A friend helping me with the blog has written a review of “S” Is for Soil!. In the book and the companion teacher’s guide, Digging into Soil: A Garden Practicum, we are to encouraged to see a perception of soil as a limitless resource. It is the most important natural resource on Earth. I read the book, and it was a good place to look – the soil beneath our feet.
By Kristin Kauth
I recently read and highly recommend the new book, “S” Is for Soil!, by ecologist Steven I. Apfelbaum, founder of Applied Ecological Services, Inc. The book explores the importance of soil to all life on Earth.
Only 38 pages long, the book is written for the layperson and includes an easy-to-read narrative on a complex subject. The whimsical graphics by Rob Dunlavey kept me smiling with the turn of every page, and I found the book both educational and delightful.
“S” Is for Soil! is divided into two sections:
- The Basics – What Is Soil? (Don’t Call It Dirt) and
- Expanded Understanding – Digging a Little Deeper (Whole System Thinking).
I can’t do better than the press release, so here are some excerpts:
As this simple primer begins, “…It has been said that we know more about the moon than the soil under our feet.” Today, with growing concern for dwindling resources, there is a new sense of urgency to better understand and care for soil (what many of us misguidedly call “dirt”) and our very real connection to it. In fact, “our lives may depend on it.”
Written for high school and older students, and lay, business, and professional audiences, “S” Is for Soil! and its cast of soil characters guides readers with clarity and humor through the essential and often complex understandings of soil, employing a conversational narrative. The book reveals the remarkable story of the abundance of life – from billions of microscopic organisms to burrowing animals – that occupies the thin layer of soil on the planet, and that represents 95 percent of all terrestrial life on Earth.
It explains the role healthy soil can play in addressing the challenging problem of climate change.
- Touching upon the historic role grasslands have
played in storing large quantities of carbon deep in the ground – think of bison moving quickly over landscapes until it recovered.
- Other soil-building practices like adding organic fertilizers, and innovative ranching and farming practices that are now being employed to “regenerate” or build-back soil health.
- Building back to wetlands and the crucial role soil plays in the water cycle, and its importance in keeping our water supply clean.
- By the putting all those “unemployed” soil microbes and deep-rooted grasses back to work, we help rebuild the lost carbon stores of the past and maintain healthy soil.
“S” Is for Soil! was produced in partnership with the Lower Sugar River Watershed Association (LSRWA). The book can be purchased individually or in larger discounted quantities online at LSRWA or by contacting at 608-897-8641.
A good friend, Kristen Kauth is a member of the Wild Ones Fox Valley Area Chapter and Coordinator of the Toward Harmony With Nature Conference.