notes from a young soil scientist

posted June 20, 2008

I think I’ve paid heed to the modern agrarian’s manifesto and sown the seed of my own revolution. It didn’t begin with a two month sabbatical in southern Arizona, although the high desert, from the magical community of Bisbee to the wild Chiricahuas, only helped to strengthen my resolve. A Palestinian man described Bisbee as an American Jerusalem; tucked away on a mile-high plateau, carpeted in anise and valerian and exuding a certain something. The Hopi, a chosen people in their own right, have been pushing for a higher state of peaceful existence probably since before the birth of Jesus not too far north of Bisbee. Regardless of the religion espoused, the understanding that something is very wrong is universal. As the nettlesome infirm of ancient Kos were poisoned with herbal concoctions, so too will the Earth remove us when we have become a burden. What will I do to enter into harmony with nature, and thus with myself and others? For starters I sold my car: a highly efficient and reliable mechanical steed of the Corolla family. I bought saddle bags for my bicycle and a rack capable of moving a couch, or several pigs. I am breeding my own herbs and veggies, selecting for my local conditions. I am trying my darnedest to reduce my waste stream and purchase used instead of new.  I have also entered into a graduate program at WSU Pullman to study the use of plants to clean polluted soils, and to breed veggie and cereal varieties capable of enduring urban conditions organically. No inputs other than earth, sun and seed!

lucas patzek