2015 International Year of Soils

Yes. I know I am late to the party.

Nice infographic about soil can be found here.

year of soilThose people who slog through my posts know I am kind of obsessed with soil. I don’t really have anything new to say today so maybe I’ll just serve up some leftovers. I don’t think these are particularly great posts but buried in them are some of the things I’ve learned about soil this last year. Warning: they are all too lengthy. I’m still learning about this blogging stuff.

Soil Restoration

Making Leaf Mould

Ants vs Earthworms

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20 thoughts on “2015 International Year of Soils

  1. I completely agree that soil is so important to us and to our gardens and wildlife….with the soil also important are water and nutrients that occur naturally. thanks for bringing this topic back. I agree with Deb above…blog the way you want and follow your heart.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Donna. Soil is so important yet a lot of people are unaware that it is a non-renewable resource and that it is getting depleted far too quickly. How to remind/inform without making a person defensive? It is a tricky balance.

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    1. Iowa does have great soil — some of the best on the planet. But that wealth needs protection. So much of it is farmed un-sustainably that erosion and nitrate runoff are serious issues.

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      1. True, but also improving. You might be surprised at the amount of minimum tillage done these days. Fewer cultivation passes, more organic matter left on top to absorb impact of falling rain, and much more prescribed application of fertilizers instead of broad general applications giving some areas of a field too much.

        I’ve seen these changes as my dad farmed, then my brother in law, then my son in law. You are right, tho. That wealth needs protection.

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  2. Its good to keep on reminding us Debra. Over here there is an International Compost Awareness Week 2015 on 3rd – 9th May, with lots of activities aimed at schools. Do you have one planned over there?

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    1. Thx, Julie. If we are doing something about that I haven’t heard yet. My neighbourhood does already do a lot of composting. And for those who don’t compost on their property we have a nonprofit group called the Compost Pedallers to make it even easier. They ride bikes through the hood and collect compost materials for use on urban and community farms.

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  3. Thanks for letting people know about this. I took a class in soils at CBG where the instructor said: “Dirt is dead soil.” Can you recommend any books for laymen on soil science? I’ve read Teaming with Microbes.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I will definitely check that title out. I am most certainly not a pro but I did go to a workshop many years ago where the speaker gave us all copies of a mega-pamphlet called “Soil Biology Primer”. I just looked it up and was happy to see there is a free online version offered by (all of people!) the USDA. It isn’t at all glossy or hip but it does have the basic info. I suspect you probably know all this stuff but maybe it will be useful for someone.

      http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/soils/health/biology/

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  4. “Too lengthy” is in the eye of the beholder. Blogging “rules” be confounded I say. Some topics are too complex for short form and some thoughts are too important to leave out, especially if the only impetus is fitting some random estimation of a reader’s attention span. Besides, I’m pretty sure you don’t have a single “average” reader visiting here. : )

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