The Big Island is blessed by the Soil Whisperer. Gene has dedicated his life to studying soil and sharing the information he has discovered. Yesturday, garden students were lucky enough to hear Gene's knowledge and share in his enthusiastic, hopeful vibe. Gene's message is that soil health = plant health = human health. When he talks soil health, he means literally examining the mineral and vitamin content of soil, discovering that added vitamins and minerals in depleted soil means added vitamins and minerals in human bellies. After decades of agricultural poison, synthetic fertilizers, deforestation, and other means of abuse, the earth's soil has become depleted of the vital nutrients that feed the microorganisms and macroorganisms in soil. These important soil organisms ingest nutrients, breaking vitamins and minerals down into forms usable by plant roots. Plants internalize these nutrients, maximizing the plant's health and making them available for human consumption. Without added nutrients in our soil, plants need more water, are ruthlessly attacked by insects that know where to get an easy meal, and humans are eating food empty of the vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. In Hawaii, we import 90% of our food; food that is depleted of nutrients, transported by boat across the Pacific, and then fumigated to kill bugs. Gene came yesturday to begin the process of amending our school's garden soil so the fruits and veggies we grow are full of the vitamins and minerals children need for healthy growth.
Garden students were happy to learn from the Soil Whisperer. They were shocked to hear that these basic connections between soil health and human health are actually radical scientific thought. Mainstream science does not embrace Gene's methods of improving soil health, instead siding with the use of more chemicals and more water to make up for any soil shortcomings.
Gene the Soil Whisperer is a modern day Rachel Carson, and our school, our Island, are blessed to have him.
Ms Krista says:
Everyday encounters with real garden sprites; tortuous panorama of the surf; old-growth collards; machete lessons; mantis rehab; pesto pasta. Days as a public school garden teacher on the Big Island are filled with unexpected gems of wisdom and infinite inspirations. Introducing my life as a school garden teacher...