World Soil Day Dec 5th 2018

Today is officially World Soil Day! Its only the fourth such day, I find that amazing that it was only in 2014 that we as a collective around the world decided that soil was important enough that it needed its own UN program, countries to sign on during the paris accord and to get it own “day”

I find this both amusing and SAD, I can assure you that soil has been important for thousands of years.. and that we as humans have been able to grasp that for as long as we have been connected to our food growing systems.

That of course is the very issue right there! While most 3rd world countries are still far more connected directly to their food supply.. most of us in first world countries that is sadly not the case.

Even those that buy directly from farms in CSA baskets, or those that shop at the local farmers market, or those that buy organic good food boxes are all still missing this critical piece of the puzzle..

Soil is life.. and life in many ways is soil *1

Most people understand the loss of top soil, they can grasp this easily enough, drive by an empty turned farmers field when the wind is blowing and you can SEE the top soil moving.

Look at water movement and you can see the top soil being moved, shifted and washed away.  Peaple sweep their sideways or other hard surfaces and they understand that the soil they are sweeping is top soil.

What is harder for people to grasp is that soil can die.  It’s such a strange thing to say but soil can in fact die, it can be poisoned, it can be soured, it can be salted and it can be reduced to inorganic matter. *2

All of them mean the same thing, it means that time in space it is in effect died to the point that it does not produce even on a micro level in a way that supports life.

I hope that you take a moment to really think about that.. in war at one time in history, they would salt the ground to prevent them from being able to grow crops as they knew that without live active soil.. they could destroy the people who lived in that area.

We treat soil today very poorly indeed.  So this step up that countries are signing on and starting to understand that it’s not just the cash crops that have value but point in fact the soil and its health matter as well.

Of course it appears to have taken the science proven on the fact that done properly that soil can be a carbon capture in regards to helping deal with climate change before they were willing to make this change.

Just writing that statement makes me want to shake my head and fist to the sky and moan..

Sadly I must admit that not all soil can be saved quickly, not all soil’s can just be fixed in our lifetimes but at least we can all take comfort in the fact that the odds are that time will be able to do what we can not.. soil will live on long after we have crossed over.

So lets flip this around a bit shall we.. While nature will when given a chance create new top soil. If you want it to happen a lot faster.. it’s on us!

You know that we can in fact grow soil, that we can in fact make soil come alive again, that we are taking compost that is thriving and teeming with life and move it over to restart poorly treated soil.

A friend of mine and I were talking one day about something to do with soil/adding compost and we talked about grabbing shovels of good soil to intermix into the new bed to give it a boost to its start.

So how do we go about fixing our soil? Well that is a lot more in-depth knowledge needed then this post is going to go into but it has got me thinking.. I am starting a whole new area in my yard and I will be doing a lot of different things to make that area ready.

Without seeing this world soil day and then doing a bit of reading on it, I would have done it without even thinking about share those needed but “plain” steps.  This day and writing this post has made me decide that I should in fact share it in far more detail.

I am not sure how many single posts/video’s it will lead to overall. I will figure out a way to create a collector post that brings them back all together.

*1 Yes, I am aware that you can grow using hydroponic processes.

*2  While “dirt” is made up of many things, not all of it is living or organic which is why I wanted to point out that we can in fact have mass while not having life.

I am not sure what I want to ask as my question on todays post, so lets just go simple, have you heard of world soil day? What does it mean to you?



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8 Responses to World Soil Day Dec 5th 2018

  1. valbjerke says:

    Nope – never heard of it…..probably getting drowned out by ‘adopt a highway day/men’s health day/bad Christmas sweater day….’ 😄
    You should know – I admire your tenacity in all these things. I have unfortunately grown weary of banging all the farmstead/homestead/food sufficiency etc drums you do. Ultimately I find people are truly so FAR removed from their food – I don’t know where to start. A few years ago, chatting with an older fellow at work who I think highly of (smart, honest, at the tail end of his career as a fireman/fire inspector)looked at me absolutely askance when I mentioned we had taken our Holstein steers in for slaughter. Unbelievably- he did not think you could eat a dairy breed. I was left almost speechless. I asked him ‘what do you think they do with all the male offspring of dairy cows?’ He admitted he hadn’t given it much thought – but had no idea a dairy breed was edible. At the gym I attend – one of the owners is on a diet that promotes cooking with tallow – she has no idea how tallow comes about but is willing to pay an obscene amount of money to have it in her cupboard. I know people who did not know carrots come in more than one color, or corn….
    I once sold shelf stable marinated goat feta to a lady who despite my instructions to the contrary, put it in the fridge, then finally threw it out cause it looked funny. Another lady who tossed a dozen fresh eggs from me because there were several double yolkers in the carton and she thought there was something wrong with them.
    Oi. It’s exhausting. 🙄
    On that note – several years ago I read an absolutely stellar book on dirt – I’m going to hunt up the title of it and let you know. Despite being a farmer half my life, I found it to be a real eye opener and it did change the way I think about planting some things.
    We live on a very heavy clay based soil here – I like to point out to those who visit, that every speck of dirt in my garden beds has been created right here on this farm. 😊

    • LOL, its ok I had not heard of it either until 2 days ago, but I am trying to expand my views on things world wide programs, I want to reach out for idea’s on how to deal with the climate change issue I am seeing here on the farm to see how others have found ways to work with, work around or function with it, even when folks fail, its still a learning curve.

      You are right, it is exhausting and I know! I swear I do.. and at times I withdraw and re-coop.

      Having said that I hope you will let me ring that bell and pound that drum. I get asked all the time to come to clubs, meetings and events and most of the time I can not get off the farm to get to them.. (that’s farming life)

      But I can talk about it here on the blog, Its my sounding board and I am not quite ready to give that drum up LOL

      I will do my best to mix it up, recipes, photos, trips, basic farm stuff, a bit of ramble/rants 🙂 and some drum banging!

      I have a total facebook rant? a polite Canadian rant anyway about the banning of Baby its cold outside by the big media company’s here in Canada.. idjits! lol

      Ps, still shaking my head.. can’t eat dairy cattle.. WTF

      • valbjerke says:

        😂 I think we’re on the same page. Don’t let me stop you from blogging away about anything and everything – I’m an information hound – I’ve used several of your ideas – (cured egg yolks, juicing rose hips, etc etc etc). I very much look forward to your posts no matter what the subject.
        And I like that song!! Makes me want to download it – just because. Seems every corner I turn these days – more nonsense. 😊

    • Ps, look forward to getting that title on that book, if it stuck with you, I know its a good one and congrats on growing your dirt 🙂

      • valbjerke says:

        Okay (sorry for the wait, my aunt lent me the book and I’ve long since returned it – but she just got back to me).
        Teaming with Microbes (Wayne Lewis/Jeff Lowenfils)
        She also mentioned that there are two more:
        Teaming with Nutrients (Jeff Lowenfils)
        Teaming with Fungi (Jeff Lowenfils)
        I’m going to grab the next two on my Kindle – they’re a fraction of the price (love my Kindle).
        Honest, they’re not the suspense filled page turners you might think 😂, seems to me when I read Teaming with Microbes my eyes started to cross about page three. But if you can plod through it, it’s pretty eye opening and a worth a second read.

      • valbjerke says:

        Also – available on Amazon!

  2. Cricket says:

    I had never heard of World Soil Day until I read it here. I am very aware of soil and its life or dearth of it. In fact, for a while I thought about studying soil, and it is certainly a topic in the field I am studying, Geology. When we were farming in Oregon, we had heavy clay soils so it was imperative that we built them up, I mean really soil everywhere needs to be cared for and maintained. Now I can also agree with Valbjerke that people overall seem oblivious to where their food comes from. One time I was eating out with a co-worker and she wanted to order fish but the menu said it came head on and she refused to order it because she didn’t want to see her food in that form. Once when we had tomato plants growing in our backyard in Oakland CA, the neighbors thought they were marijuana(!) and another time when we had a garden in Rochester, NY bordered on 2 sides by sidewalk/street, a kid of about 7 or 8 asked what the carrot tops were. First I told him but when he doubted me, I pulled one up to show him, he was dumbstruck, he had no idea that carrots grew in dirt! If I dig around in my photos I might be able to come up with one of my daughter at about 10-11 months old tasting dirt. We were working in the gardens and young kids like that put just about everything in their mouths. The neighbor kids were horrified and I tried to explain that our food was going to grow in there so I wasn’t too worried about the little bit she was consuming. What is that old saying “dirt can’t hurt” or something like that?

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