We need to be mindful of our soil and manage it accordingly to create a healthy environment for both the plants, and the microbes. To do this you have to keep the soil, well irrigated with water, but not saturated to avoid mineral depletion. Limited tillage that avoids soil compaction but does not destroy the ecosystem of the necessary microbiome underneath. In general, the microbes in the soil is proportionate to the organic matter.
Nature has provided for life not only on top of the soil, but intelligently created a society of microbes flourishing and promoting a biodiverse culture underneath. There is a cycle to how the different microbes interact in recycling and nurturing the plant life, and likewise plant life cultivating this symbiotic, mutual interdependence.
Climate plays a major role in how our soil is formed. In our century of drastic climate fluctuations, these tiny and beneficial microorganisms require everyone to step up and assure that balance is not interrupted, but promoted for the sake of our food source, and our planet.
By far the most numerous of those microorganisms are single celled microbes, such as bacteria, and fungi. When working the soil, you will see ants, worms, beetles, and other little colonies. We need to acknowledge the seemingly invisible microscopic colonies of good bacteria while we cultivate the soil, because you need them. Do not disturb their diligent work in providing quality soil for us.
In our instantaneous world we demand fast crops to feed an overpopulated planet. Mindful of crop yields, we strive for faster time to market, bigger is better, with good looking food on everyone’s dinner plate. We observe profit at what cost?
The assumption that the use of inorganic fertilizer will help us achieve greater yields is misleading. Agriculture should not be viewed as a factory from which products come from. Agriculture must be recognized as an art in harmony with nature, paying attention to the signs our planet is giving us, forcing us to adapt our practices wisely, rather than fighting nature, aiming for mastery over her.
Paying careful attention to the life that exists beneath us, would favor the nurturing of this “micro-army” we so critically need to rebuild in soil. This friendly army composed of microorganisms put their efforts in making good nutrient rich, bio available soil for our plants, and importantly the crops we grow for food.
To quote Rattan Lal, we ought to think of our soil as our bank account. We need to replenish it often before we spend further. To consume too much will leave our soil depleted, and void of nutrients pertinent to our livelihood.
The generations of crop dusting with pesticides, chemicals, and vermicides have disrupted the invisible ecosystem natural to soil. To nurse this microbiome back to full force, we need to incorporate our wisdom, while observing our science, then conducted with the human heart, nurture this vitality for the sake of humanity.
We have a micro army standing by to help us make this so.
We can revive our living soil; it will take the contribution of our global village to make this a reality. Join us as we learn from scientists, and experts on our journey, as we advocate for soil consciousness, which is pivotal to our health, our climate and is our legacy for future generations.