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Featured Resource:On Becoming Lovers of the Soil

In this week’s episode of the 4 The Soil: A Conversation podcast, Bill Patterson, retired district conservationist and grazing specialist of Virginia USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, shared his love and appreciation for soil, along with his expertise and insights from a 50-year career conserving and protecting soil. As educators, technical service providers, and the agricultural community, how do we encourage a similar deep appreciation for the soil? Who or what can inspire us to become lovers of the soil?


Dr. Fred Kirschenmann, in his book Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher, wrote an essay titled On Becoming Lovers of the Soil. The essay complements the insights and sentiments of Bill Patterson and “invites all of us to become lovers of the soil as a way of healing our soils and our souls. (Kirschenmann, 2010, p.285)” Kirschenmann goes on to state: “that becoming lovers of the soil is absolutely fundamental to the work that all of us are doing. Soil is the connection to ourselves… To be at home with the soil is truly the only way to be at home with ourselves and therefore the only way me can be at peace with the environment and all of the species that are part of it. It is literally the common ground on which we all stand. (Kirschenmann, 2010, p. 286)”


Kirschenmann, F.L. (2010). On Becoming Lovers of the Soil In: F. L. Kirschenmann, Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher (pp.284 – 289), C.L. Falk (Ed.). The University Press of Kentucky.

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