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Why the 4?


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


We can all be for the soil so let’s take care of it.


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.


Why does the logo have the number 4?

While soils are complex, taking care of it can be simple. We follow four core principles of soil health:


  1. Keep soil covered

  2. Minimize disturbance

  3. Maximize living roots

  4. Energize with diversity


Each principle builds on each other. We can start with one and implement each as we grow.


Building healthy soils might seem like a massive undertaking. Everyday it faces, erosion, compaction, nutrient imbalance, acidification, pollution and decreased water retention. But we can help.



So where on earth do we start?


Start where your feet are and where you live, work, and play.


All of us have direct and indirect efforts on the soil. Whether we maintain acres of farmland, an urban garden, or routine lawn maintenance, or when we purchase produce and meat at the store, we all influence soil health. Notice how you interact with soil in your daily life.


Whether you're a farmer, a conservation professional, nature lover, or a food lover, you can support soil health.


Check out our podcast "4 the Soil: A Conversation" hosted by Jeff Ishee, Mary Sketch, and Eric Bendfeldt, and join the movement to care for our living and life-giving soils.


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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.



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