Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - Soil deserves to be celebrated for its foundational role in creating the food—both crops and animals—that makes people healthy. George Siemon, a founding farmer of the Organic Valley Cooperative, recently spoke at the Save Our Soils gathering in Washington, D.C. Commenting on the complexity of soils, he reminded us that 1 teaspoonful of healthy soil has more microorganisms than there are humans on earth.
Other important topics discussed at the conference were:
- Improving soil health will improve human health by providing healthier food.
- Planting cover crops or green manure crops revitalize the soil by adding organic matter and protecting the soil between regular crops.
- Healthy soils require fewer pesticides to keep the land free of weeds.
- Grazing gives animals access to the outdoors, feeds them some of their diet of origin, and improves soil health by blanketing land with pasture that enhances, rather than depletes, nutrients in the soil.
- In healthy soils beneficial bacterial activity acts as a glue, helping soil clump together. When there is a soaking rainfall, rich soil can clump and hold onto the water, storing it for plants. Excessive pesticides and herbicides destroy soil’s complex and delicate bacterial activity and create soil that is loose and doesn’t hold together.
“To make sure we have healthy kids, we have to have healthy soil,” says Deb Eschmeyer, an organic farmer who is currently Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy at the White House.
COMMENT: It is comforting to note that after almost 75 years, folks are rediscovering the truths about soil promulgated by Dr. William Albrecht at the University of Missouri: It takes healthy soil to grow healthy plants and healthy plants to have healthy animals and people.
Check out Acres, U.S.A. for more information on Dr. Albrecht’s work.
Learn more at this link