There’s a lot of magic that happens beneath the ground. Now we get to see it up close.
An important question that we get asked a lot here is “why are natural fertilizers better than chemical fertilizers?” This is a fair question. Modern agriculture has managed to dramatically increase yields over the last 40 years in order feed a rapidly growing world population. Chemicals, from pesticides to fertilizers, have played an important role in this. We are now becoming aware, however, that these advancements have not come without significant costs.
Healthy Soil is Alive!! Very few people realize the incredible importance of the living microbiome around us, and some of the most important ones are living in our soil! These microscopic organisms within soil are responsible for decomposing organic matter, cycling and redistributing minerals, maintaining reservoirs of nutrients, degrading pollutants, and naturally regulating pest species. Each of these are critical in providing nutrients for the growth of plants and therefore our food!
On March 9th the Environment Council of Rhode Island held their annual Rhode Island Compost Conference and Trade Show. This wonderful event helps showcase new composting methodologies, increase knowledge of the subject among practitioners and a general audience, and promote the work done in this field by Rhode Islanders across the state.
There are a variety of ways of accessing those nutrients — some organisms can draw nutrients directly from plant roots, while others get nutrients through decomposition and others through feeding on soil organisms. In healthy, biodiverse soils, lower-level trophic organisms are consumed by higher-level trophic organisms.
In a world where government agencies and agribusiness have long pursued the holy grail of maximum crop yield, Haney preaches a different message: The quest for ever-greater productivity — using fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and whatever other chemicals are at hand — is killing our soil and threatening our farms.