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Author Didi Pershouse: The Soil Whisperer

Mar 01, 2018 08:16PM ● By Linda Ditch
How often do you think about the soil in your yard? If you’re a gardener, perhaps more than others, but what about the rest of us? Other than fighting mud season, you might not pay much attention to the soil and the role it plays in your health and that of the environment.

Didi Pershouse pays a lot of attention to the soil. So much so, she even wrote a book about it—Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function. However, the Thetford native is probably best known for her book The Ecology of Care, a semi-autobiographical book that discusses how the germ theory of disease along with the profit-based economy have unintentionally led to the sterilization of medicine, agriculture, and our social lives.

So, what does soil have to do with your health? Think of it this way: Plants and microbes are a team that helps provide lots of clean water and food full of nutrients, both of which help protect our bodies from illness. They also help protect you from extreme weather events. To have healthy plants and microbes, you need healthy soil.

Pershouse is founder of the Center for Sustainable Medicine and teaches the public and scientific community about ecologically and socially sustainable forms of medicine. She had a sliding-scale practice for 22 years that featured community acupuncture, nutrient-dense diets, and resiliency counseling. Her goal was to help people make the connection between the importance of soil health and the microorganisms that help maintain a healthy climate inside and outside the body.

Today, Pershouse travels and teaches with the Soil Carbon Coalition. The nonprofit group’s mission is to show the connection between soil health and human health. Her website notes, “She bases her work on three fundamental principles borrowed from the Benedictines: on one end is stability/commitment, in the center is deep listening, and on the other end is flexibility in thought and action.”

You can check out Pershouse’s website ( to learn more about her books, her work, and the organizations she supports.

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