‘Growing a Revolution’ talk at WS Grange

If you’re a farmer, gardener, or just plain appreciate getting to eat food, February 23, is a date to save: author and University of Washington researcher David R. Montgomery will speak about “Growing A Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life,” the title of his recent book.

Montgomery’s book is a call to understand and restore soil fertility in the face of erosion and other harms.

Restoring soil fertility, he writes, “is one of humanity’s best options for making progress on three daunting challenges: Feeding everyone, weathering climate change and conserving biodiversity.”

Montgomery will speak Friday, Feb. 23, at Mountain View Grange, 1085 Main St., White Salmon. Doors open at 6 p.m., presentation at 7 p.m. The presentation is free.

The author will sign books at 6:15pm, and again after the presentation, time permitting. Books will be for sale that evening via Waucoma Books.

Farming practices have contributed, unknowingly, to exhausting our soil, and losing it to rapid erosion, writes Montgomery. But, he says, we can fix it. We can bring our soil and farms back to health and fertility — and increase their profitability, too.

Growing A Revolution is an encouragement and call to action based on numerous visits with farmers around the United States, as well as Costa Rica and Africa.

Farmers employ a variety of technologies, grow different crops and work all sorts of farm sizes, but some basic principles seem to apply everywhere to build soil fertility, writes Montgomery.

“It boils down to a combination of three factors: Park the plow to minimize soil disturbance; grow cover crops, including legumes to get nitrogen and carbon into the soil; and grow a diversity of crops, so that you can break up the pest and pathogen carryover problem,” Montgomery says.

Seating is available on a first-come basis. Given limited parking, event planners encourage carpooling.

This event is sponsored by Underwood Conservation District (www.ucdwa.org, 509-493-1936), and a number of other Columbia Gorge agricultural and conservation partners.

The conservation district reminds people that its native plant sale is underway through the end of February (www.ucdwa.org/shop).

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