Celebrating World Soil Day
Annually on the 5th of December, World Soil Day aims to bring awareness to the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for its protection.
Often overlooked, soil is a vital ecosystem. It sustains plant, animal, and human life, and healthy soil does so much more than we realize. We rely on it to produce food, detoxify pollutants, and cycle nutrients all while being resilient through droughts and floods. As the only conservation organization in Tennessee with a proactive farmland conservation plan, we prioritize protecting active farms and fertile soils throughout the state.
What do we mean by soil health?
In its most technical form, soil health is defined as the continued capacity of the soil to function as a living ecosystem. This means there are more living organisms in a tablespoon of soil than there are people on Earth! And just think about the food you enjoy on a daily basis. According to the United Nations, a staggering 95% of the food we eat is directly or indirectly produced from soils, which is pretty incredible.
In March 2022, The Land Trust for Tennessee was awarded a Soil Health Stewards Grant from the American Farmland Trust. Through this grant, members of our stewardship team attended a Soil Health Stewards Training to bolster our understanding of soil health, best practices, and the resources available to landowners.
The Four Basic Principles
According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the respected voice in the soil health game, there are four basic principles to optimize soil health:
- Minimize soil disturbance.
- Maximize soil cover.
- Maximize biodiversity.
- Maximize continuous living roots.
These soil health principles can be implemented by planting cover crops, using prescribed grazing, practicing No-Till, managing nutrients, and more.
World Soil Day
Annually on the 5th of December, World Soil Day aims to bring awareness to the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for its protection. All year round we’re here to support landowners and farmers across the state wherever they are on their soil health journey. Whether we can help or offer an introduction, our stewardship team is always happy to connect landowners to the best resources out there to help you care for your piece of Tennessee. To begin the conversation, send us an email at [email protected].