Christmas Gifts to recommend

(besides products from Microbial Earth Farms for the gardeners in your circle!):
 I have just finished reading Nature Wars – The incredible story of how wildlife comebacks turned backyards into battlegrounds by Jim Sterba. ($17-$26)   This is a very compelling topic since I learned that a significant percentage of the American population now lives in what is called the urban-wildlife interface (UWI).  In short, on a macro scale, we are creating problems with wildlife in our cities and suburbs by providing creating the optimal habitat while eliminating the risks of predator species.  Population control is ineffective and undesirable in many cases.  The author reviews many species and the origins of their respective problems, as well as documents a variety of failures to deal with the problems, and why those measures failed.  In the end, the author recommends that our society must “get dirt under their fingernails, blood on their hands (hunting), and even a wood splinter or two in their kneecaps or butts”.  As he points out, much of this wildlife represents an excellent source of organic free range, grass fed, local nutrition.
Symphony of the Soil.   $25   I saw this film at SXSW Eco and you can find my blog report here.  I am having to watch this movie several times over, and have taken several pages of great notes.  This is the best and most entertaining soil science class I’ve ever taken!  For example,
  • ·       Mollisols are one of the most productive soil types in the world and are primarily found in grassland ecosystems.  They represent approx. 7% of the ice-free land in the world, and are the most extensive soil order in the USA.  We have approximately 22.5% of the world’s Mollisols.
  • ·        Alfisolsrepresent approx. 10.1% of the global ice-free land area and support about 17% of the world’s population.  The USA has approximately 18% of the world’s alfisols.
So, we have 40% of the world’s two most important soil categories, yet only 4.46% of the world’s population.  When it comes to preparedness, we had better figure out how to feed ourselves from our own yards, because the rest of the world will be needing the remaining soil to feed them.

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