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If we lose our soil we will no longer see butterflies…

Come join us! My post this week is a  SHOUT OUT  to ALL bloggers that have gardens. If you garden, you need “soil.” You might ask, who cares about soil, well, we need to! Soil is as important as the air we breath!

About a month ago, Lori Fontanes from What the Ducks told me it was World Soil Day +  I had no idea. I guess  my head was under a rock-LOL! That day I was not thinking about soil.That was my mistake; for without soil, I would not be able to grow anything! My Urban Potager/Modern Day Kitchen Garden would not exist. I would not have fresh food from my yard. I would not be able to have an immunity garden + neither would you!

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no flowers=no bees + food

Our soil is the foundation of everything we do in our gardens, literally! Lori sent me an email later that week and told me she wanted to start a Blogger Action Day-Save the Soil day. Her idea was to ask all bloggers to participate. I want to invite you to join! Soil Is not something we think about, and we DO need to think about it for it is disappearing at alarming rates. What will we + nature eat when we do not have soil?

 If you are not sure about the importance of soil, I posted at the bottom of the page a wonderful video put out by World Soil Awareness, which was on their site December 5, 2014. If you want to get the word out and educate people about the importance of soil, please participate. Just Copy the logo(s) and put on your blog or mention the week of January 21st ( Blogger Action Day-Save the Soil day) to inform others it is the 2015 International Year of Soil( read more). We as bloggers have a special opportunity to inform our readers. Maybe your blog is about something else, but you can pass the word on to “Save The Soils” on January 21st, 2015. All our beautiful food, flowers and herbs would not be possible without the soil in our yards. Could you imagine the world without plants!

Native pollinators depend on the plants that grow in our soil

One way you can help our soil is to learn how to compost (read more here).When you take your kitchen “green scrapes” and combine them with green + brown yard waste, you speed up the decomposition process. All that green stuff, brown stuff + kitchen scraps don’t end up in a landfill + are put to work right on your property, working with nature not against her! Did you know about 15% of what the average household throws out could be composted? When you compost where you live, you feed your soil, and it means you use less fertilizer, and your gardens require less water!

baby flower , vegetables + herbs working together to provide for you +  nature...that is an urban potager...
City lots are great for growing some of your salad greens. We are wasteful, and if we don’t start paying attention to our soil it will be gone before you even notice it is gone. It is going that fast. We need to take care of “IT” for our soil keeps us and nature healthy…..

According to the World Wildlife Federation

Soil is the earth’s fragile skin that anchors all life on Earth. It is composed of countless species that create a dynamic and complex ecosystem and is among the most precious resources to humans. Increased demand for agriculture commodities generates incentives to convert forests and grasslands to farm fields and pastures. The transition to agriculture from natural vegetation often cannot hold onto the soil and many of these plants, such as coffee, cotton, palm oil, soybean and wheat, can actually increase soil erosion beyond the soil’s ability to maintain itself.”

Half of the topsoil on the planet has been lost in the last 150 years. In addition to erosion, soil quality is affected by other aspects of agriculture. These impacts include compaction, loss of soil structure, nutrient degradation, and soil salinity. These are very real and at times severe issues.( read more here or visit their site later)

The video below was from

World Soil Day( read more here)

This video is only 5 minutes + will make an impression on you about how important “soil” is to our daily survival!

Please take the time for the soil beneath your feet….it needs your help!

     

Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

49 comments

    1. wow-I had no idea-that is a worthwhile cause:-) These “International Days” help to inform for now I learned something today:-) Thank you for sharing-that is very important!!!
      Mine is frozen right now so won’t be turning anything:-), but I know spring is around the corner + the soil is living + alive + ready for spring under my feet!

  1. I love this, Robbie. Back when we had a huge lot and I had garden beds all over the place, I also had space for mass composting, worm beds, etc. I loved making my own soil. Now, living in a “community” with rules, no compost is allowed. My hard clay-pan soil has had to be replaced with bags of soil, since we can’t even have soil delivered because of the compost smell. But I certainly understand the importance of saving the soil and making use of all the scraps that go into the landfill or rivers!

    1. Home Ass. are EVIL!LOL- My parents live in one + it is an environmentally friendly one:-), but there are too many rules for me:-) It sounds like you are trying to work around it + still building a great garden + making a difference for our native pollinators and getting some good food:-)

      1. We actually call them Homes “Asses” Robbie, Lol! We are thinking about downsizing even more so probably won’t be here more than one more season. Who knows where we’ll end up–I may just be doing patio gardening then. I can do a lot in pots, too! 🙂

      2. LOL!!! Too funny:-) Yes, you can do a lot in pots-maybe a smaller place but larger yard-now that sounds like heaven to me for I want to be outside all the time!

      1. Don’t I know it! As a matter of fact, Portland, OR urban dwellers have a lot of chickens in their yards–yay Portland! Unfortunately I don’t live in a place where that would be allowed 😦

  2. My soil is so sandy, shallow and rocky that every time I go into the garden I think of nothing else but the soil. That is why I’m always composting and mulching – I can’t make the stuff quick enough 🙂

    1. Oh my, that is a tough one- as I told you before, my parents are in that type of soil + boy is it a PAIN. I know lavender loves their site:-) You are making a difference:-) I keep trying to tell my parents to just put in raised beds over the stuff, but they keep trying to work in that rocky stuff. I have no idea how trees grow in that stuff!but they do:-)

  3. I’m with you in every way on this and will try to post something on the 21st – even if it is to re-blog this wonderful post! Quite simply put: No soil = No plants = No life! Thank you for your wonderful passion and your gorgeous inspiring garden and your beautiful photos – and last but not least for all the practical help you give to the people of your neighbourhood – you inspire me!!

    1. and you=inspire me to be more creative-yesterday, I spent a few hours being creative with some of my mediums! But the plants were calling again because I met with some people that I am
      growing stuff for + that will be taking a lot of my time the next few months. I am excited to get them their plants and see them enjoying them in their space:-) Pure Joy for me! + I hope for them next summer:-)

    1. I just visited your post + it was a lovely one- I am grateful to Lori, for telling me about it for I never knew there was such an day/organization:-)I need to get my head out from under a rock more often-lol- I missed a worthwhile cause! Well, I joined her cause + found that- I won’t miss International Year of soils 2015!

  4. Thanks to everyone who participates–comments, blogs, forwards & just conversations with everyone off & online! To paraphrase that Bram Stoker character, “soil is the life”!!! 🙂

  5. Please PLEASE remind us on the 20th as otherwise I am going to completely forget Robbie. Soil is everything. Soil is what allows us to learn the fundamental lessons of what really matters to us. When we first put our hands on/in the soil in order to find a way to grow food, to beautify our properties and to enrich it with compost we are starting out on a wonderful journey of exploration, understanding and finally, the realisation that soil is the blank tapestry that our whole planet has been written on. What we choose to do with the soil is the stuff that our children’s children’s dreams and future are made of. Everyone can care for the soil, we need to stop profiteers pillaging it for profit margins and preserve it for posterity, for pure enjoyment and for our own perpetuity! (Today’s comment was brought to you by the letter “P” 😉 ).

    1. I double “P’ your comment!!!! You are so right + I am here today researching what natives I can show my neighbors are beautiful…it all is so important ,but the soil is the future!!!It is what makes it all happen for us all:-) It is too easy to ignore something that does not scream “help” until it is too late..or we is stepped on each day-so it needs us to speak out. From some of my comments- it looks like many of people that garden tend to be advocates for “soil”-
      I will try to remember but if you miss it, I have no doubt you will make sure the word gets out for you love “soil”-and you take GOOD care of yours beneath your feet:-)

      1. The soil beneath our feet it tough stuff. It’s a fine silty layer of topsoil that tends to get blown away easily if it isn’t covered which gives way to pretty good soil BUT it is full to the brim with rocks. Under that we have about 2 ft of heavy orange clay to contend with but rather than just give up, we are letting our friends the worms do some work for us and I am attempting to source comfrey and horseradish and other useful edibles and medicinals that will tunnel mine our soil so that we don’t have to. Apparently sweet potatoes are great soil miners. If you don’t want to dig, plant sweet potatoes as they will do the work for you ;). We have covered as much of the soil as we can. This is especially important if you live somewhere dry/arid as the only way that your soil is going to stay put is to cover it and allow it to keep moist. We also collect as much organic matter as we can get our hot little hands on including all of the leaves from our elderly neighbours yard. She doesn’t want them and prior to us raking and taking them, she and her daughter had to rake them and burn them so now we help them out and they help us out. Soil community :). We add lots of horse manure to the leaves as there are lots of horse owners around here that are happy as clams to have us remove their horse manure piles. Add the straw from the chook coop to that mix and you have some powerful mojo worm attracting soil happiness building bliss. Once you learn about how important soil is to EVERYTHING you soon learn to look after it :).

      2. our soil is what feeds the world-we do have clay but it is very workable + easily amended. Most of our states in the Midwest are feeding everyone else. What they do when they build subdivisions is take away the good soil/sell it! This area was part of a tribe of Native Americans( Chief Black Hawk has a park in our city:-)) wintering ground. The soil here was good to grow in and the Mississippi River and Rock were close by so they stayed here through the fall.
        The monocroping,by American farmers, is killing our soil , but from what I have been reading lately the farmers are rotating more often and trying to treat the land a bit better. We are the bread basket of the world. You drive through our state and it is farm after farm after farm…and on and on-lol. More organic growers are setting up farms close to our city so that is good:-)
        My soil is doing much better now since I have been working it for many years! I have soft areas that the moles have helped me out with working it under my feet-lol They are not as bad as people make them out to be, if you learn to work with them. The neighbors kill the poor things because they disrupt their lawn grass. I have plants and very little grass, so they do not bother me. They don’ t eat any of my plants. They eat the grubs and sometimes earth worms( not all of them and trust me I have enough to spare) but it all works together to keep itself in check. I am getting a lot more food from the soil since I have been working it for the past 8 yrs. It use to be hard clay for no one did much with it-but now it is alive! I dig in it now and worms are all around-it feels good beneath my feet. It is soft and not rock hard. I don’t use any animal manure on my property for my neighbors would not appreciate it-but it is a good thing to use on acreage, you have the space. I feed my soil with organic amendments + I have been reading about rock dust which is something, I have been slowly adding to my soil as well as coir for moisture retention. I compost all winter + the soil seems to be loving what I am doing.
        I don’t have much wind blowing through here, but I do have erosion on the edges of my property which I have landscaped to soak up the run off. It seems to be working and no longer am having erosion problems. The soil tells you what it needs by how it looks…just dig and you can see what it needs:-) I hope when I leave here, someone takes care of it-but you never know:-(

      3. They will take care of it, you have to have faith that someone out there is ready to take up the baton :). I went hunting for a tomato stake to stake up my sole tomatillo plant the other day (It was laying down on the job 😉 ) and found a stake that was laying on the sleepers next to the garden bed. I picked it up and on closer inspection there must have been about a thousand teeny tiny little earthworms all wriggling around on it. I thought they was a pest (nematodes or something) at first but looked more closely and saw that they were worms! I guess that means we are doing something right 🙂

      4. baby worms!!!! That must of felt good inside to see that:-) I am so weird, well not by our standards-lol-when I am gardening, IF I am moving a plant and dig up a worm and he is exposed to the elements, I will go to the trouble to cover him gently in soil, so he is safe. It makes me feel good. My crazy imagination goes wild and I believe all the little worms meet up to discuss how the humans take care of them( at my house-lol) + they stay in my yard because they know I save them-LOL…yes, I know one stays out there too long their mind can get a bit silly! Good Children’s book, I thought. Could picture the illustrations of the “worm meeting room” under the soil.
        You are doing something right!

      5. I think I beat you on the “crazy worm lady” scales. When it has rained here and I am walking Earl in the morning if I see a worm slinking across the tarmac I have to pick it up and put it on the grassy road verge. I have spent up to half an hour rescuing worms on a walk and both Steve and Earl roll their eyes at me “she is doing it AGAIN!” but who else is going to save them?! 😉

      6. Lol, I could see us with a VERY long stick poking gingerly at the snake from way over the other side of the road saying “good snakey…keep slinking!” 😉 I have to share this with you, Ms Pauline shared it with me on Facebook the other day and I had to smile. Puts my worms in perspective 😉 …

  6. Hi Robbie, great post, we have a charity over here called the Soil Association – http://www.soilassociation.org , they were founded in 1946 by farmers, scientists and nutritionists, they “are the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use.” Its all about the soil, its amazing how short sighted we have been in pouring chemicals onto soils.

    1. You are so right-I am an organic gardener and live next store to neighbors that sit and chat over the fence with their chemicals in hand-crazy! I enjoy my neighbors but I feel over the years they have been asking more questons + I am seeing less of their chemical use as they watch what I do:-)

  7. I think it is great that awareness is building about the need to preserve our soil. Thankfully, it is an attainable goal, but will require a lot of change in the present large scale agricultural methods. For the individual, as you say, we can start with our own yards and speak to others where we can. Permaculture methods are becoming more wide spread as are organic practices. Compost at home and for suburban areas adopting compost production from waste collection can accomplish a lot. Some areas are passing laws that disallow food scraps from the waste stream, channeling it towards renewable resources.

    On Sun, Jan 11, 2015 at 10:44 PM, Palm Rae Urban Potager…… Modern Day

    1. I am so excited for the future of our soil:-) I do believe it is catching on,too + people are caring. You have 7 1/2 acres of wilderness to make a difference( I know you do) + on a small scale, I am too. If each one of us contributes:-)it all connects. You are so right-Wise Eliza:-)

  8. Our gardens have all grown from dug up lawn, the dirt gravelly silty old riverbed. We have spent 9 years building it up with everything we can get our hands on. No point in even trying to garden in poor soil, it all starts there. I had no idea there was an International Soil Day though!

    1. You are so right Wendy:-) I did not either + it was not until Lori mentioned it, that I learned of such a day!I missed the World Soil Day, so I will participate in Save the Soil + support 2015 International Soil by putting their logo on my blog. If you want to post the 2015 International Soil Day logo-click through the logo on my left side. Your garden is so beautiful, it looks like it paid off all your work!

      1. I will look at this again tomorrow Robbie 🙂 though I would probably want to do a post about it but don’t know I have the time – we are actually going for a weekend away, woohoo!!!!!!

      2. aww..Wendy, you are a bit busy lately-totally understand! Working full-time, running a business + trying to grow + preserve all that you do that is 3 full-time jobs-YIKES!

  9. Count me in Robbie! It takes years and years to build a good soil and just one muddy rainy day to wreak havoc! Ha ha. I think I just read that in Seattle? you are no longer allowed to add food scraps to your garbage. Our wonderful Sayre at the cooperative extension at Jefferson County told us that is the future. Garbage rates will go up, up, up and food scraps will no longer be allowed to be a waste product. My compost is so large! I am going to be spreading compost all Spring then my garden will really go wild! My garden soil is probably my largest asset!

    1. OH-love that-“My garden is my largest asset” that screams a post title!!! All our gardens should be our greatest asset for they keep us healthy.
      Food scraps- are they talking about “green” ones, for if people put meat out there -YIKES! Could you imagine we would have another problem-lol-and not the green kind!
      I don’t have a lot of space so I do trench compost during the summer when my pile gets too big, I have a rotating compost pile in different areas in my yard. I feed directly in a bed + move on for I don’t have a lot of space to give up to a large compost area. I have the traveling compost bin-lol.
      It will warm up this weekend-I am going to try and bike the river–I bet you don’t have to bundle up for your bike ride:-) Well, at least we are over the hump, spring is around the corner days are getting longer! It means you will be back before you know it and working in your garden-Enjoy!

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