Year of Soils Probes the Roots of Sustainability

It seems like just about everything has a commemorative day, week or month. Hug Day is coming up February 13th, and the National Day of Silence and the National Day of Dialogue both share April 15th. Interesting to see how that works out.

Last year, the United Nations decided that soil health deserved special recognition. But the U.N. decided that soil health was so important that it deserved more than just a day, a week or a month.  That’s why 2015 has been designated the International Year of Soils.

Chances are, you don’t think much about soil. Chances are, you think of it as dirt.

But the dirt your kids track into the house is the basis of nearly all of our food, clothing and shelter. So, it’s pretty important that we pay attention to it.

Unfortunately, much of conventional farming over the past few years has attempted to ignore this fact, utilizing the “better living through chemistry” philosophy focused on feeding plants with chemical fertilizers.  As a result, much of our soil, and the world’s soils, are in trouble. Wind and water erosion are only two symptoms of that trouble.

Fortunately, organic agriculture and other sustainable farming practices are addressing the root cause. Organic farming is based on the principle that healthy soil creates healthy food. That’s why organic farming practices focus on building biological health, including earthworms and beneficial bugs. And, it’s another reason that organic food often tastes fresher and sweeter.

I will be touching on the International Year of soils further in upcoming blogs. Let’s just say that I want to spread lots of dirt about good dirt.

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