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Soil Health Resources

Did you know that one third of the land on earth is used for agriculture? The management of that land has a huge impact on the environment, and as stewards of the earth, we CAN make a difference. We believe at Evergreen Cellar that education is the key to prioritizing the improvement of soil health and drawing down carbon out of the atmosphere to help reverse climate change. If you aren’t a grower yourself, and don’t have acres of land or even a back yard garden, how can you support this effort? The answer is making changes to the way you shop and what you buy. Support farms and growers who employ healthy soil practices and vote with your wallet. This is the way to to enact change.

Explore these educational resources below to learn about the functions of healthy soil, our current understanding of soil microbes and their ability to reverse the damaging effects of conventional agriculture practices on our environment and our health.

soil health overview

There has been a major shift recently in the way we think about human health. Our health is inextricably linked to the health of microbes in our gut, and our entire bodies for that matter.

According to the National Institutes of Health’s Human Microbiome Project, we should think of ourselves as a “superorganism,” and that we have coevolved with the microbes that live within us. These microbes perform critical functions and provide services to us, and they outnumber our own human cells ten to one.

The normal microbial make-up of a healthy human is a collection of bacteria, fungi, one-celled archaea, and viruses. Collectively they weigh about three pounds — the same as our brain.

But there is another major revolution just beginning in human health. Experts are beginning to prioritize understanding and restoring our collaborative relationship with microbiota not in the human gut but in another dark place: the soil.

Just as we have unwittingly destroyed vital microbes in the human gut through overuse of antibiotics and highly processed foods, we have recklessly devastated soil microbiota essential to plant health through overuse of certain chemical fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, failure to add sufficient organic matter (upon which they feed), and heavy tillage. These soil microorganisms — particularly bacteria and fungi — cycle nutrients and water to plants, to our crops, the source of our food, and ultimately our health. Soil bacteria and fungi serve as the “stomachs” of plants. They form symbiotic relationships with plant roots and “digest” nutrients, providing nitrogen, phosphorus, and many other nutrients in a form that plant cells can assimilate. Reintroducing the right bacteria and fungi to facilitate the dark fermentation process in depleted and sterile soils is analogous to taking targeted probiotics to restore the right microbiota deep in your digestive tract. … Read More

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