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Celebrate Soils From Dung Beetles to Blueberry Pancakes: Now With Stickers!

By   /  January 5, 2015  /  Comments Off on Celebrate Soils From Dung Beetles to Blueberry Pancakes: Now With Stickers!

That’s just a fancy way of saying, “Let’s tell everyone how important soils are.” The Soil Science Society of America is handing out free stickers, and we’re adding our bumper stickers as the first of many ways to celebrate the International Year of Soil. Together we can build a world map with pictures of folks loving their soils.

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Scientific American recently ran an interesting article about the possibility that other planets out there may be “better” than Earth for supporting life. That may be true, but our planet has plenty that should make us proud earthlings. Top among these points of pride is Earth’s fantastic soils, teeming with life and supporting an abundance of terrestrial creatures (including ourselves). This isn’t a competition between Earth and other yet-to-be-discovered planets, but let me just ask:

Do other planets have dung beetles? (As an astronomical sidenote, did you know dung beetles navigate by using the Milky Way?)

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Do other planets have blueberry pancakes?

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Without soil, there would be no blueberry pancakes. 

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Or trees. 

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Or rice.

Or really anything. Soil is the foundation of life on this planet. 

It’s a year to be soil proselytizers

FAO-IYS-logo-300x114If you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you don’t need to be convinced, which is why I’ve done such a poor job of really explaining how important soil is. You and I may celebrate soil on a regular basis, but many people (a) don’t know how important soils are (b) don’t know how our actions impact soils and their ability to support life. This is why the UN General Assembly has declared that 2015 is the International Year of Soils. It’s time to increase knowledge of, appreciation for, and understanding of soils among all earthlings.

To celebrate this momentous year, the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) has launched a sticker and photo campaign that I encourage you all to join. They will send you a free sticker so you can express your love of soil and in return they ask that you post your photo on their world map of soil lovers. I haven’t gotten my sticker yet, but check out some of the photos folks have sent in from around the world:

You can get your own I "heart" soil sticker (in many languages!). Visit the Soil Science Society of America webpage www.soils.org by clicking here.

You can get your own I “heart” soil sticker (in many languages!). Visit the Soil Science Society of America webpage www.soils.org by clicking here.

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About the author

Natalie is related by research to On Pasture editor Rachel Gilker, having studied soil science with Ray Weil at the University of Maryland. She was responsible for tossing hundreds of gravel samples leftover from Rachel's research, and then quickly filled the shelf space with samples from her own research on cover crops and no-till vegetable production in organic systems. After a few years in Maryland, she moved back to Maine where she farms along the Androscoggin River and continues to do research and outreach. For more fun, she writes for www.notillveggies.org

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