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Why dirt matters - know what your plants are growing in

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Why dirt matters - know what your plants are growing in

The lowdown ‘dirty’ details behind dirt aren’t hard to understand. We walk on it, work with it, grow plants with it and even wash our hands of it, but we also need it to live each and every day. Soil is an important resource from everything to health, agriculture, and even water filtration and that’s why truly understanding what it’s made of, matters most. 

 You may not know it, but the apple you eat or the bread you bite into, all share a commonality: they all started with something made from soil. That solitary reason is why healthy soil is so important. 

 The most well-known benefit of healthy soil lies in food production. Not only does organic soil help grow healthier foods, but it also protects against drought. Unlike degraded and compacted soil that promotes runoff, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), healthy soil can absorb large quantities of water like a sponge. For every 1 percent increase in organic matter, U.S. farms could store the total amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in 150 days. That’s a lot of water absorption if you ask us! And imagine the possibilities it could lead to!

So Why Does This Matter?

Our world population and food production demand is only growing. With even more consumption on the rise, keeping soil healthy is imperative to cleaner living. Farmers who use no-till, cover cropping, and organic practices (like us) not only increase their soil’s organic matter but improve its microbial activity. (AKA, the bacteria we all need to fight off bad things.) In fact, according to the USDA, “As a result, farmers are sequestering more carbon, increasing water infiltration, improving wildlife and pollinator habitats—all while harvesting better profits and often better yields.”

Where Do The Problems Lie?

There are several factors to consider when we talk about soil issues. From compacted soil that quite literally has no room to breathe, to chemical farming practices as a way to increase crop yield; the problems are real and can have a lasting effect on our communities for future generations. This is why understanding why healthy soil matters is key.

At Tap Root Fields, our mission has always been to educate and cultivate strong, sustainable land use. We’re nestled in the heart of the Finger Lake Region and don’t take for granted the importance of our lakes to our communities and our overall health. Sustainable agriculture is the way of the future and our goal is to keep our soil strong with rich farming processes that propel our land and our environment forward. 

Our “Root To You” farm stand is open and we make it easy for you. Visit us at 4272 Jordan Road in Skaneateles. We’re open daily and offer a variety of produce based on what we’re growing and harvesting out in our fields