World Soil Day is a day to remember the importance of the soil we are living on. We cannot live without soil. It nourishes everything that grows and lives on the planet. Yet the biodiversity of soil organisms is diminishing, the valuable humus layer is shrinking, and in the event of heavy rain or wind, arable land is losing its topsoil. Our soil is under an increasing pressure mainly due to the use of pesticides and artificial fertilisers in the fields, heavy machinery, fewer hedges and trees in the landscape and cultivation in monocultures. Consequently, the fertile soil, an important resource for future generations, is becoming less and less.
“Action is needed for concrete soil protection as fertile and healthy soils play a central role not only for farming but also in tackling the environmental challenges”, states Christoph Simpfendörfer, General Secretary of the Biodynamic Federation Demeter International. A fundamental insight in biodynamic farming is that earth and organic belong together: plants can only ripen into valuable food in vital soil. Biodynamic farming shows how soil can be cultivated so that it remains fertile and alive. It is not only about the production of quality food but also about ensuring that the land remains healthy and rich for the generations to come. A living soil provides the plants with the nutrients they need and can store more water thanks to the elimination of pesticides and versatile crop rotations. For that the humus layer is decisive since it binds CO2, regulates the air and heat balance and is an important source of nutrients for plants. Hence, a fertile and healthy soil plays a crucial role for the climate.
World Soil Day reminds us of the importance to focus on the soil and to find concrete solutions to enrich our soil fertility. It is time we connect again with the essentials and reunite with the soil that lies underneath us. Agricultural policies have the responsibility to protect the soil for the preservation of our health and environment. But the current agricultural systems in place are putting our soils further in jeopardy. To reverse this situation, a radical shift of paradigm is needed, and bold decisions must to be taken. Biodynamic farming show that solutions exist and is proof that a sustainable cultivation of the soil that protects our environment, biodiversity and water is possible. By overcoming the industrialisation and specialisation of agriculture and by creating farm organisms that bring soil, plants, animals and humans together into a fertile farming collaboration, biodynamic farming paves the way for a future-proof agriculture reconnected with the soil.