We enjoyed celebrating the National Farmers Market Week from August 7-13! When we support local businesses and growers who manage healthy soils, we help support local soil health.
Right now, along trails, sidewalks, and woods, the wild blackberries are beginning to ripen. Wild blackberries are native to the eastern and western coasts of North America. Let's explore how wild blackberries impact soil health, our health, and delicious ways to prepare them.
“You can’t have healthy soil if you don’t have soil at all," said Chris Lawrence, State Cropland Agronomist with Virginia Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in Episode 21-2 of the podcast 4 The Soil: A Conversation.
Soil loss is another name for soil erosion. If topsoil is constantly disturbed and left uncovered, then water, wind, and gravity can easily move it in large volumes in the field and off-site quantities. The subsequent particles and sediments can pollute our air and waterways.
In this photo Lydia Fitzgerald, Integrated Conservation Agronomist with Virginia Tech and USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), is demonstrating the importance of good soil structure by comparing two chunks of soil and looking at how they hold together in water. One soil is from an agricultural field that was not disturbed by tillage and another was from a highly tilled field. As seen in the picture, the soil that from the tilled field falls apart, making it more vulnerable to erosion. Tillage and other forms of disturbance minimize biological activity, organic matter, and biotic glues that hold the soil together.
Check out a video of this demonstration by Ray Archuleta, Certified Professional Soil Scientist with the Soil Science Society of America and NRCS: https://vimeo.com/289272435
National Dairy Month: Celebrating Dairy Farming and Ways Farmers Contribute to Our Health and Resilience
As National Dairy Month comes to a close, we want to take a moment to celebrate the many soil health champions who are Virginia farmers and the many ways farmers contribute to our health and resilience.
About the Blog
Join the movement! 4 The Soil is a campaign by the Virginia Soil Health Coalition to raise awareness of soil as an agricultural and natural resource. By caring for the soil, we can build healthier communities, stronger economies, and a more resilient landscape.