David R. Montgomery
Growing a Revolution
Bringing Our Soil Back to Life
W. W. Norton & Co. 2018
New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Big IdeasNew Books in Environmental StudiesNew Books in FoodNew Books in ScienceNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books in Science, Technology, and SocietyNew Books Network July 26, 2019 Christopher Gambino
In Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life (W. W. Norton & Co., 2018), Dr. David R. Montgomery portrays hope amidst the backdrop that for centuries, agricultural practices have eroded the soil that farming depends on, stripping it of the organic matter vital to its productivity. Once a self-proclaimed dark green eco-pessimist, Dr. Montgomery finds this new hope as he travels the world, meeting farmers at the forefront of an agricultural movement to restore soil health. Readers join him driving passed no-till, precision agriculture fields in Kansas to walking around The Centre for No-Till Agriculture in Kumasi, Ghana. Each step of the way we are reminded that adopting the three tenets of conservation agriculture—ditching the plow, planting cover crops, and growing a diversity of crops—is the solution to align agricultural production and environmental outcomes. Throughout the book, evidence mounts — maybe farmers and ranchers can feed the world, cool the planet, reduce pollution, and return profitability to the farm.
What’s unique and refreshing, Dr. Montgomery cuts through the typical debates about conventional versus organic farming. Instead, Montgomery explores why practices based on the principles of conservation agriculture help restore soil health and fertility – naturally reducing the reliance on herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers.
Chris Gambino works at the intersection of science and policy in hopes of creating more informed decision-making.