25 years ago, I began to transform a ten-acre unimproved pasture into an ecologically balanced farm and orchard.  I began with two ideas that would guide all my work: soil fertility and biodiversity.

It was rare to hear those words 25 years ago.

Soil fertility is dependent on feeding the microbial life in the dirt, to regenerate dirt into soil.  Soil is living, dirt is not.  The greater the abundance of life in the soil, the greater the amount of life the soil births – both below and above ground.

All living creatures eat.  Soil Microbes are no exception.  For example, by feeding the soil microbes what they need to flourish, they in turn feed plants that in turn feed animals.  Without soil microbes there would be no photosynthesis.  Without photosynthesis there would be no humans!

Biodiversity is the natural balance of life.  The more species and varieties of life, the more life is created.  Biodiversity also means complexity.  The history of life on earth is from the simple toward the complex. 

Biodiversity requires a healthy habitat – a nurturing place to live in a balance of cooperation and competition.  A balance of cooperation and competition is how nature creates a stable ecosystem that can last for millions of years.

I’ve encouraged biodiversity by growing a large variety of native plants on this unimproved pasture.  Now, Nature has taken over.  There is an abundance of all life forms living in harmony on this farm and in our orchards – microbes, mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, arachnids, etc. 

25 years later, this unimproved pasture has become a fertile and biodiverse ecosystem because it was human-engineered.  Unfortunately, because humans now command 75% of the earth’s land mass, we’ve come to the point that only humans can regenerate fertility and biodiversity through intimate knowledge of life-systems, thoughtful planning, and hard work. 

Humans have degraded huge areas of once biologically abundant and fertile landscapes around the world.  It is now the job of humans to regenerate those landscapes.

Over the years, I’ve dedicated myself to doing my little bit, on my little corner of the earth, to help my fellow non-human creatures live a full and abundant life.