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OBSERVE THE CYCLES OF LIFE

Malcolm Beck
Malcolm Beck founded Garden-Ville in 1957. He is well-known throughout North America as a leading
authority on organic gardening and farming methods, composting and rejuvenating poor soil. He is the
author of several books including The Garden-Ville Method: Lessons from Nature, The Secret Life of
Compost and The Texas Bug Book (with Howard Garrett). You can hear Malcolm every Sunday morning at
10 on the KTSA Garden Show with Bob Webster. To learn more about Malcolm, visit www.GardenVille.com.

Walk into the woods and meadows and visit


with Nature. You will be in the presence of much life.
Especially in the spring, you will find many types of
plants grass, trees, animals and insectslarge and
small. There will be life in abundance.
Now take a closer look. There is an equal
amount of death, particularly in the winter. There will
be dead grass and leaves, fallen limbs and trees,
even dead animals and insects.
Every living thing will sooner or later die; no
living creature, plant or animal escapes death. In
Nature, every dead thing is deposited in the very
place it dies, and there it serves as a mulch protecting
the soil until it finally decays and in due time is
covered and replaced by still later deposits of expired
life.
When a plant or animal dies it will eventually
be eaten by the composing microbes. They will
decay or dissemble it and put it back into the soil. If
they didnt, our planet would now be miles deep in
dead things.
This life-death-decay-life cycle has built the
thin layer of fertile soil that covers our land. It
nourishes and grows our plants, which are the bridge
of life between the soil and man.

As these micro-forms of life lived and


reproduced, they fed on and etched away at the
rocky mineral earth surface, and as they died, their
remains formed humus and mild acids to etch away
still more minerals. This process went on and on
until very small amounts of our first soil was formed.
Even though extremely small, the life,
death and decay of each preceding life form have
been creating better conditions for future life forms
than were there before. The decay process builds
with added interest to the soils bank account, and
after countless centuries of creating conditions for
higher and more complex forms of life, Man, the

In the beginning, our planet was just a round


mass of minerals moving in its planned orbit through
space. At some point, the Almighty saw fit to breathe
life onto earth, very meager and primitive life, but life
with a crucial mission.
If man understood the laws of recycle and
return, he would without delay put back onto the land
all manure and organic waste he generates.
Understanding these positive laws will determine
mans future on Earth.
In Nature, there is no waste. Everything is
reused, and usually made into something of still
greater value for the sustenance of life on earth.