Whether you are a gardener or not, soil is essential for you. Globally, we treat soil like dirt. But soil is vital to our lives, and in dismissing it, we fail to recognise the important role it plays in safeguarding our future. We abuse and neglect it at our peril.
Most people are fully aware of the role that soil plays in food production and cultivation. But fewer people take the time to understand the integral role played by the soil in keeping the carbon cycle turning. And that by taking care of the soil, we can drawdown carbon, sequester it, and perhaps even turn the tide when it comes to our climate crisis.
If you are interested in this topic, watch ‘Kiss the Ground’ – a documentary film that explores this topic.
As farmers or gardeners, we are on the front lines in protecting the soil and the web of life it contains. Though regenerative practices, diverse planting, no till/ no dig methods and avoiding bare soil wherever possible, we protect the soil and can rebuild. Permaculture, of course, helps us understand soil and ecosystems holistically.
But even if we ourselves are not farmers or gardeners who spend a lot of time in close contact with the soil, we can all play a role in making sure soil is protected and improved. This is so crucial to remember.
We can make sure that soil is not degraded in our names by withdrawing our support for damaging systems. And by refusing the purchase food, fibres or other products that have contributed to ecosystem destruction and soil degradation.
Whether you garden or not, you depend on healthy soil: for healthy plants, healthy food, healthy ecosystems which we rely on in many ways. It is important for all of us to recognise the importance of soil – wherever and however we live.