by Richard Roth
When Europeans arrived in the Americas, they applied their mouldboard plows to the prairies, to soils that were rich, dark and black. That soil was steaming with mineral and organic carbon — with soil life so small it was invisible to the human naked (unmicroscoped) eye and, hence, to our consciousness. So we ripped into them with gusto, mining this flesh of earth.
The settler-farmers killed the microbes by exposing them to sunlight, erosion, heat and dryness, and they planted monocrops – a single crop like wheat. Or corn. Or walnuts.