Publisher’s Letter: Fall 2013
By Jamie Lamonde | Photo By Jim Klousia 0
"We know more about
the movement of celestial bodies
than about the soil underfoot."
- Leonardo DaVinci, circa 1500s
There are more microorganisms in a tablespoon of soil than there are people on earth. That’s hard to picture, isn’t it? And if you’re like most people, you don’t often contemplate how soil organisms are connected to our health and the health of the earth. But the truth is we must understand (and act upon) this connection—our children and their future depend upon it.
Just imagine soil and plants in an eternal handshake (one with a firm, enthusiastic grip). Hand-in-hand, their powerful relationship can produce highly nutritious food as well as help fight climate change. Soil stores carbon dioxide through a plant’s process of living, dying and decomposing within it. If this relationship is encouraged, soil can play a huge role in mitigating climate change by reducing the CO2 in our atmosphere.
In honor of our deep connection to soil and food production’s impact on it, these pages explore the beginnings of a soil conservation movement that was born right in our backyard—the Driftless Region. Less than a century ago, the soils of the 92,000-acre Coon Creek Watershed were eroded so badly from being so aggressively farmed that the watershed captured national attention, became home to one of only ten federal-state Agricultural Research Stations, and birthed the first watershed conservation project in the United States. All in an effort to restore it to the rich, productive lands that nourish us today.
We all have a relationship with soil, whether in a garden or at the grocery store shelf, so through our daily food choices, we can support healthy agriculture right from our own kitchens.
“Land, then, is not merely soil;
it is a fountain of energy
flowing through a circuit of
- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, 1949
Jamie is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Edible Madison, a free, quarterly publication that celebrates the abundance of local foods in Southern Wisconsin.
Jamie graduated from Marymount University in Arlington, VA with a B.A. in English Literature. She lives in the beautiful "Driftless Region" of Southwest Wisconsin and continues to be inspired, and inspire others, through the organic and local food and farming movement.