How to Restore our Basic Life-supporting Systems: Water, Air & Soil

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.How to restore our basic
Life-supporting systems;
Water, air & soil
By Jean Jacobson

Our biggest threat to the survival here on earth is the breakdown of our agriculture system. That, of course depends on the way we use our resources which we depend on ,most: water, air and soil. Just how could we live without being able to breath or grow our food or even have a drink of water? Our forests depend on soil, air and water. We get water from rain, from the ground (lakes, oceans, etc.) and air to breath.
In the world around us we depend on our forests, the animals that live on this earth of ours and of course on water. Iím afraid that if we didnít look after these elements we would no longer exist ourselves.
Food grows is an important part of our ecosystem, which is made up of many parts, or components, that all interact with each other. We need our forests, lakes, rivers and our oceans as well as the earth in which we live on.. Even the wild life is dependent on these elements. We are dependent on them for food shelter and especially to breath!

Each and every component, system and sub-system is important in running the overall ecosystem. When you disturb one, the others start to fall apart.

We as humans once lived as part of ecosystems. We hunted our food, ate berries and other things. Now we have learned to cultivate and grow our own food and raise our own cattle and other farm animals. We also use our oceans, lakes, and rivers to fish . We now have bigger farms to grow our produce or provide meat.
The problem is that we are not looking after all of these systems properly. By stripping the land of natural components we start to see the degradation of basic life-supporting systems. - water, soil and air. When these natural systems are used to excess we see a breakdown of how our ecosystem is working As an example water moves faster, and is not filtered by a variety of plants which in turn, lowers the ground water and leaves the surface hotter and dryer. Then the hotter surface air moves in different ways causing the rain clouds to travel away from the area. This caused drought conditions. The fertility is lost from the soil as water moves out of the area in a greater rate. This makes the temperature higher in summer and lower in winter. Eventually it becomes difficult to grow a commercial crop.

Modern-day human intervention can offer short-term solutions, but we canít fix the problem. Water bores cannot continue to be a sustainable solution and irrigation only lowers the ground water further. Now we have more problems. Also inorganic fertilizers will not repair the soil systems. If a soil is being leached of nutrients due to water passing through it too quickly with hungry hybrid crops feeding on it, it cannot be repaired by adding more minerals. If we keep on doing the same thing the soil will still become more depleted of its natural minerals. Inorganic fertilizers cannot restore soil structure and cannot build new soil, like a natural ecosystem can.
There are no known natural soil-building systems in place today. Soils are being used in larger quantities and fertilizer dependence is being increased. Year after year there is more fertilizer used to obtain the quantity of food needed. Bigger machines are used on bigger farms to obtain larger quantities of food to feed a larger population. The cost of growing this food will increase as the population increases and we will that farmers will be using more and more of the store-bought fertilizers which will deplete our ecosystem. Our basic life-supporting systems - water, air and soil will deteriorate at a quicker rate.
The only way to keep our ecosystem alive and healthy is to look after our basic life-supporting systems - water, air and soil. This applies to all of our land, whether it is a native forest, a farm or an urban garden. Every little bit counts! If we want to save our planet we will all have to try to do our best. The more people who start to apply this practice the quicker we will see some results. Eventually our actions can affect the entire planet.
There is no buffer that can protect you from the global breakdown of the basic support systems. However, you can cause an effect on your immediate surroundings. To restore our basic life-supporting system we need to increase the number and diversity of biological components. Diversity is the answer. An ecosystem has millions of components, systems and sub-systems operating in a given area. They all need to be operating well for our survival. Once we start adding diversity to our back yard and/or farms in the form of plants and animals we will start to add more biological components and will start to build soil. This in turn will keep more moisture (or water) in our property. Trees and other plants will lessen water lost from ground evaporation, mulch soils and create niche spaces for more life-forms. Your property will be better regulated in that it will be cooler in summer and warmer in winter. This in turn helps plants to yield more, creating better soil. As the changes take place more sub-systems will appear and plants and animals will increase in number, diversity and health.
To give you an idea of how this may look in real terms, imagine this: a backyard that had a massive number of edible and non-edible plans of differing size, shape, habit, color and form. Also imagine a diversity of domestic and wild animals, native and introduced, edible and non-edible. Now, try to imagine a system where these plants and animals coexist in a way that they fed off of each other and, at the same time, create surplus food for humans.
Using a mixture of edible and non-edible plans is important. Not everything within the system should be edible or consumed by humans. The non-edible plants help the soil to support the edible species. You should plant them in sensitive areas like hill tops or drainage lines or in strips along contour on slopes. This will act as water filters, native habitats, climate controllers and soil builders. Edible plants fill in the spaces only after the basic supporting structure in in place.
These ecosystems are changing continually as well as sustainable food growing systems. This makes it hard for the farmer to determine the yield of a crop from year to year. This system needs the freedom to change as the components and systems evolve. This is the hard part for humans to understand. In our current way of farming we try to make the same amount of money from each crop each year. Sustainable agriculture calls for a massive faith in natural laws and absolute respect for the basic life-supporting systems.

Our aim should be to make the world a healthier place to live. Even trying to change the way we grow things as well as you possibly could, just an addition of a diversity of plants will help to create a positive effect of the basic life-supporting systems. If everyone continues to change the way we do things we will be able to start to create a natural ecosystem. As the site matures the basic life-supporting systems will gradually be restored. This is when the system becomes self-sufficient and will provide excess food for humans with minimal effort.

To read more about this plan to make our world a better place please visit us at:

Taken from an article by Jonathan White who
is a self-employed environmental consultant and landscape designer. He is the author of an eBook and video package that shows the reader exactly how to set up and maintain an ecological garden.

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