Why we should all love soil and learn to dig it!
Soil is so easily taken for granted, yet it is one of the most important resources we have in our gardens. If you don’t already love it, then you should start.
Soil is made of life and soil makes life. It is a complex mix of ingredients including minerals, air, water, and organic matter (which makes up the countless micro-organisims and the decaying remains of once living things).
Take a moment to think about the food you eat, the water you drink, the air you breathe and the health of you and your family. Guess where it all comes from? It all begins with healthy soil. This is a good reason to do best to use natural and organic products in our gardens as what you put in the soil ultimately ends up in you.
No matter where you get your water from, most likely it has been filtered by soil. The next time you turn on the tap, drink from bottled water or access water from the creek or river, you will think of soil. Predominately what we eat comes from soil too, like vegetables and even meat as the animals feed on pastures grown in soil. Part of the oxygen we breathe comes from plants living in soil.
Did you know that there are more organisms in one tablespoon of soil than there are people on earth. These micro-organisms make medicine to treat diseases. Nearly everything we build on is built on soil, and often with it. Who knew all of these things come from soil.
To get healthy soil in our own backyard, we need to put back in to the soil of what the soil is made from, which is minerals and compost (organic matter). Put one handful of minerals per square metre and add it to your soil/compost mix. The minerals feed the microbes in the soil/compost mix. The microbes break down the minerals making it available to your plants. A good mineral/microbe rate means worms flourish aiding the soil to have better air flow and hold more water in the soil.
If you focus on getting you soil healthy, then you won’t have to think about how to kill off pests and disease. Instead the things that grow in your soil will be healthier, more robust and resistant to pest and disease. Just like how our bodies require a balanced diet, so does our soil. When our bodies are healthy, we glow, are more resistant to sickness and have more energy.
Soil supports us, and without it we cannot survive. Soil is referred to as the skin of the earth. Like our skin, it is so easy to take for granted – and to damage it. The next time you think of soil, don’t treat it like dirt. Love it! After all, healthy soil equals clean air, clean water, healthy food and healthy people.