To Love and Regenerate the Earth: Pioneer spotlight on Don Weaver
“Generous worldwide soil remineralization is not just another nice idea or ‘option’ to make the world greener, but a most fundamental climate-rebalancing and world-saving necessity.”
These are the words of Don Weaver — ecologist, researcher, writer, organic grower, and long-time Remineralize the Earth advisor — in his 2009 open letter welcoming and appealing to the new administration of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
As with his outreach to the Obamas, Weaver has dedicated 40 years of effort to educating the public of the great need to both stabilize and regenerate our soils to combat the overwhelming anthropogenic forces of malnutrition, soil degradation, deforestation, and climate change.Weaver’s firm belief in the power of education led him to write three books on the topics of soil remineralization and Earth regeneration:
The Survival of Civilization (co-author to John Hamaker, 1982) is a collection of papers addressing the three problems facing civilization that we must solve in order to survive: environmental degradation, economic instability, and human degeneration.
To Love and Regenerate the Earth (2002) provides a wealth of information concerning the problems and potential solutions to the social, ecological, and climatic problems facing the human race.
Regenerate the Earth! (2011) is an appeal to the world to recognize the importance of improving the health and vitality of our gardens, farms, and orchards through replenishing soils.
In these works, Weaver emphasizes the deep connection between soil health and human health. He describes how giving back the minerals that we have taken from the soil can lead to a positive change in both the yield and the nutrient content of our food. Remineralizing soils is an effective means of fortifying our food supply and fighting famine worldwide. At the same time, improved nutrition in our diets leads to healthier humans.
Though he has dedicated much of his lifetime to research and education, Weaver’s first love was basketball. It was while on a basketball scholarship at U.C. Berkeley that he first delved into the study of human health and longevity. The once NBA-hopeful, when confronted with incontrovertible truths about destructive ecological and climatic trends, could not ignore the need for action. Weaver left his beloved sport behind and became a staunch advocate of Earth’s ecosystems and the future of the human race.
After Berkeley, Weaver spent a year working in organic agriculture at the Farallones Institute (now Occidental Arts and Ecology Center) in California. While spending time in the library, Weaver discovered the writings of fellow ecologist and farmer John Hamaker.
As so many others have been, Weaver was inspired by Hamaker’s research. “I was excited to realize that soil remineralization was a crucial and largely overlooked key to enabling humanity to repay our great debts to the agricultural and forest soils and the whole natural world,” he says of that period of discovery in his life. “I saw that we could begin to grow the highest-quality mineralized foods to support the highest human health and longevity potential.” Weaver went on, a few years later, to co-author The Survival of Civilization with Hamaker to join him in promoting remineralization to fight crises in health and economics, as well as climate change.
Weaver emphasizes promoting human health by making remineralization practices standard in our agriculture systems. He is also an advocate for using remineralization techniques to replenish our forests, which increases their capacity to consume CO2 and store carbon in the soil reservoirs they create.
In 1986 Weaver assisted Joanna Campe in the creation of “Soil Remineralization, A Network Newsletter,” which was the very first iteration of Remineralize the Earth. Weaver served as an intellectual and spiritual advisor for many years as that newsletter grew into a magazine, Remineralize the Earth, and finally into the organization it is today. Weaver remains on our board of advisors at RTE.
Taken together, the intellectual collaboration of the Hamaker-Weaver power duo, Weaver’s work since then, and the efforts of Remineralize the Earth since the 1980s have spurred the growth of remineralization work worldwide. From USDA studies to student-led research to practical applications in countries around the world, what began as a grassroots movement has grown into a widespread effort, energized by the spread of information about the benefits of remineralization.
Evidence of our planet’s environmental degradation is more concerning than ever, and though Weaver expresses that he still has hope for our future, he does so with a sense of urgency: “Nature is showing us how our long-time neglect to meet the Earth’s need for regeneration has gone; I still think there is a chance we can turn things around if we realize we need to be the truly wise and generous species on Earth. Otherwise we may be heading for extinction.” This perspective is the one that has fueled has work over the years, and Weaver still has more to contribute.
True to form, Weaver’s latest endeavor speaks to his spirit of generosity and desire to make environmental education accessible to all. Fruticulture is a new e-book written by David Klein, Ph.D, with Weaver as co-author. The e-book is available to download free of charge, created with intention to benefit of all who inhabit the Earth. With a strong emphasis on remineralization, Fruticulture discusses the most ecologically-sustainable ways of farming and regenerating our planet, while improving the health of its inhabitants along the way.
Characteristically a seasoned educator who believes knowledge should be accessible to everyone, Weaver’s work has been instrumental in the spread of remineralization specifically, and regeneration efforts generally both on U.S. soil and internationally. As we as a society continue to fight to stabilize our climate, Weaver’s work exists as a reminder of the power that the unconditional sharing of information has on the implementation of change.
Shelby Nilsen is a science writer who specializes in articulating complex information to the layperson in a communicative and engaging manner. She advocates for education in the fields of biomedical and environmental science through the power of the written word.
The Survival of Civilization and To Love and Regenerate the Earth are available to download for free at www.soilandhealth.org in the agriculture library.
Regenerate the Earth! can be downloaded at https://vibranthealthandwealth.com/product/regenerate-the-earth/.
D. Weaver (2007) “People Planting Paradise: Stephan Reeve on Maui,” Remineralize the Earth, https://www.remineralize.org/2007/12/people-planting-paradise-stephan-reeve-on-maui-2/
D. Weaver (2009) “Earth Regeneration for Climate Balance and a Healthy World,” https://www.remineralize.org/old_joomla/old_gaiahost_joomla/joomla/images/hopechange%2027lm.pdf
D. Weaver (2012) “Regenerative Veganic Gardening for Pure Food and Health,” Remineralize the Earth, https://www.remineralize.org/2012/11/regenerative-veganic-gardening/
Z. Hieronimus, “Interview with Don Weaver,” 21st Century Radio, June 19, 2016, http://21stcenturyradio.com/audioarchives/2016/#CampeWeaverZimmer