Why Focus on Soil with SOIL SISTERS?
Soil is the living foundation upon which all terrestrial life thrives. This uppermost layer of earth, if healthy, contains millions of species and billions of microorganisms, plus decaying organic matter, minerals, clay and rock particles. Along with water and air, soil is essential to support plant life and the other organisms that live there.
According to the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service: “There are more soil microorganisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on the earth. Millions of species and billions of organisms—bacteria, algae, microscopic insects, earthworms, beetles, ants, mites, fungi and more—represent the greatest concentration of biomass anywhere on the planet!”
In recognition of the importance of soils, the 68th United Nations General Assembly declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will implement the International Year of Soils by increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.
According to the United Nations and shared by the SOIL SISTERS is the understanding that healthy soils are the basis for healthy food production. Additionally, “soils help to combat and adapt to climate change by playing a key role in the carbon cycle. Soils store and filter water, improving our resilience to floods and droughts. Soil is a non-renewable resource; its preservation is essential for food security and our sustainable future.”
In other words, soil is where food begins. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: “It is estimated that 95% of our food is directly and indirectly produced on our soils. Therefore, food availability relies on soils. Healthy and good quality food can only be produced if our soils are healthy. A healthy living soil is a crucial ally to food security and nutrition.”
That’s why this SOIL SISTERS event is both a celebration of healthy soil, the delicious dishes that can be prepared with the ingredients grown in healthy soil, and the farmers who, by the very way they farm and nourish the soil, improve its health and long-term sustainability.