Beyond the ants and earthworms that I was used to seeing, the soil plays host to a wide range of organisms, from simple bacteria, algae, fungi and protozoa to the more complex nematodes, micro-arthropods and a whole host of insects. Once I came to understand how all these organisms interacted with the soil, each other, and the air and water, it became obvious that the soil is truly an amazing underground factory.
What Does Healthy Soil Do?
- Controls and regulates the flow of water from rain, snow melt and irrigation
- Filters, buffers, immobilizes and detoxifies organic and inorganic materials
- Cycles a range of vital nutrients, such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus
- Feeds this nutrients and water to plants through a complex system of roots
Pesticides and fertilizers can cause significant harm to public health and the environment. Most pesticides contain potentially toxic chemicals that can cause negative health effects such as cancer and neurological and reproductive disorders. In addition, pesticides can migrate into lakes and streams when it rains. When fertilizers enter a body of water, they can cause oxygen levels to drop, killing aquatic life and posing risks to other species. - NRDCWhat's a Global Patriot to do? The most basic plan of action is to eat locally grown foods produced by farmers who utilize organic methods. This practice will not only provide you with the safest and most nutritious food options, but treats the planet with the highest degree of respect and protects the soil for future generations.