Soil might seem simple, but it is a complex, living system. Soil is comprised of solids, water, air, and organic matter. On top of that, soil is home to vast numbers of microbes, small animals, large animals, and of course plant roots. In the book, Building Soils for Better Crops, which we will cite from time to time here, it states that in a teaspoon of soil there are an estimated 100 million to 1 billion bacteria, several yards of fungal threads, and a couple dozen nematodes. What? Read that again. First, imagine taking a teaspoon of soil, then review those numbers. Soil is amazing. We can't live without soil. In this series we will go through some topics including basics about organisms that live in soil, soil organic matter, soil health measures, and more.
Curious to learn more? With each brief article we will try to provide some quick additional references. To start, here is fun 3-minute video called "Soils Sustain Life" (http://bit.ly/2IhiK98). The video is from the Soil Science Society of America as part of their 2015 Year of Soils effort.
For further reading, you can check out this page called "What kind of soil do you want?" (https://bit.ly/2KYz6oV)
(This educational series is made available partially by the North Central SARE Program). (Megan Kennelly)