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Organic Gardening: The Soil Food Health Connection

Updated on July 13, 2012

soil-food-health

There is a direct connection between the health of the plant and the health of the soil that the plants are growing in. Plants send their roots down into the soil to extract the nutrients that the plant needs to grow and to thrive. If the nutrients are not there then the plant will suffer.

The plants may grow and even produce a crop. It all depends upon how nutrient deficient the soil is.

Humans eat the plants or eat animals who eat the plants; this is how we obtain the nutrients (vitamins, minerals) we need to grow and thrive. If the soil that grows our food is deficient then our health will be affected. There is a direct connection between human health and soil health.

This is one reason why natural or organic gardening or farming, preferably on a small, community-based scale, is essential. We are indeed what we eat.

add organic matter

So feed the soil and the soil will feed you. The food that we eat, either directly or indirectly, draws the nutrients that we need from the soil. The same for the flowers that bring such beauty to our yards, they need the food that the soil and its millions of helpers provide.

The wise gardener tends the soil. In fact, the soil is what the gardener is growing.

We tend the soil by adding organic material to our garden beds or containers at the beginning of the season, in the middle of the season and at season’s end.

We obtain organic material buy either buying organic compost, adding compost we have made or by mulching. When we mulch we can learn from the forest which is an excellent teacher. In a forest, everything plays a role to assist the new growth to take it place. Rot rules, so to speak and decomposition is a desired activity.

If you have trees that shed leaves in the fall, do not toss them away. Add some to your compost bin; spread others on the garden beds and if there are still more leaves, bag them but do not put them out with the garbage.

Instead, pinch a few small air holes in the bag and keep them in or behind the garage or shed or up against the house. In the spring, break them open and you will have a nutrient rich leaf mould to add to your gardens.

This can be used, be careful with quantities, in container gardens as well.

If you can spend time in a forest or wooded area and observe what is happening. There is much to learn. We are what we eat and our health is directly connected to the health of soil our food grows in.

Comments

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  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You could toss in a little soil but not essential.

  • profile image

    EnLydia Listener 

    8 years ago

    gee, I wish I had known that in the fall...do you add anything to the bag of leaves to help it along?

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Compost is amazing, thanks for dropping by.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    Great hub and great tips for a good soil. I have a bin in my garden and it is amazing how quickly it fills upand I get good compost from it.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    We all have greenthumbs, they are just sometiems hidden. thanks for dropping by.

  • askjanbrass profile image

    askjanbrass 

    8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    I've been meaning to get more into gardening (I don't really have what you'd call a "green thumb"). But I'm not going to let that stop me. I've been looking for some good organic gardening tips and advice, so it was great to stumble across your hub.

    Thanks!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Rot rules, I have been pondering that for sometime now; it would be gr8 on a tshirt, thanks for dropping by.

  • tonymac04 profile image

    Tony McGregor 

    8 years ago from South Africa

    I find it quite scary that we take so much out of the soil and do so little to restore it. I totally agree with you that the health of the planet, and by extension all life on it, depends on the health of the soil. I try not to put any organic material (excpet for meat and meat products) into the municipal garbage system, but rather put it into my garden by way of a shallow hole or simply on top of the soil as a mulch, if that is possible.

    A very informative and useful Hub.

    I love the phrase "rot rules"! Think I'll have that put on a T-shirt sometime!

    Love and peace

    Tony

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    8 years ago

    Great suggestions. Thanks.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome, thanks for dropping by.

  • fortunerep profile image

    fortunerep 

    8 years ago from North Carolina

    very very informative and interesting!! thanks for a great hub!

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