All life starts with the soil…
Organic matter and clay fractions retain water and minerals whilst bacteria and fungi make these in an available form for plant roots. Farmers essentially harvest light with crops grown out of and utilising resources from the soils.
This precious resource is essentail to feed the world despite only covering 3% of the earth’s surface and being on average only 25cm deep.
Global markets have led to modern mono cultural agricultural practices with the intervention of chemical fertilisers to increase bulk yields and retain a slender short term profit. The unintended consequence is that crops are rendered more sensitive to attack from pests and diseases and the mineral content of foods (nutrient density) is significantly diluted. The resulting excessive use of pesticides has depleted soil fungal populations, further contributing to reductions in mineral uptake by plant roots. This has led to a widespread acceptance of cheap, less healthy and tasteless food.
Agribusiness has lost a balanced perspective, particularly in relation to soil where biological and physical characteristics are equally important to chemical.
The importance of soil is further elevated with the realisation of its vital role in locking up carbon to diminish the effects of global warming.