In fact, we don’t seem to realize that this living soil is the necessary foundation of a garden. Soil is not dirt.
We need people to notice and appreciate the role healthy soil plays in our lives and why it’s so vital we protect it.
In the everyday work of my farm, most of the decisions I make, in one way or another, are driven by the goal of continuing to grow and protect soil.
Betsy Taylor is president of Breakthrough Strategies & Solutions LLC. For over thirty years, Betsy Taylor has built a solid reputation as a philanthropic advisor, social change leader, motivational speaker and problem solver. She addresses the question of “What Could Possibly Go Right?”
Soil is not dirt. It is not a pile of fine-ground rock and biological detritus. It is not even a home for mycelium and microorganisms, annelids and insects, roots and burrowing chordates. It is the sum of all those things living together.
However we proceed, we very much consider the plant bioindicator method alongside a host of other tools for deepening our connection with land.
We must adopt an ecosystem approach to identify sustainable food systems that can exist within our planet’s boundaries, argues Stuart Meikle in the first of a four-part series.
Overall, it is only when we start with a soils-first-farming approach that we begin to understand what is needed to create genuinely sustainable agricultural systems.
It would serve us well to consequently apply and further develop known, climate friendly farming techniques before we continue with “precision techniques” on a whim. Unfortunately, in both research and practice this approach is rarely taken.
Because there is no other option and no better deal for the natural capital, soil, biodiversity and climate. Our task is to accelerate this transition and to avoid doing even more damage.
Regenerative agriculture seeks to re-integrate knowledge of the soil food web and the biology of soils into agricultural thought processes and decision-making, and to apply this knowledge to both short- and long-term decisions.
Society must be made aware of the fact that destruction of the world’s soil organic matter is an existential threat to civilization every bit as immediate and serious as climate change or oil depletion.