Monday, May 16, 2016

Soil---" Living Skin of the Earth"

Soil---the thin layer of organic matter where life occurs, full of microorganisms & different from deeper, nonliving mineral layers---has been called “the living skin of the Earth.” In the rhizosphere (the root zone), millions of microorganisms (microbes) feed on carbon---think of it---carbon. Plants take carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, and via photosynthesis, make food (sugars & carbs) that go down to the roots and into the soil where they feed the microbes. In return, the microbes produce the nutrients the plants need. A marvelous symbiosis! what? Well, this process is sequestering carbon, by removing CO2 from the atmosphere, helping to offset global warming. Also, as the microbes make more food for the plants, the plants get bigger and healthier, and make more food for the microbes, ad infinitum. So the healthier soil, the richer in healthy, happy microbes, the bigger & healthier the plants above ground.

Cutting edge thinking in sustainable agriculture says that caring for the soil, not poisoning it with herbicides, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers, is our solution to feeding our Planet’s people.

To learn more about these provocative facts & ideas, and the fascinating potentials of maintaining healthy soil, go here: