Soil. What is it, really? It’s more than the dirt under our feet and the ground we stand on. Soil is living and life-giving. Listen as we unlock the mysteries of soil by speaking with people at the forefront of the soil health movement. Hear and learn from farmers, agricultural professionals, conservation leaders, master gardeners, and many more on how and why to be 4 The Soil.
“4 The Soil: A Conversation” is part of the 4 The Soil Awareness Campaign led by the Virginia Soil Health Coalition. The campaign’s purpose is to raise awareness of soil as an agricultural and natural resource critical to social, economic, and environmental health.
In the inaugural episode of “4 The Soil: A Conversation,” host Jeff Ishee sits down with Eric Bendfeldt, Community Viability Specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension and Mary Sketch, Coordinator of the Virginia Soil Health Coalition. Mary and Eric have been working through Virginia Cooperative Extension and with partners of the Virginia Soil Health Coalition to launch the 4TheSoil Awareness Initiative. The initiative seeks to raise awareness of soil as a critical resource and get people to see themselves as important stewards of the land and soil. In this episode, they discuss why everyone should care about soil health and why they are launching a podcast to help increase awareness. For more information on the 4 The Soil Awareness Initiative and the Virginia Soil Health Coalition, please visit www.4TheSoil.org and www.virginiasoilhealth.org.
Episode 2: Health from the Soil Up: A Conversation with Chris Lawrence of USDA-NRCS
In this episode, Jeff Ishee and Eric Bendfeldt talk with Chris Lawrence, State Cropland Agronomist with Virginia Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). Chris discusses how the soil works for all of us and the importance of taking care of and respecting it by following the four principles of soil health. Virginia NRCS and Chris Lawrence first started the Virginia Soil Health Coalition in 2013 to increase communication and promote consistency around soil health. You can find more information about Virginia NRCS and soil health in Virginia at the NRCS website. And don’t forget to check out the two books recommended in today’s episode: Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David Montgomery and The Worst Hard Times by Timothy Egan.
Episode 3: What in the World is Pamunkey Soil? The Many Soil Types of Virginia with Dr. John Galbraith, Part I
In this episode, Jeff Ishee and Eric Bendfeldt speak with Dr. John Galbraith, who is a renowned soil scientist at Virginia Tech in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences. John discusses his background in agriculture and how he became a student and teacher of soil science, while he explores the diverse soil types found across the state (including the Virginia state soil!) and touches on the different soil characteristics. Remember to visit www.4TheSoil.org to sign the pledge today and access more resources on soil health!
Episode 4: Soil Health Management: From Soil Judging to Gleaning with Dr. John Galbraith Part 2
In this episode, Jeff Ishee and Eric Bendfeldt continue with part two of their conversation with Dr. John Galbraith, a renowned soil scientist at Virginia Tech in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences. In Part 2, John shares his expertise and perspective on soil health management based on leading and mentoring the Virginia Tech Soil Judging Team and his role in growing vegetables as part of a gleaning initiative to meet community needs in the New River Valley Region of Virginia. Did you know that Virginia Tech's Soil Judging Team has won six National Championships and finished in second place five times? If you are interested in a career in agriculture or horticulture, you will want to hear and learn more about soil judging from Dr. Galbraith. Similarly, if you are not familiar with the concept of gleaning, you will want to tune in to the conversation.
Remember to visit www.4TheSoil.org to sign the pledge today and access more resources on soil health!
For additional information about soil judging and gleaning, please visit the following sites: https://gobblerconnect.vt.edu/organization/soiljudging https://localwiki.org/bburg/New_River_Valley_Glean_Team https://endhunger.org/virginia/