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To celebrate and raise awareness of World Soil Day, Yeo Valley Organic, has highlighted the importance of maintaining healthy soil by emphasising on key soil facts that many of us may not be aware of and encouraging small positive regenerative acts that can make a big difference to our planet, nature, and our future.

“We often think of soil as mud, or dirt – but we actually rely upon it more than people realise, as everything we come into daily contact depends on healthy soil, and it could even be part of the puzzle to combat climate change.” says Yeo Valley’s Tim Mead.

Tim continues, “As organic regenerative farmers, we can’t ignore soil. We are constantly looking to improve soil health and the overall quality and health of the land, as we need to maximise the amount of carbon that can be locked into our soils to help combat climate change.”

Carbon is being released into the atmosphere through many means e.g., burning of fuels in cars and factories. There’s now too much of it in the atmosphere and it’s having a negative effect on the planet. However, when plants grow, they take carbon dioxide from the air and lock it into the soil, so maintaining healthy soil can help combat climate change.

Here are 10 soil facts, to discover more about what soil does for us and the planet:

1. There are more living creatures in a single teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on Earth.

2. Soil produces 95 percent of our food, be it the crops we eat, or grasses and other plants to feed animals for meat.

3. Soil stores an extraordinary amount of carbon – three times the amount in the atmosphere and twice the amount in trees and forests.

4. While soil can store or ‘sequester’ carbon, it can also lose it when degraded. The loss of the carbon in poor soils contributes to the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, one of the gases that causes climate change.

5. The equivalent of one football pitch of soil is eroded every five seconds, globally. In fact, 33% of the earth’s soils are already degraded and over 90% could become degraded by 2050.

6. It can take up to 1,000 years to produce 2-3 cms of soil.

7. Soil is home to more than 1/4 of our planet’s biodiversity. Yet, we only know 1% of this hidden universe.

8. Soil organisms work 365/24/7 in a coordinated effort to sustain life on earth, filtering our water; growing our plants and trees and all the food we eat.

9. An essential component of healthy soil is species richness – a nourishing home for millions of creatures, including moles, microbes, soil insects, worms, and fungi who all do their bit to keep the soil full of goodness, in turn producing more nutritious and safer food.

10. Farming for healthy soil has the power to mitigate the effects of climate change …. It’s called regenerative organic farming. Rebalance nature, replenish our soil and help to repair the earth for future generations.

Yeo Valley Organic want to inspire and encourage others to join them in regenerating our earth, as we can all have a positive impact on the world by coming together through small regenerative acts that make a big difference.

1. Create your own compost – Home-made compost is a fantastic way of recycling plant material, feeding plants, soil life and locking carbon back into the ground. Keep your veg peelings, apple cores, banana skins and mouldy fruit – when added to a compost bin they will mulch down over time, encouraging worms, woodlice and insects to digest the food and create a pile of nutrient rich compost to spread on your soil.

2. Put biodegradable cardboard & paper in your compost – Did you know the best way to speed up your compost is to have a 50 / 50 split of green and brown waste? Brown waste includes paper and cardboard which is a great way to get recycle your waste.

3. Make a wormery – Whether you have a garden or not, you can also build your own wormery using a glass jar and watch how soil and the worms and organisms that live in it can turn old vegetable peelings into compost which will be perfect to grow some vegetables yourself! Worms can eat a HUGE variety of things including cooked food scraps, fruit and vegetable peelings, tea leaves, coffee grounds, egg shells, bread, pasta and rice.

4. Switch your everyday purchases to organic ones – If you’re on a mission to make a difference, a really simple step you can make is to swap out your current groceries, like milk, cheese and yogurt, with organic alternatives.

5. Buy grass-fed meat, little and often – The grazing of plants by animals has a major, positive impact on climate change by cycling more carbon out of the atmosphere and putting it into the soil. By choosing to buy organic, grass fed, high-quality meat, you can have a positive impact on the environment.

6. Cover it up – Keep bare soil covered at all times with a layer of green manure – introducing fast growing plants like clover, which protect soil and prevent erosion. The plants pull carbon down from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, making carbohydrates and sugars that travel through the roots and into the soil, feeding the millions of microorganisms that live in the earth.

7. Can you dig it? No, you can’t – Digging destroys soil structure – tearing apart the home created by living organisms that create natural soil fertility. Avoid the use of chemical pesticides and artificial fertiliser which are designed to kill insects and other pests.

8. Mix it up – Aim to introduce a range of different plants to create biodiversity in your garden. Grasses, shrubs, vegetables and legumes all thrive in harmony with each other and each of them plays a role in maintaining soil health.

About World Soil Day 2021:
(#WorldSoilDay) and its campaign “Halt soil salinization, boost soil productivity” aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, fighting soil salinization, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health.

Want to get involved?

Regenerative Organic Farming