The topic of soil is a funny one for me. Back in eighth grade, I had a science teacher, Mrs. Johnson, who used to say that soil was what was on her counters but it was called dirt when it hit the floor. I don’t remember much about that class but for some reason that stuck with me.
I like how in the document, “What is soil?,” scientists “described soil as the skin of the Earth” (Introduction to Soil Science and Soil Resources, n.d.). I think that soil is taken for granted. We just assume that it will always be there and that it can’t be harmed. The pedosphere or soil is really interesting because it interacts with most (if not all) of the other systems. For example, “soil forms when there is an interaction of the lithosphere (minerals), biosphere (life), atmosphere (air), and hydrosphere (water)” (Introduction to Soil Science and Soil Resources, n.d.). I know that before this Earth Systems class, I didn’t think of that. Soil was something that I walked on or tracked into the house. I never really put much thought into it and I feel that I’m not alone in that. However, without soil, there would no plants, no where for some creatures to live in which means that they would be susceptible to predators and the whole food chain would be in danger and humans would not exist. Quite incredible for something that we all take advantage of!
I am encouraged when I read things like the Intervale Community Farm. At first it is a sad story that talks about how Intervale was a city dump and was abused for years. But Will Raap, had a different vision for this land. In 1985, he leased land from a local farmer and brought the Gardener’s Supply to Intervale. “In 1989, Intervale Community Farm, Vermont’s first Community Supported Agriculture farm, opened in Intervale. The next year, the nonprofit The Intervale was formed. The goals were simple: recycle the city’s waste into compost; use that compost to heal the damage soil; give fledgling organic farmers affordable leases for land and farm equipment to help them get started; and return fresh, healthful produce to the community” (Grogan, J., 2004).
That just warms my heart. It also gets me thinking about my land. How do I treat my soil? Is it damaged? Should I be concerned about it? I’m not sure what happened on the land before I purchased it. Now I’m not going to take my soil for granted! I have become a soil supporter! Join me in supporting soil!
Grogan, J., (2004). Paradise. Intervale Compost Products. Retrieved from: http://www.intervale.org/compost/art/Paradise.htm
What is Soil? (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.pedosphere.com/volume01/pdf/section_01.pdf
Amanda Gourgue, CMP, LEED AP
MBA Candidate, 2013