With the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, we take a look back at the event and remember it like we do every year: in awe. If you’ve seen photos or been to the mountain, you know that the eruption of 1980 was astonishing. In fact, it’s hard not to consider pieces of the eruption (photos taken mid-blast, the plume of smoke, the collapsing north face) beautiful.
Unfortunately, the area was devastated from the eruption, landslides and lahars that spread some 230 square miles.
Thirty years later, things aren’t so bleak. Mt. St. Helens is recovering and the surrounding wild life is in the early stages of returning to its once striking form. Take a look at NASA’s collection of satellite images from the past 30 years, and note the spread of vegetation. It’s incredible.
A large part of the recovery process is due in part to the volcanic debris released from the eruption. As the years pass and the debris is weathered and broken down, it turns into some of the most fertile soil available. It contains nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus (three essential nutrients needed for plant growth) and a host of essential minerals and trace elements like copper, iron, cobalt, and magnesium. It has everything needed for the area to not only recover, but to some day thrive again.
We, at The Fruit Company, know how effective volcanic soil can be for growing healthy and hearty vegetation. Located in the Hood River Valley, our orchards are set atop layers of volcanic soil courtesy of the eruptions at Mt. Hood some 100,000 years ago. Our nutrient-rich volcanic soil gives our orchardists the template to grow some of the finest produce in the world. All this thanks to an eruption similar to the one at Mt. St. Helens.
With all the remarkable pictures taken from the eruption 30 years ago, it’s easy to forget about what comes after, what happens next. However, if the latest satellite images of St. Helens tell us anything, it’s that the most miraculous part may just be what comes after the eruption.
Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!