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Stronger than Dirt!

Soil health is starting to show up in mainstream media (and in advertising that is designed to get attention!). That's good news for increasing awareness and highlighting the importance of the issue...AND it's important that we make sure that best practices for soil health - like the 4 Core Principles - are front and center.

Even Martha Stewart is talking about soil these days. She's proudly embracing her inner "Dirt Nerd" in recent commercials. But, there IS a difference between dirt and soil that we think Martha should know.

Soil is more than the dirt under our feet and the ground we stand on. It’s a living ecosystem that impacts our world in more ways than we might think.

"We want there to be biological activity, we want there to be living organisms there helping to break down soil, helping to increase organic matter," said Rebekah Slabach, Associate Director for the Alliance to Advance Climate-Smart Agriculture at Virginia Tech, 4 The Soil: A Conversation: Episode 24 - 3.

When we support and practice the four core soil health management principles, we can help nourish the life in the soil. Keeping the soil covered, minimizing disturbance, maximizing living roots, and energizing with diversity are all ways we can be"4 The Soil."

We love this visual created by The Spruce that reminds us that soil is really what we need to help plant life grow.

"It's estimated that there's anywhere from about a hundred million to four billion bacteria living within that teaspoon of topsoil," said Dan Schwartz, soil scientist with the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD). "So you have a couple handfuls of healthy soil you're almost certainly holding more living organisms than there are people on earth."

Learn more about the differences between dirt and soil from NVWSCD's webinar "Don't Call it Dirt! The Amazing World of Soil."

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