Celebrate the International Year of Soils! Some things you never knew…

The United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils, and it’s high time that we all show the soil a little love.
Soil isn’t just for farmers; the earth beneath your feet and your home, in your watershed, and where your food is grown is important to you, in more ways than you or I may know. Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot.”

We all get our meals from the soil in some way...earthworms, robins, and people!  Photo: Ryan Bushby via Wikimedia commons

We all get our meals from the soil in some way…earthworms, robins, and people! Photo: Ryan Bushby via Wikimedia commons


Take some time in 2015 to contemplate the soil and to be amazed! Did you know that…..

Bonus fact: the loose layer of soil covering the moon, the planets, or Earth's bedrock is called the "regolith."  This is  astronaut Gene Cernan's snapshot of the moon's regolith.  Photo: Nasa.gov via Wikimedia commons

Bonus fact: the loose layer of soil covering the moon, the planets, or Earth’s bedrock is called the “regolith.” This is astronaut Gene Cernan’s snapshot of the moon’s regolith. Photo: Nasa.gov via Wikimedia commons

While you ponder these amazing truths about soil, I’ll leave you with a couple of great quotes, courtesy of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service:

“Essentially, all life depends upon the soil … There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.” — Charles E. Kellogg, USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, 1938
“A cloak of loose, soft material, held to the earth’s hard surface by gravity, is all that lies between life and lifelessness.” — Wallace H. Fuller, Soils of the Desert Southwest, 1975

And this one:

“We spend our lives hurrying away from the real, as though it were deadly to us. “It must be somewhere up there on the horizon,” we think. And all the time it is in the soil, right beneath our feet.” – William Bryant Logan, Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, 2007

Real indeed, Mr. Logan.

Want to learn more about soils?

Read about NWF’s work to improve soil health through cover crops.
Check out NWF’s report, “The Dirt on Dirt.”

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