Uncle Vern Sings Praises for Yosemite’s Grandeur and Soil Microbes

Uncle Vern’s weekly farm-fueled musings, reposted here on the Abundant Harvest Kitchen Blog

Fresh Facts from 6/15/2013

I had a chance to go for a hike yesterday with my buddy Paul, and the good news is: I was still able to get downstairs this morning to write this newsletter.

This was the best hike ever; one you all should do if you’re able. We left home at 5:00 a.m. and were on the Four Mile Trail by 7:00 a.m. It takes off from the Yosemite Valley floor just past Sentinel. It climbs about 3200 feet up to Glacier Point, but the amazing thing is, with every step, the views and sounds and smells just keep getting better and better and better.

You start out looking up at Yosemite Falls across the valley and end up looking down on them; the roar of that water just gets louder as you climb. Because you’re climbing the east wall, you’re in the shade the whole way up, and it was like the trail was landscaped. It had rained a bit the night before, so everything was freshly misted and happy. Near the top, you turn and start climbing across from Half Dome: incredible!

Now I’m not going to say the crowds at Glacier Point are any fun, but the views of Nevada and Vernal Falls are spectacular, and as soon as you hike 100 yards, all the people are behind you.

We took the Panorama Trail down towards Illilouette Falls. “Panorama” is an understatement. I don’t think there is a trail anywhere in the world with more eye-popping views: Liberty Cap, Mount Starr King, Half Dome, Nevada, Vernal, and Illilouette Falls—plus, the buck brush was in full bloom—sensory overload. You end up at the top of Nevada Falls, and down to Vernal and Mist Trail it back to the valley floor, about 14 miles in all.

This is California’s backyard, and from my house, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Mineral King are each only about 2 hours away. Whatever you’ve gotta do to get out there, do it. In my case, the nectarines still got picked and packed; the world kept turning even though I didn’t push for a day.
Now, the WHY of soil microorganisms. Last week was WHY our health is dependent on these critters, many of which come from the soil. One thing is certain; you can’t get the nutrition into your food without a healthy soil microbe community, and that community is dependent on biological fertility.

Let me give it to you quick: Chemical fertility can mimic biological, like sugar can mimic food, but these chemicals—especially nitrogen—are lethal to all but the laziest soil microbes. In essence, chemical fertility sterilizes the soil. You still have healthy looking plants, but without the biological community to harvest the nutrition from the soil and make it available, you end-up with hollow calories.
I believe this explains a good part of the obesity epidemic; folks have to eat too many calories to get the same nutrition.
All of the food in this box is certified organic, which means it was all grown with biological fertility. It is impossible organically to grow healthy crops without healthy soil biology. Pretty simple; if the crops are eating healthy, you also will EAT HEALTHY!!!

See the entire Fresh Facts newsletter from 6/15/13

Author AHO Kitchen Team

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