The stone and the worm

World Soil Day
5 December 2018

“As long as a soil is covered with forest, its humus is maintained. The basic forest problem lies in its composition and regeneration. In the forest the process of decay and growth always balance one another. The vegetable wastes together with the by-products of the animal population form a mixture on the forest floor. As we examine this mixture from time to time we  find it remains practically constant in depth, in spite of annual additions from leaf-fall that take place. This mixture is drawn upon at an even rate by earthworms, fungi and bacteria, and the resulting humus in turn is absorbed by the soil and provides the trees and under growth with the food materials they require. Thus the forest manures itself and with the help of the earthworms and other animal distributes this manure through the upper layers of the soil. Everything is done by Nature quietly and efficiently. No artificial fertilizers, no selective weed killers, no pesticides and no machinery are needed in the household of the natural forest.~Richard St. Barbe Baker My Life My Trees


“The great Empires of Assyria, Babylon, Carthage and Persia were destroyed by floods and deserts let loose in the wake of forest destruction. Erosion following forest destruction and soil depletion has been one of the most powerfully destructive forces in bringing about the downfall of civilizations and wiping out human existence from large tracts of the earths surface. Erosion does not march with a blast of trumpets or the beating of drums, but its tactics are more subtle, more sinister.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker- I Planted Trees – 1944


“The worm is the best farm worker. Darwin told us all there was to know about the life history of the worm. But what he didn’t teach us is how to harness the worm. And this I’ve been trying to do for the past forty years. To teach people how to use the worm on their farms and in their gardens by helping them to increase the humus, aerate the soil. And on the fringe of the Sahara and in Israel where I started planting trees over fifty years ago, we put a stone or a couple of stones for every tree on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho in our plantations in the Judean hills. And if a goat knocked a stone off, the tree would die.

“The stone is there to water the tree; this is what we call stone mulching or top mulching. The stone draws down the heat and it draws up the heat from below and draws up the moisture and will protect the worm. The worm will come up and down, and enjoy a cool night under the stone in the moisture that is accumulated under the stone. And in the morning the worm goes down again.

“If you pick up that stone you’ll see two or three worms just underneath, all in the cool and damp. But what is not generally understood is that you can’t have superphosphate and worms. The worms don’t like the superphosphate or any of the chemicals or weed killers and things you put on the crops now, these selective killers. You have to make up your mind whether you’re going to harness the worm or you’re going to work for the chemical merchant.” Richard St. Barbe Baker


For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page:
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year).  Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT, or by using e-transfers  Please and thank you!  Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated.  Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

QR Code FOR PAYPAL DONATIONS to the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.
Payment Options
Membership : $20.00 CAD – yearly
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Membership with donation : $100.00 CAD

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  The simple act of planting a tree, which is in itself a practical deed, is also the symbol of a far reaching ideal, which is creative in the realm of the Spirit, and in turn reacts upon society, encouraging all to work for the future well being of humanity rather than for immediate gain. Richard St. Barbe Baker

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