2015: International Year of Soils

Happy New Year – 2015 is the International Year of Soils!


The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS)…. The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions. ~ Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN

Healthy Soils for a Healthy Life

From food production to climate change, healthy soils are vital to life on this planet. The 2015 International Year of Soils aims to heighten awareness of our dependence on soil and to protect the soils of our Earth.

The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth

Soil/earth/land has inspired passion and poetry… for a reason. Let’s keep our soils vital and healthy. Watch and share this beautiful video about soils.

William Bryant Logan said that ‘soil is the ecstatic skin of the Earth.’ Living, life-giving, complex, misunderstood, so mysterious, the connector, the protector, the producer. This is soil. ~ USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • What a synchronicity! I just read from Jordan Rubin’s “The Maker’s Diet” all about the nutrition in good soil. He says, “My father decided to send me a plastic bag containing a black-colored powder. He said it was a special type of probiotic or friendly bacteria.” ” How could my father expect me to eat this? It looked like dirt!” “Dad called to encourage me, saying, It may look like dirt, but it isn’t. It contains healthy compounds from the soil” The author, Jordan Rubin, explains that the black powder was vital, friendly organisms from soil. These organisms are termed Homeostatic Soil Organisms (HSOs). Many of these organisms have been depleted from soil today due to pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and synthetic fertilizers. Adding the “black powder” from nutrient rich soils was added to Mr. Rubin’s diet which proved to be a very important factor in his complete recovery from his Chron’s colitis. I’m inclined to believe that old timers and young people in Georgia used to climb a hilltop of red clay and eat the clay because somehow they knew of the healthy organisms in the clay. :)

    • “Homeostatic Soil Organisms (HSOs)… depleted from soil today due to pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and synthetic fertilizers.” Thanks – Another piece of the nutrition puzzle explained!

  • I recycle all my kitchen food scrapes including coffee grounds ( as they decay they add needed nitrogen to the soil) in a mulcher in my yard, then it is added to the soil.

    I also use a all natural lawn fertilizer so as not to contaminate the water shed below ground.

  • I love this post Skywalker. It raises some very interesting points. I recently discovered that the soil in a volcanic crater near here is the best in the State. My daughter and I speculated about making an essence from it – we were only half joking. It would be great if 2015 saw people becoming more aware of the importance of healthy soil.

  • A good place to begin is a world ban on Roundup/glyphosate. It kills weeds, the soil, and every living thing it comes into contact with. Find MIT grad Stephanie Seneff’s talks to learn all about it.

    • You make an excellent point. I hope it is on the agenda.

      For folks who may not know: The Roundup herbicide is produced by Monsanto, also known for its GMO seed patents.

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