Soil Health

5 principles to support healthy soil
photo of an experiment

Soil Aggregates – Where Texture and Organic Matter Meet

What makes up Healthy Soil?

50% Solids
– 45% Minerals – weathered rock (sand, silt, clay)
– 5% Organic matter and living organisms

50% Space for air and water.

The solids are glued together into clumps by excretions from soil organisms. These clumps are called soil aggregates. The aggregates make spaces or pores for water and air. These spaces also provide habitats for microorganisms that support decomposition and nutrient cycling.




Getting to Know a Soil Creature – The Nematode

While nematodes have been known to have a “bad” reputation, the majority of species are beneficial to soil health and the environment. There are four major ways that they enhance soil quality. They:

  • Help regulate populations of other soil organisms as predators in the food web
  • Mineralize nutrients into plant available forms
  • Provide a food source for other beneficial organisms
    Consume disease-causing organisms


"The Soil Will Save Us"

The Soil Will Save Us

Kristin Ohlson, author of The Soil Will Save Us, presents her case for “our great green hope” – a way in which we can heal the land, turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon, and potentially reverse global warming – through regenerative agricultural and landscaping practices.

In her talk, Ohlson introduces some of the visionaries from her beautifully researched book. She shared stories from scientists, farmers, ranchers, and landscapers—who are figuring out in the lab and on the ground how to build healthy soil including the herd of microorganisms that escape our notice. Better land management practices, that lead to healthy soils, can help solve a myriad of problem: including drought, erosion, air and water pollution, and food quality, as well as climate change.

Ohlson’s presentation was eye-opening and inspiring, and we ended with a lively set of questions and answers.