Jan 24, 2019
For episode 58 we're lucky to be joined by David R. Montgomery.
A MacArthur Fellow and professor of geomorphology at the University
of Washington, Montgomery is an internationally recognized
geologist who studies landscape evolution and the effects of
geological processes on ecological systems and human societies.
He is the author of numerous scientific papers and has been
featured in documentary films, network and cable news, and on a
wide variety of TV and radio programs.
In his book 'Growing a Revolution', Montgomery introduces us to farmers around the world at the heart of a brewing soil health revolution that could bring humanity’s ailing fertile grounds back to life remarkably fast. Montgomery assessed different approaches being used to instigate health into the living systems making up our food. It's called Regenerative, and with it agriculture can help cure what ails us, and the planet. Cutting through standard debates about conventional and organic farming, Montgomery explores why practices based on the principles of conservation agriculture help restore soil health and fertility. Drawing on visits to farms in the industrialized and developing worlds he finds that the combination of no-till planting, cover crops, and diverse crop rotations provides a profitable recipe to rebuild soil organic matter. Farmers using these unconventional practices cultivate beneficial soil life, smother weeds, and suppress pests while spending far less on diesel, fertilizer and pesticides. It's revolutionary stuff.
With his wife Anne Biklé, David is currently framing out his fourth book. We learned that with "What your food eats" - working title of this latest deep dive - this husband & wife writing duo seek to connect soil fertility to human health. Anne and David have also worked together to pen the book 'Dirt' —about the plight of soil and what we've done to it since the dawn of agriculture. And, 'The Hidden Half of Nature', a revealing exploration of how microbial life underpins the health of soil and, even our own bodies.
It's great to speak with David. He's always a wealth of information. His concise and logical explanations of complex subject matter and interconnected systems is pretty special. That comes across in his books, and it came across in 45 minute conversation. I listening in pre-production I realized that this may be the guy who may finally stitch soil health -to- human health. That would be a game changer in establishing broader awareness and appreciation to the fact the Sourcing Matters first. An investment in food and its production is our silver bullet of change.