Organic Gardening: The Soil Food Health Connection
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.