Soil & Water“Despite all our artistic abilities, sophistication and accomplishments, we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of soil and the fact that it rains.”   ~ Anonymous

Beneath our feet is an invisible world teeming with life, creating a complex soil food web with millions of nematodes and tiny microbial creatures.  These play a vital role in plant growth and ultimately, in the food we eat.  Yet we take it all for granted.

It takes nature approximately 500 years to grow one inch of topsoil, which by definition means it is a non-renewable resource.  According to, on a global scale, farming practices are depleting soil 10-40 times faster than nature can replenish it.  In addition, while soils are becoming increasingly degraded, the world population is growing, and the need for more food is increasing.

The importance of protecting our soil, both locally and globally, cannot be overstated.  Our ability to produce adequate healthy food, and to protect air and water resources, depends on how we treat our soil.  Anyone who has done even a little gardening recognizes how the quality of the soil can change the outcome of the harvest.  From the small backyard garden, to the urban planners, to the large commercial farming operations, there are steps we can all take to protect our soil because our lives, and the lives of our children and our children’s children, depend on it.

More information on Marshall County Soil and Water Conservation District can be found at or on Facebook.

By Debbie Palmer
Marshall County SWCD