What I Want to Accomplish With This Blog

March 27th, 2018

I want to introduce myself to you and talk a bit about what I want to accomplish in my blogs. I recently retired from the USDA/NRCS in Soil Survey which gave me a real insight into soil science and the importance of our soils in our everyday life.

Growing up in Southeast Nebraska I had always known that soils were the medium for growing things in, but did not realize how important they are to society as a whole until I started learning about soil science in my 30-year career with the NRCS. Thanks to my experiences and my passion for growing things in the landscape around me, I feel well qualified to talk about this subject and to impress on how important it is to value this limited and most important resource. It is essential to retain our good productive soils and to recapture and improve the health of our soils.
Larry and Mary Kay
Great men and women of stature who were forward thinking realized the importance of our soils. The following are quotes about soil from famous people:

“Essentially, all life depends upon soil… There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.” - Charles E. Kellogg, USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, 1938

“The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“While the farmer holds the title to the land, actually it belongs to all the people because civilization itself rests upon the soil.” – Thomas Jefferson

“History is largely a record of human struggle to wrest land from nature because man relies for sustenance on the products of the soil. So direct, is the relationship between soil erosion, the productivity of the land, and the prosperity of the people, that the history of mankind, to a considerable degree at least, may be interpreted in terms of the soil and what has happened to it as the result of human use.” – Hugh H. Bennett and W.C. Lowdermilk, circa 1930’s

If you are not a soils professional I don’t want to bore you, but do want to impress a couple things on you about where I am coming from; I love growing plants and food in the landscape, and am serious about doing it in a sustainable manner that promotes healthy soils which in turn lead to a healthy environment. God has given man a great gift in the life that abounds in our environment, both above ground, and in the soil. I feel blessed to have some unique experiences, to have acquired some knowledge, have many resources, and I want to share it with other people.

Because of this, I have decided to start a 3rd career growing fruits and vegetables for the market as well as pruning services, edible landscaping services, and windbreak services. In my blogs, I want to pass on information about the fruits and vegetables that we produce at Arnold Acres. Starting the 1st of May and every 2 weeks after that, I will be highlighting a specific vegetable or fruit and telling you some interesting information about the plant, how it grows, when you can expect it at the market, what is unique about it, and how you can prepare it to eat. Asparagus is the 1st subject. In addition at least once a month (and probably more) I will have a more general blog in which I will talk about subjects and techniques that are important to gardening, growing, edible landscaping, trees, compost, soils, cover crops, pollinators, etc.

It will be fun and I hope you can learn something from my unique experiences and knowledge. Don’t be surprised if I throw in a bit about soils now and then and how important it is for us to manage it, and use it correctly. I knew when I retired from the NRCS that it would be the beginning of something new and exciting for Mary Kay and I. Let’s see where this goes. Please contact me at if you have any questions or comments.