In this episode, John interviews David Montgomery, Professor of Geomorphology at the University of Washington. John and David discuss soil regeneration at length, pulling from David’s experience developing new topsoil in dead, stony ground and his deep dive into the science behind it.
David came to the field of regenerative agriculture from a unique position. As a geologist studying erosion, he became curious about agricultural impacts on soils.
When David set out to write his first book, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, he imagined it would tie the subject of landscape formation over millennia to how soil erosion affected ancient civilizations. He ended up writing about the history of farming, because that's where soil erosion and degradation connects back to human societies. Spending more than a decade looking at how agriculture has influenced soil loss resulted in an epiphany that led him to see regenerative agriculture as the solution to historically degenerative agricultural problems.