Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Research: Nature and Language of Plants and Soil

Our hero, Charles Darwin single handedly invented the scientific discipline of biology. Among his greatest teachers were plants and earth creatures living with him on his on his estate: beans, earthworms and beetles, to name a few. In The Power of Movement in Plants (1880) he asserts that plants speak in a chemical vocabulary we can’t directly perceive or comprehend, especially because we are blinded by our own definitions of intelligence and consciousness.  

Michael Pollan discusses recent developments in plant neurobiology, suggesting that it is in humanity's best interests to learn from plant behavior. "Because plants are sensitive and intelligent beings, we are obliged to treat them with some degree of respect."
...The central issue dividing the plant neurobiologists from their critics would appear to be this: Do capabilities such as intelligence, pain perception, learning, and memory require the existence of a brain, as the critics contend, or can they be detached from their neurobiological moorings? The question is as much philosophical as it is scientific, since the answer depends on how these terms get defined....

That plants possess an intelligence is not new knowledge, but according to Modern Farmer, a new study from the University of Missouri shows plants can sense when they are being eaten and send out defense mechanisms to try to stop it from happening.

Plants and soil have a mysterious relationship - friends, cousins, lovers - communing in a specific, miraculous chemical vocabulary we observe, but do not understand. Freelance journalist, author and essayist, Kristin Ohlson studied the soil and concludes in her book, The Soil Will Save Us concludes that the low-cost, low-tech solution to climate change may be directly underfoot—in healthy soil. Crops have an enormous capability to sequester carbon, she writes, but only if the soil is made to thrive with a mix of no-till farming, cover crops, and livestock grazing.

In order to fully embrace and communicate with the wisdom of the earth, consider the Bios Urn, a fully biodegradable urn designed to convert you into a tree after life. Mainly composed of two parts, the urn contains a seed which will grow to in the name of your loved one. Bios Urn turns death into a transformation and a return to life through nature.

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