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Soil 101

What is soil made of? Why is it important? And how can we nurture soil for the benefit of humans and our ecosystems? Learn about soil with the help of Soil 101, a 2015 animation from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. More from their site:

Healthy soils are the foundation of the food system. Our soils are the basis for agriculture and the medium in which nearly all food-producing plants grow. Healthy soils produce healthy crops that in turn nourish people and animals. Indeed, soil quality is directly linked to food quality and quantity.

Soils supply the essential nutrients, water, oxygen and root support that our food-producing plants need to grow and flourish. They also serve as a buffer to protect delicate plant roots from drastic fluctuations in temperature.

A healthy soil is a living, dynamic ecosystem, teeming with microscopic and larger organisms that perform many vital functions including converting dead and decaying matter as well as minerals to plant nutrients (nutrient cycling); controlling plant disease, insect and weed pests; improving soil structure with positive effects for soil water and nutrient holding capacity, and ultimately improving crop production. A healthy soil also contributes to mitigating climate change by maintaining or increasing its carbon content.

How can you be the solution to soil pollution? Reduce, reuse, recycle, and more. This video summarizes seven simple ways to help:

Watch Soil Life in Action: Bioturbation with and without soil fauna next.

Additional related videos include Inside the Compost Cycle: Turning waste to nutrient-rich soil, Vermicomposting: How worms can reduce our waste, and Transforming Human Poop Into Eco-Friendly Fertilizer.

Plus: Growing kidney bean & spinach plants, soil cross-section time lapses.

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