One spoonful of soil supports an amazing number of living organisms :
In one gram of soil, 5,000 to 7,000 different species of bacteria can be found.
In one acre, five to ten tons of animal life is thriving.
The average lawn, one-quarter acre in size, supports 200 to 350 earthworms.
Soil is a non-renewable resource :
It takes nature more than 500 years to create 1 inch of topsoil.
Soil is threatened by over-farming and pesticide use.
The off-site costs of soil erosion in the U.S. have been estimated at up to $20 billion a
year, with more than one-third of this blamed on agriculture.
U.S. cropland loses at least three billion tons of topsoil every year, making agriculture
the single largest non-point polluter.
Farmers use around 300 different types of pesticides on food we find in our grocery
stores today; a significant amount of these end up in our soil.
Contaminated soil cannot as effectively remove carbon from the atmosphere, keep our
groundwater clean and sustain the food chain that is dependent on it.
Soil makes up the outermost layer of our planet :
The top layer is called the humus layer. The organic material in this layer gives the
soil nutrients and minerals that plants need to survive.
Five tons of topsoil spread over 1 acre is only as thick as a dime.
Fully functional topsoil holds 2,200 tons of water per acre, thus reducing the risk of floods.
Soil traps pollutants as well - absorbing around 10 percent of CO2 and GHG emissions.
Soil scientists have identified over 70,000 kinds of soil in the United States.
An average soil sample is 45 percent minerals, 25 percent water, 25 percent air and five
percent organic matter.
Hot and cold weather helps to make soil - by breaking down rocks through expansion and
contraction. Rain and ice also get into rocks and break them apart.
Throughout history, civilizations have risen or fallen depending on the fertility of their topsoil.
“The Nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.”
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt