A sustainable agriculture system is one that renews one of our most precious natural resources, soil, prized for it’s ability to nourish our crops and sequester carbon. This week, learn how we can contribute to the growth of a dynamic soil food web.

Symphony of the Soil explores the elaborate relationship we share with soil and appreciates the complexity of living soils.

If we restore our relationship with soil, Civil Eats & author Kristin Ohlson believe The Soil Will Save Us.

Emphasizing the importance of a farmer’s role in maintaining soil integrity, Sustainable Food Trust shares with us the Soil Atlas, a great resource for farmers big and small.

Cooking Up a Story turns our attention to a farmer in South Dakota and his experience in building healthier soil with cover crops.

Our friend Maureen Farmer lays out the basics in Soil Fertility 101 and Dr. Elaine Ingham shares with us her recipe for compost tea, a wonderful and easy-to-make soil amendment.

We wrap up this edition of the Food List with a personal reflection on Healthy Soil, Healthful Food.

And now we pass the shovel to you, and encourage you to get your hands dirty while building your local soils.

This week's terms

Soil Food Web

Our soil teems with a multitude of organisms, which provide the necessary work for healthy plants to grow free from disease, pests and infertility. These interconnected interactions and feeding relationships (quite literally “who eats who”) help determine the types of nutrients present in soil, its depth and pH, and even the types of plants which can grow.

Soil Amendment

Farming removes minerals and nutrients from the soil. Amending soil balances its chemistry and improves its physical properties (water retention, drainage, permeability, water infiltration, aeration + structure) so plants and animals can derive the greatest nutritional benefits.

Soil Depletion

The removal of nutrients, biological diversity, or structural quality due to improper extractive practices


Composting is the process of aerobically decomposing a diverse mix of organic materials.  

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