International Year of Soils


Today is the official launch of the United Nations' declaration of 2015 as the "International Year of Soils."
Given that 99% of the food that we humans consume comes from the land (1% from the ocean), soil certainly deserves this special honour.

When I think of soils, I think of the early morning soils classes at the University of Alberta and some of my favourite soils professors like Dr. Jim Robertson who would "correct" any student—myself included—that dirt was NOT soil and soil was NOT dirt. Dirt was stuff that was stuck beneath one's fingernails.
I also remember that our entire business started with Dad (who was also an Agriculture grad from the U of A) picking up a handful of soil from a field in St. Albert and declaring that "This is #1 soil." That is how our farm began…with that one short sentence.

Soil is an incredibly thin layer of material (geologically speaking) that is the lifeblood of our existence on Earth. And soil is fascinating and amazingly complex stuff; for example, a single teaspoon of soil contains a greater number of organisms than the entire population of people on Earth!
Given that it takes about 1 acre of land to feed 1 person, good soil is not something that we can afford to squander.
When it comes to gardening, quality soil is the foundation of any high quality garden. In fact, it’s been estimated that 80% of landscape disorders are due to poor soils.

We'll be having some workshops and talks about soil throughout 2015 (we'll announce details in the coming months), and I hope to see you there.