Green Wedding Homily
Written and Performed by Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison
The world of soil is bizarre Communication is chemical and physical. Worms are its giants. Movement is slow. Fungi move through it at rates measured in centimeters per month. Bacteria move though it at rates measured in centimeters per year. The world of soil is ancient and magical, contradictory and complex. Mostly solid and opaque to light, still it acts as a sea to thousands of species that travel through it horizontally and vertically. It is the biological filter that detoxifies a large proportion of the poisons that are applied to the environment. One gram of ordinary farmyard soil can contain over one billion individual bacteria. One gram of ordinary farmyard soil can contain over 100 million individual actinomycetes. One gram of ordinary farmyard soil can contain over one kilometer of fungal hyphae. One gram of ordinary farmyard soil can contain plants like algae And animals like collembolides, nematodes and worms. To sustain modern economies Agricultural soils need to attain high levels of organic matter and nutrients But agricultural soils bring subtle changes to the native soil ecosystems And as the levels of both nutrients and disturbances increase The number of native species decreases.
Consider the dynamism of healthy soil Consider that soil covers most of the land surface of the planet Consider that soil plays a fundamental role in stabilizing the biosphere Consider that new soil formation has been arrested in many places. Healthy soil is a living system Healthy soil needs to interact with the air and water Healthy soil needs access to the products of the plants and other surface organisms.
Therefore; tape this piece of paper on every bulldozer you encounter.
NH/HH May 17, 2008