And yet, we raze trees to the ground for strip malls and car dealerships and passively accept Monsanto’s genetic modification and toxic spraying of food crops. We don’t flinch when another sprawling mall goes up or another absurd McMansion breaks ground. We don’t need another golf course, and we don’t need another Burger King.
Plants live and respond, gather and reproduce, breathe, eat, and drink, get sick and get well, and answer back when we give them the care and respect they deserve. Like all the soil’s inhabitants, plants seek to live in peace with each other and us. There are food plants, beauty plants, medicine plants, and teacher plants. They are all non-violent, rejuvenating, spiritually uplifting, and endlessly giving.
Veganic gardening helps us meet the spirits of these plants and the soil, the insects and microorganisms, and get to know their energies. With that, we learn to feed ourselves and cultivate beauty without harming any non-human communities. And it’s from there that we begin to heal our relationship with the Earth and all its inhabitants.
Live in peace.