Sometimes I write about love. Sometimes I write about the illusion of separation. I am referring to the same thing: a deep feeling that everything is connected. Often I talk about photosynthesis: the merging of carbon dioxide and water with the energy of the sun, and how this relates to our metabolism: when we eat … Read more

Soil City

My brother, Daniel, made this image in Photoshop (no, it’s not real) in response to the soil course (‘humism’) I taught from 2013 to 2018. Since then, I have used it in almost all of my lectures and courses. It powerfully expresses what the course is all about: the soil is almost literally a city. … Read more


If the babbling of the brook is replaced by the roar of cars, where would we find silence? If the rustling of the tree is overwhelmed by the howl of chainsaws, where would we find shade? If birdsong fades and the roar of airplanes swells, where would we find beauty? If everything is mowed, where … Read more

Thriving Children

When you live in a culture where even children commit suicide, you have seriously got to ask: what is going on? Should we not ensure that we create a world in which our children not only can and want to live, but can thrive? What does it take for a child to thrive? First of … Read more

Intelligence is Everywhere

A slime mould is a single-celled organism that lives in the soil. In a given moment, possibly due to a lack of food, it converges above the ground in tens of thousands to form a plasmodium: an aggregation of cells that behaves as a single organism. If you were to cut a plasmodium into quarters, … Read more

Dynamic Equilibrium

If something is complex, like an ecosystem, the inclination of people in our ‘western’ agricultural society is to simplify it to, for example, a monoculture. The issue with this is that you need to invest more and more energy to maintain the system. You could compare this to a convex surface. If you place a … Read more

Complexity is not complicated

There’s a big difference between complex and complicated systems. An aeroplane is a complicated system. You could take it apart, and if your understanding allows, put it back together. Then it could fly again. That’s possible because it has a finite number of parts and the relationships between its parts are fixed. A bird is … Read more