Slide29

In an earlier post I explained that soil is a non-renewable source on the human scale, meaning that if soil is completely degraded (no organic matter or nutrients, left) it will take about 100-400 years to renew. Healthy soil is a prerequisite for healthy produce, not just in organic farming terms, but in general.

Slide38

The Marche region is subject of a case study of a Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation project, commissioned by the Agricultural and Rural Development Committee of the European Parliament. Nine other case studies were conducted in other member states, chosen because they are representative of the problems of soil degradation.

http://eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/esdb_archive/eusoils_docs/other/eur24131.pdf

The Marche region was selected for the EU study also because of its geography and the widespread soil degradation. Based on biophysical and socioeconomic factors the researchers of this study identified 14 different management systems and the objective of the study is to make suggestions for sustainable practice and soil conservation.

Alarmingly, even among farmers in the region the awareness of the severity of soil degradation is low to medium. This is a BIG PROBLEM

KEEP OUR SOILS ALIVE – for the big picture take a look…

http://www.sswm.info/sites/default/files/reference_attachments/REKACEWICZ%202002%20Degraded%20Soils.pdf

Small scale farming is an important strategy for doing so and to address the global food challenge.

http://www.unep.org/pdf/SmallholderReport_WEB.pdf

A recent article in the New York Times (Putting a Price Tag on Nature’s Defenses, June 5, 2014) discussed efforts of attaching a monetary value to nature’s defenses to clarify the cost of environmental degradation.  It is time to do something similar for soil degradation in calculating the cost of food production. Organic farming would become much more profitable compared to conventional and industrial farming.Slide30

My new nest is a giant airbed, in an old farmhouse up the hill, with a pleasant earthy smell.