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Growing a Revolution

Bringing Our Soil Back to Life


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An inspiring vision for restoring the soil that feeds us all and turns agriculture into a solution for environmental crises.

Since the dawn of agriculture, great civilizations have sunk into poverty after destroying their once fertile land. Today, few people realise how close we are to the same fate if we don’t take action. In Growing a Revolution, David R. Montgomery leads us on a journey through history and around the world to see how innovative farmers ditch the plough, mulch cover crops and adopt complex rotations to restore the soil, finding the foundation for the next agricultural revolution: a soil health revolution.

Cutting through the debates about conventional versus organic agriculture, Montgomery shows how new regenerative methods heal damaged environments and improve farmers’ bottom lines. Ancient wisdom merges with modern science and Growing a Revolution shows how agriculture can help solve modern environmental woes.


“How can humanity feed its burgeoning billions when one-third of agricultural soil is degraded? Pondering that question propelled geologist David Montgomery on a three-decade, six-continent survey of farmland. The insights gleaned add nuance to his pointed critiques of agrotechnology and organic farming, but it's the findings on rapid soil restoration that compel.” — Nature

“Brilliant, well researched, eloquent, and deeply hopeful.” — Denis Hayes, founder of Earth Day

“A wise and grounded book — restored soils are the solution.” — Jules N. Pretty, Professor of Environment and Society, University of Essex, UK

“David Montgomery... is one of our most eloquent and precise earth science communicators... [He] has a knack for opening our minds to large, critically important questions.” — New Scientist


Short-Listed — PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, 2018

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