How do you keep your family healthy and well fed, in good times and bad? Read today’s letter for a way to start.
There’s nothing better than a healthy, happy family. Keeping them that way is tough.
Unfortunately, it’s going to get much tougher to keep our families healthy and happy in an age of turbulence. For example of how crazy it might become, read “The Big Reset: Don’t Get Left Behind” for more.
Fortunately, there’s one thing we can do to make sure our families stay healthy and well fed regardless of what happens in the wider world.
We can enrich our home’s soil.
What is rich soil and why is it important?
Soil is a living ecosystem that supports organic growth. Here’s what soil is made of:
- ~50% is air. The space between the particles.
- ~45% is sand, silt, clay, and rocks (aka inorganic matter).
- ~5% is organic matter. A combination of plants/animals/insects and billions of micro-organisms.
The organic matter is the critical part of the equation. The organic matter is what turns lifeless dirt into soil.
- produces and stores nutrients essential to growth.
- soaks up water and releases it to plants when needed.
- provides structural properties that prevent erosion, speeds root growth, and increases permeability to water.
Simply, rich soil is the most important ingredient for keeping your family well fed when conditions get rough.
With enough rich soil available to grow on, you can feed your entire family for the decade or more a financial/economic crisis takes to play out (or as the climate change worsens).
Think of it as a rainy day fund or emergency bank account.
The Food Desert
The good news is that soil enrichment is something that we can do ourselves.
Through ongoing investments of nutrients and the proper care, we can turn it into something that will provide a considerable amount of future security.
However, it’s better to get started sooner than later. Why?
It takes time and the land we live on is largely barren.
It can’t grow food without lots of expensive inputs like motorized tilling, fertilizer, irrigation, herbicides, and pesticides (many of which might not be available at an affordable price in the future). If a crisis began today, we’d be completely reliant on government ration cards, charity, and a pricey free market (i.e. an ounce of gold for a good meal) until we improve our soil.
Why is our soil so bad?
The people that built our homes and communities didn’t care about the ground they built on. As a result, the dirt we have under our lawns and in our public spaces is typically compressed fill topped by a layer of clay (sod farmers grow the grass they sell you in clay, so the soil sticks to the roots and rolls up easily).
So, if you want to make sure your family is happy and well fed well into the future, get investing!
I’ll have more on how to make profitable investments in soil in future issues and reports. Stay tuned.
Your bullish on rich soil analyst,
PS: If you live in an urban area and don’t have a lawn or outside space to work on, lease access to a plot at a community garden or borrow a portion of a friend’s yard. You might also be able to partner with someone with available land. How do you find people willing to do this? There are some matching services available, like the UK’s Landshare. Regardless, if you can’t find access to a plot near your home, make sure it’s accessible by bike or public transit (in many long term crisis situations, fuel becomes so hard to get, it takes a day waiting in line just to fill up a car’s gas tank).
PPS: Why are microorganisms in soil important? They are a necessary part of the biological process. They do lots of work that is beneficial to growing food. It’s the same in our bodies where there are ten microorganisms for every cell. Some permaculture experts can attain ~20-30% organic matter. This is what I’m trying to do with my Hugelkultur garden beds.