Dirt coverDavid R. Montgomery, author of Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations and professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, was recently profiled as one of Sunset Magazine’s “10 Visionaries, Trendsetters, and Innovators” who are “redefining every aspect of gardening in the West—and changing the way we live, eat, and connect with one another.”

Montgomery was included for his work to highlight the importance of healthy soil in preserving civilizations. Dirt examines how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil—as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt.

Read on to learn about Montgomery and his wife’s project to restore their own back yard’s topsoil, and how it “has inspired him to think small-picture for his next book.”