Nothing Grows Well in Depleted Soil

Bert in the back of the ute, helping with the pasture inspection

Today it looks like I’m blogging about farming.  But I’m not really.  I’m blogging about you.  Read on…

Life on the farm is always varied. Yesterday we went down to the flats by the river to inspect the pasture regrowth. Once upon a time (long before us) this paddock was heavily cropped, year after year, with corn and sorghum. We’ve had the cattle locked out of here for a few months, and with all the rain and warm weather the grass should be springing back nicely.

But of course it isn’t.

Except for the areas where a nice pile of cow dung has nourished the soil. Around the old cow pats the grass has sprung strong and green and at least two feet taller than the rest of the paddock.

That tells us something important.  The soil is depleted, and needs a good feed. If you get the soil right, you can grow anything.

We farm organically.  Where we can we even farm bio-dynamically. We look after our dirt. Right now I have some cow dung stuffed into cowhorns, buried in a corner of my garden, ready to make BD500, a biodynamic preparation for restoring the soil fertility.  It sounds kind of witchy, which is maybe why it appeals to me, but I know one thing – in the areas where we’ve already used it the pasture is lush and green, with great species biodiversity. We also apply a natural rock dust fertiliser called NatraMin to restore the nutrient and mineral levels in the depleted soil.

Yes, alright, Nicole, I can hear you say. That’s lovely, but how does that apply to me?

You know I’m going to tell you…

You are like soil.  Everything grows or doesn’t grow dependent on how rich your interior soil is.

Are you feeding your body well? Are you giving it a wide range of food groups, good fats and proteins, and choosing lots of plant-based foods in your diet to help your body be healthy and strong? If you take this even further, can you choose organic or chemical-free foods, and foods that are grown locally with low food miles? Farmers Markets are usually fantastic for these sorts of choices and you’ll be supporting farmers who care about their dirt.

Raw Ecstasy Food Tent at the Bangalow Markets, Saturday mornings, behind the pub! Great for sweet healthy treats and my favourite tamari almonds.

Best spuds in the Universe – local Dutch Creams…

Best ‘taters ever, all locally grown!

Are you feeding your mind well? Are you giving it new learnings and challenges to help it grow, and stay fit and active? Are you exercising? Are you reading and watching movies and documentaries, creating and travelling and having adventures?

Gubbio, as viewed from the balcony of my medieval hotel, Italy, 2010 *Note: this could also be considered soul food…

Are you feeding your Soul? Are you connecting with people, hugging your pets, spending time in nature, doing things that make your heart sing? Do you meditate, pray or spend time in spiritual reflection? Journalling, writing and other creative acts can be both brain food and soul food, which is a lovely bonus!

Muddy boots from a walk around the farm. After the walk we sat on the verandah and shared scones, tea and a few laughs. Wonderful!

Nothing grows well in depleted soil. Take some time to nourish yourself: body, mind and spirit. The more you nourish yourself, the richer the rewards will be.  Every time. It might take some time if you’ve really stressed yourself out, really run yourself down, really done a number on yourself.

But just like my poor, tired, nutrient-stripped paddock, you’ll come back with some TLC, a little effort and the right basic ingredients.

You deserve to thrive.  But it’s impossible to do that without good soil.  Nurture yourself.  You’re worth it. I promise the results will delight you!  Bless ♥ xx

And if you need some inspiration, go find this movie…

27 thoughts on “Nothing Grows Well in Depleted Soil

  1. Thank you for your words on depleting the soil; for reminding me what I need to do to nourish myself. This comes at the right time for me. I’ll be back to read it again. And again. Many blessings to you.

  2. Just what I needed to hear. I ate the weirdest assortment of leftovers last night and woke up feeling crappy. Tonight, it’s a big bunch of local kale!

    Thanks, Nicole. Your writing feeds my soul too!

  3. Feeling like depleted and trashed soil today. Thank you for your blog Nicole and it’s nourishing wisdom. Time for a serious feeding plan. XXX

  4. “You are like soil. Everything grows or doesn’t grow dependent on how rich your interior soil is.” I loved this statement!! Thank you Nicole

  5. I’m an organic gardener also, but on a very small backyard scale. I love Farmers Market in the summer. The one I go to has local grass fed beef, free range chickens and eggs, and all the good stuff. Thank you for doing your part to care for our planet and our universe.

  6. Your blog is food for my soul Nicole. This post really hits the nail on the head for me…there’s so much I’m not doing for myself. Why? I don’t know, but it’s time to make even more changes. I feel like a baby learning to walk…thank you for this post!

  7. In one of my recent posts,i have written about nicotine pesticides, now imagine that!Thank God it’s planned to end in America, but in the whole world???Also potassium and other harmful fertilizers are ruining food plus soil.I loved the trailer of the movie, but it should be soil, cause it nurtures, it’s not dirt…..

  8. This is so crazy, reading your blog . . . so my auntie Dot has an avocado farm right near Byron Bay . . . in the hinterlands, is how they say it, I think? Anyway, I was looking at a picture on one your other blog posts about swimming, and I was thinking about swimming with her last winter (our winter in the US– your summer!) after one of the Saturday markets– at Lenox beach. Lennox beach? Anyhoo . . . we would go every Saturday to a different market and then go swimmming . . . and while we didn’t make it to the Bangalow market, I remember seeing it on her list as one of our options! I’m an Australian citizen– my passport is right here in my purse– but I am also an American citizen. My mother was still an Aussie citizen when I was born, so . ..

    Anyway, your blog is making me think so much about my novel . . . my tumultuous last year . . . and helping harvest the lemon myrtle on my aunt’s farm. She has been into organic farming since WAY before it was cool . . . when I was in fourth grade she married a sheep farmer (they are since divorced) and I had NO IDEA how progressive she was with her farming methods . . .

    Your writing is making me cry with joy and surprise and delight . . . and a certain poignancy as ideas are rekindled . . .

    • Jen! My farm is in the hinterland too and Lennox Heads is just down the road – the most beautiful wild beach. How crazy cool that you have actually been in my part of the world!!! It’s a magic place here – and I hope you get the chance to come back one day. ♥ xx

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