Thursday 2nd December 2021
We often think of soil as dirt – something that needs to be cleaned up or dusted away. But you may not realise that almost everything we come into daily contact with relies on healthy soil. It plays an essential role in our lives, our planet and its future.
Healthy soils don’t just grow food, they can also help with global warming. Carbon gets released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels in cars, factories and houses. There’s now too much of it in the atmosphere and it’s having a negative effect on the planet.
When plants grow, they take carbon dioxide from the air and lock it into the soil, even more so when they are healthy plants in healthy soil!
At Yeo Valley Organic, we love soil! We love it so much, we thought we’d share these 10 muddy facts to spread the joy!
- There are more living creatures in a single teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on Earth.
- Soil produces 95 percent of our food. This could be growing the vegetables and other crops we eat, or grasses and other plants to feed animals that produce meat.
- Soil can store an extraordinary amount of carbon – three times the amount in the atmosphere and twice the amount in trees and forests.
- While soil can store or ‘sequester’ carbon, it can also lose it when degraded. The loss of carbon in poor soils contributes to the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, one of the gases that causes climate change.
- The equivalent of one football pitch of soil is eroded every five seconds, globally. In fact, 33% of the earth’s soils are already degraded and over 90% could become degraded by 2050.
- It can take up to 1,000 years to produce 2-3 cms of soil.
- Soil is home to more than 1/4 of our planet’s biodiversity. Yet, we only know 1% of this hidden universe.
- Soil organisms work 365/24/7 in a coordinated effort to sustain life on earth, filtering our water; growing our plants and trees and all the food we eat.
- An essential component of healthy soil is species richness – a nourishing home for millions of creatures, including moles, microbes, soil insects, worms, and fungi who all do their bit to keep the soil full of goodness, in turn producing more nutritious and safer food.
- Farming for healthy soil has the power to mitigate the effects of climate change …. It’s called regenerative organic farming. Rebalance nature, replenish our soil and help to repair the earth for future generations.
Nature is a wonderful thing so join us and work with nature not against it – whatever that means to you and however small a step you take.
Find out more about how we take care of the land here