I’m thankful for resilience

There are some considerable challenges where I live to farming in a more “ecolocially sound” fashion. However, most of these challenges are caused by people, so one is basically undertaking the task of restroing what was once good and functional. In many ways this is an advantage. At least I sort of know what got messed up and usually all that is needed to “fix” the problem is simply letting it be and heal itself. Southern Indiana is, if nothing else, naurally resilient. We get plenty of moisture, spread out pretty evenly during the year (though this year is making me re-think that), enough to support most if not all the plants that can help one undertake a restoration project. We have cool winters with a few cold weeks, and this prevents the “burn-off” that plagues the South, where nutrients are consumed and metabolized by decomposing microbes so rapidly in the wintertime that humus never really accumulates. Most importantly, we have clay-rich soil derived mostly from limestone. I frequently curse this fact, since it drains poorly and is tough to deal with. It is hard one one’s back and makes growing carrots a challenge. But in many ways that clay is a great blessing. It is dense with nutrients, is practically an inexaustable supply of calicium and magnesium, and it resists leaching. If you keep some cover on the surface, it resists erosion, too.


This incredible picture was taken just before a cloudburst type rainstorm. It has been dry for over a week now, and everybody seems to be re-planting (except us), and thefore everything has been harrowed. The surface is very dry and fluffy and all it took was a good strong wind and it kicked up this dust. That dust IS topsoil, and it is literally blowing away.

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