Without dirt, without soil, without all that life in the soil, there would be no food, there would be no us. There would be no life as we know it if soil had not begun forming billions of years ago on our planet earth. We are utterly dependent on it, as are all living things.
Creation stories from many cultures tell of humans being carved from wood or shaped from seeds or being moulded out of cornmeal. In some, people climb out of the depths of the earth. The first man in the bible was named Adam, which comes from the ancient Hebrew word adama, meaning “earth” or “soil”. Whatever the image, these stories all share a common truth: we are formed from earth.
We come from earth, and in the end, we return to it. Dirt is the ultimate matrix of life, so much so, that farmer Wes Jackson suggests that humans are really just a stopover between dirt and more dirt. Continue reading