Organic gardeners are well aware that the health of the garden and the plants in it start with the health of the soil — and this is why, at Kellogg, we talk so much about how to create and keep soil that is “alive” and teeming with microorganisms. We know that soil is the basic building block of a thriving garden, and want you to feel that you have the knowledge and skills you need to make a difference in your own garden, from composting and soil amending to native plants, cover crops, and garden practices.
But how about beyond your garden? It stands to reason that healthy soil is a concern for many people worldwide, and there are tons of initiatives and organizations that make it their business (and their mission, actually) to champion this cause. From research and education to policy and training, saving our soil is a global crusade — and one you can join.
This Sounds Like Soil is in Crisis. Is it?
It is, and could certainly get worse without definable action. Soil that is “dead” and lacks biodiversity impacts nearly every level of our lives, no matter where you live. Soil texture and quality is negatively impacted by frequent tillage, use of chemicals, overgrazing, poor farming methods, and careless construction and development practices. When soil is healthy, on the other hand, it contributes to and supports:
- Erosion control
- Climate regulation
- Fresh water sources
- Food production
- Population control
- Plant biodiversity
How Do I Get Involved More Globally
Admittedly, it can be difficult to know what to and how to get involved after you’ve become aware of the issues — the far-reaching impact of unhealthy soil is a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel or start your own initiative (unless you feel compelled to) — there is much work already underway that builds upon current research and policy, and that encourages collaboration and teamwork with people like us.
Here are a few organization that are all about saving our soil, and ways that you can support them and get involved.
- Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative: The GSBI is a global collaboration of scientists that seeks to create a platform for soil sustainability. Its goals include public education and environmental policy with workshops, conferences, meetings, and volunteer events. And for those who love reading and listening, they have a wealth of articles, podcast episodes, and radio spots to tune into — all about soil health!
About: GSBI Objectives
Activities: GSBI Projects
2. The Soil Health Institute: This one is a centralized hub of soil health information and research — valuable data from a trusted and independent source. Learn about current soil health research, best practices for soil health, climate change and conservation. Interested in downloading current analyses and reports? They have those, too.
Resources: Soil Resources
Soil Research: Help them with Research
3. The Nature Conservancy: The Nature Conservancy is a global charity that focuses on land and water conservation, and which highlights climate change, food and water sustainability, clean land and water, and building healthy cities. Looking for a way for you and your family to make a difference? The Nature Conservancy has loads of volunteer opportunities and events from visiting and volunteering at nature preserves to supporting fundraising galas — all with the aim of a healthier world through the care of soil, land, and water.
About: Who They Are
Learn: Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
Get Involved: Take Action
4. Plant with Purpose: Plant with Purpose works hard to solve two major issues facing the world today, environmental degradation and rural poverty. They do this by equipping farming families around the world to increase farm yields, heal damaged ecosystems, improve nutrition, and increase household savings and opportunities.
About: Who They Are
Their Work: What They Do
Get Involved: How to Help