A scientist's view of another scientist's idea...
Herb Hoche, a polymath, auto didactic scientific genius, owner of "Four Wins Farm", and friend of mine for years, has discovered a thorough-going ecologically friendly, and economically sustainable, natural farming system, complementing and capable of restoring nature's natural, balanced harmony. By us exchanging metaphores of our minds' natural rationalism and logicism, it has been found that bio-char, added to soil, can thoroughly rejuvenate, de-natured soil, to its once natural state, and then some, thus allowing a doubling, or even tripling, of new crop production, on older nutrient loss soils. This is the process known by Amazonian Natives for centuries. Most likely, they either copied the forests natural weak re-charing processes of natural decay, through her slow composting processes, or they accidentally discovered this natural process by their own waste dumping and recovery experiences, of possibly smelting gold and other metals in ancient kilns. No matter how the discovery was made, the natives learned how to rejuvenate their soil with char___the natural burning process, and dumping of such char on the ground, to later find exceptional new and efficient growth of plants, and a natural sustaining replenishment of the bio-char soil, by the microbes and worms, living in it. So naturally, they being wise, took use of nature's natural organic replenishment processes, to grow more food for their ever expanding communities.
Herb has been trying to duplicate these processes for some years, and has produced living biological experiments of his scientific efforts and analyses, and actually achieved accelerated plant growth, and fruit production enhanced health, i.e., higher ph, etc., factors. He'd have to explain the in-depth science more thoroughly than I, and he sure can. Now, as to the ecologically friendly nature of his system; it allows farmers to eliminate their toxic, and economically costly fertilizer processes, as a natural char process, in co-operation with symbiotic feeding nature's microbes, worms, etc., which in turn, actually self-rejuvenates the soil, with these bio-organisms feeding on the bio-char and lower soils, feeding on each other, and the excrements of, self-re-fertilizing and irrigating the once most dead soils. The phenomenal aspect of this is, once this process is started, it continues to re-replicate itself. It's the most natural of processes I've heard about, and I am of no mean experience, being raised on a completely self-sufficient farm, as a child, though we long ago used the costly and caustic industrial fertilizers, mixed with natural animal wastes, in different crop areas, along with crop rotations. As far as I can see, bio-char is capable of replacing these methods.
Next, as to the economic feasibility tests and studies, is where I come in, as I'm also a polymath, autodidact scientist, majoring in economics, and mainly macro-systems studies, for over fifty years. I don't say it lightly, when I state the truth of Herb's system's economic sustainability facts. I only last night processed his ideas, as his rationalism seems to only transfer to my logical mind by metaphoric interpretations and understanding of his system's huge merits. If giant down-draft re-circulating char refineries were to be built, to burn mostly waste wood products, and other farm and open land cellulose waste products, at low temperature, 400 degrees or so, according to the type of industrial refinery built, farmers' lands could be rejuvenated to levels not seen since the antiquity of the Nile Delta, of the highly successfully sustainable system of economics and agriculture of the 5000 year existence of the Egyptians. Now, I certainly know there were many economic and other social dynamics to Egypt's success, but the main point of this article is ecologically, economically sustainable natural farming, so I'm only addressing these areas, by a trans-positional metaphoric vision of their system and Herb's. One of the major features of the success of Egypt was to employ and feed her large population, and as we know, truly sustainably for millinia. It had to be more than just economic success and architectural building alone. It was certainly ecologically friendly, and economically sustainable agriculture, as well. Now, how do we transpose the success of Egypt's system onto Herb's American system, or a total world system, if expanded to that level. I already have the total economic architecture for either or both, but I'll restrict my transposition to America. Few things are simpler in macro-economics than basic resource knowledge___with plenty of resources, we succeed easily___with resource depletion, we do not succeed, as well, if at all, when logic follows such a course to its final destination of full resource depletion. We can all figure that quite easily from oil's recent wake-up call, for America to awaken___but will we? In order for simplicity's sake, let's just take it for granted, as an example we can easily relate to, that the Earth's land, water and resource systems are truly being diminished beyond replenishment states, as I certainly can't say if this now be the truth, but in order to understand such a model, we'll assume it to be true for our agricultural model. What architecture of sustainability can we transpose on America, from Egypt and Herb's scientific experimenting?
I tell you it's quite impressive... Iff, we simply accept the necessity of change, which I do, as I also back Barack Obama's ideas of necessary change, and Herb's ideas rank right up there with Obama's, as to agricultural necessities of change, we can solve many ecological and economic problems, with one major idea. We need to eat___and after traveling around the nation this past year, witnessing all the water resource depletions, in the south-east and south-west, I realized the importance of many giant systems change necessities. One of the major insights was the lack of future irrigation needs, as all the rivers in the south-west have either been turned into irrigation canals, thus emptying these ancient stream and river-beds of any water reaching the ocean, or the surrounding lands just withering away, due to the lack of water, diverted elsewhere. This was all the way from East-Texas, to Mid-Northern California. What I soon realized was the absolute necessity for future food production wasn't going to be there, as populations continue expanding, and this is just the cold hard facts, since the under-ground aquifers are also being depleted. Now I full well realize, we have the technology to build massive water desalination plants, as I myself have installed many around the nation, at nuke plants, and the new co-generation plants, needing to exchange salt water for fresh, but due to my knowledge of America's lack of political will, I also know all possible avenues of scientific and natural improvements of change are necessary, and the farmers are probably one of the most likely to take the forefront of necessary change, if shown such better ways to farm, as Herb has discovered. I also witnessed first hand, all the new wind farms expansion___1000's upon 1000's of generators, as I even met many trucks carrying new fans and generators to be installed on the many wind blowing hills and high plains of Texas and California, and many new drill rigs, heading to the older oil fields, in search for new oil, but wind and oil won't feed us, if the soil nutrients and water dis-appear, so Herb's bio-char complete system starts looking quite economically feasible and sustainable. As to its economic efficiency, early tests, which would have to be proved by large scale uses also, already have shown its necessity, due to acreage and irrigation capacity, not to mention the decline of corn and other crops into bio-diesel and ethanol, to be truly viable, and economically sustainable, since it re-enriches the agricultural land, allowing more crop per acre, thus requiring less irrigation per acre, from a very limited land and water supply, as we populate. It further requires less water directly, to each plant, as the extremely enriched soil of bio-char and bio-organisms actually self-irrigates the dry soils, by going deeper into the soil's under-layers, to retrieve their own water, then excreting it in the surface soil's bio-char, which actually, when properly prepared, attracts the bio-organisms to work nature's natural balanced re-harmony. So, if we want a sustainable ecological and economic future, that successfully feeds us, long into the future, even with declining land and water resources, Herb's natural science deserves all our full attention. BTW, Herb has named his total system's science, "Integral Biotics".
I know it's a short piece, and not in technical depth, but due to modernism's short attention span, I think it a fair starting point, as one more point in America's great and necessary awakening...
AKA, L.A.Gillespie at: http://theawakeningoftheamericamind.blogspot.com/