Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Agriculture Works

Every Spring I sow seeds either in flats in the greenhouse or outside into the soil and hold my breath until the first germination. Why should I be surprised when the little white shoot just barely breaks through the soil, slowly turning into a bright green seedling? It's what is supposed to happen! It reminds me of a quote, "The person who entrusts the seed to the sun and the rain is a person of hope", or something like that. I can't find who said it, but I know we all think it.

I plant the seed, and care for it of course, but that's it. Its the seed that is enacting its genetic destiny. Upon sprouting, the leaves start to develop the capacity to absorb nutrients from the soil and air. Roots develop to further support the plant growth. This photosynthesis in the leaves is used to produce the chemicals secreted through the roots as they grow. The specific fungi and bacteria beneficial to plant growth feeds on these secretions and cells sloughed off by root growth, in turn providing nutrients to the very plant it's roots attracted, by being consumed by larger microbes. Plants are orchestrating this whole process by controlling the chemical secretions and hence attracting the specific bacteria and fungi they need during their growth cycle. It's a completely natural system that doesn't need me at all. Great! I'm taking a vacation!

No, it's not time to hang up the Carhartts just yet...somebody has to plant that seed!

1 comment:

  1. Read this book and then take that vacation: