Soil, it’s a wonderful thing

Monday 10th July 2023

Here at Yeo Valley, we often say that the key to our planet’s future is quite literally under our feet. And we’re not the only ones – earlier this year, George Monbiot said in The Guardian: “Beneath our feet is an ecosystem so astonishing that it tests the limits of our imagination.”  

Did you know that… 

  • Soil is responsible for around 95% of our food production, yet we know very little about it.
  • One gram of soil is around a quarter of a teaspoon, and this may harbour up to 10 billion micro-organisms – most of which are still unexplored.
  • Soil stores more carbon than the atmosphere and all the world’s plants and forests combined, which means that soil is one of our most important weapons in the fight against climate change. 
The answer is under our feet…

As organic farmers, we’re always trying to find out more about what’s beneath our feet. Regenerative organic farming is based on nourishing the soil, creating a healthy, living ecosystem. Decades of industrial farming have taken their toll on our planet and serious questions are being raised about the future of our food production. 

Last week, the European Commission proposed the continent’s first soil law, intended to undo some of the damage done by intensive farming and mitigate global heating. Research indicates that this could help absorb carbon from the atmosphere and ensure sustainable food production. 

A sample from just one of 840 fields being measured

At Yeo Valley Organic, 20 of our farmers are in a pilot project to better understand soil, it’s impact and possibilities in our climate crisis. In one year, the project has collected 11,000 bags of soil across over 1,100 fields and found over 18,000 worms. In the coming weeks, keep an eye out for our update on the pants we buried to test the health of soil.   

Find out more about we’re working with expert partners and farmer led social enterprise the Farm Carbon Toolkit (FCT) to understand the real impact of soil carbon stocks on our farms and how it can help our climate emergency on our regenerative farming website.

So don’t dismiss soil, it has more potential than we yet know… 

Comments on “Soil, it’s a wonderful thing”

  • Amazing research. This needs to go global to save our planet. Well done.

    Rosalind White on 13th July 2023 at 7:10 am

Comment on this thread

Keep up with everything happening in the valley...

...including upcoming events, recipes, competitions and more. Just pop your email address in below:

By signing up, you’re confirming that you’re over 18 and would like us to send you our newsletters and offers by email. Remember, we’ll never pass on your information (unless you’ve specifically asked us to). Check out our Privacy Policy for more info.