Editor’s Note – Healthy soil is crucial to producing healthy and plentiful harvests each year. Much of the soil across the globe has degraded, but yardfarmers can do their part to build healthy, vibrant soil right in their yards, and enjoy the abundance of food that it will give back.
This article and infographic were originally posted on Ensia. The writing is from Todd Reubold and the infographic is from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has designated 2015 the International Year of Soils, and with good reason. As this infographic shows, a whopping 95 percent of our food comes from soil — and if sustainably managed, could produce 58 percent more food globally.
There’s cause for concern, though. FAO concludes 33 percent of our soils are already degraded, meaning the physical, chemical and biological structure has broken down due to overuse, erosion, contamination and other factors. Experts the FAO consulted go so far as to predict we only have 60 years of healthy topsoil left on the planet.
Whether this prediction holds true depends on decisions we make today related to agriculture, urban expansion, pollution prevention and more. Hopefully we’ll recognize the value of the ground beneath our feet before it’s too late.
Todd Reubold is the executive director and co-founder of Ensia. He regularly writes about issues related to environmental communications, sustainability, wildlife protection and more.