P/P Photo Week: Future of the Soil

Future of the soil... In many ways, what ahead lies not so much beyond some distant horizon, but rather directly
underfoot, for how we husband and care for our soil  --  much like how we nurture and protect our young  --
forms the basis of what is to come. And throughout the Great Plains of North America, there is much cause
for concern. According to the American Farmland Trust, " America loses over one million acres
of our fertile farmland every year to sprawling cities and endless suburbs.

[...] At this rate, in just 25 years America will lose an area of rich, productive cropland equal in size to all
of New England! [...] Short sighted, destructive farming techniques and misguided government priorities
are causing irreversible damage to many of the farms that remain. In fact, each year TWO BILLION TONS
of fertile, irreplaceable topsoil are lost forever to erosion..." [...]

Here's a beautiful little poem by one of North America's seminal poets
and philosophers of agriculture:

The Broken Ground

The opening out and out,
body yielding body;
the breaking
through which the new
comes, perching
above its shadow
on the piling up
darkened broken old
husks of itself:
bud opening to flower
opening to fruit opening
to the sweet marrow
of the seed—
from what was, from
what could have been.
What is left
is what is.

   Wendell Berry

(Photograph made during the harvest season the first week of October, 1999).

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Photograph by Cliff Crego © 2001 picture-poems.com