Soil. Dirt. Mud. Dirt gets a bad rap, doesn't it? Even from a young age, we can have all probably been told... "Wash the dirt off your hands." "Leave those dirty shoes outside the door." "Those dirty knees will leave a stain." Granted, as a farm wife/mom, I've seen the repercussions of all of these. Dirty hand prints on the wall. Dirty footprints across the carpet. Probably countless jeans with dirt stain knees and heck, even clothes so mud/dirt ridden written off as a loss. One way to look at it is that dirt/soil is no contender for the lighthearted. It is a heavy hitter. That's a good thing!
Soil is the cornerstone to so many living things. What would most plants be without soil? There would be no grass, no crops, gardens, trees and on and on. How about all those creatures who feed off of plant life? Soil is THAT important!
What IS soil? Good question! It's not as simple as just dirt. Here are our farm, Tony is our soil guy. He's been studying this topic for years, in fact. Here's how he breaks it down in simple terms:
The air and water are self explanatory. It's the other 50% that gets rather deep. Of that, it's made up of elements (18 that we monitor), sand, silt, clay, elements attached to the sand, silt and clay, immense amounts of microbiology (bacterias and fungi), other biology (earthworms, bugs, etc.) and organic matter (basically dead material).
It's the delicate balance of these factors that gives plant life a good base in which to prosper. Temperature plays a factor on the microbiology. Microbiology takes organic matter and turns it into nitrogen. Biology is needed to make elements and nutrients available to plants. We could go on and on, but it gives you a good glance into the complicated topic of soil.
That's just skimming the surface! Next week we'll dive deeper into the subject and make a little more sense as to just how this correlates to beef.
Follow along with us as we tell the story about our beef, from the ground up. Each week we will share about how we grow our crops, the technology behind it, the years of education and of course, share about our herd and our cow-calf operation. If you're not already, be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter, where you'll find out when blog posts are up, hear first on sales, new products and find out what's happening around our farm.