Soil Care Network Newsletter
September 2021
by Thirze Hermans, in collaboration with Anna Krzywoszynska, Emma Lietz Bilecky,  and Michiel van de Pavert

Soil Research

Soil Events

  • The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is organising the first ever European Commission’s EU Soil Observatory (EUSO) stakeholders forum. This three-day event (built on six, focused, half-day sessions) will reflect the challenges facing soil within the various strategies of the Green Deal (e.g. the Soil, Biodiversity and Farm2Fork strategies, Zero Pollution Action Plan) and Horizon Europe’s proposed Mission on Soil Health and Food.

  • Check out this project Humus Economicus. This art and research project inquiries into the value and future of soil in urbanized landscapes. It seeks to draw attention to radically altered human-soil relations, the invisible work of soils, and practices of soil care in a time when soils are sealed and degraded at rapid rates.

  • The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published the outcome document to the Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity that took place in April this year. 

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released two practical instruments to contribute to soil organic carbon maintenance and sequestration. The first instrument is a global map showcasing the quantity and location of possible soil CO2 sequestration. The second is a technical manual with best practices for maintaining and improving soil organic carbon stocks.

Soil Amazement

  • We may not be able to breathe on Mars yet, but researchers have just found that mixing Mars soil with blood and urine can provide concrete. 

  • This is a personal favourite, the Dutch Parliament now has a prominent piece of soil art just behind the speakers’ table. Soil at the heart of decision-making between planet and society. The artist De Putter mentioned he wanted to bring the outside inside. Making the Earth a conversation partner.

Soil Film

  • Eating Better has just released a new film called Producing Better, showing the advantages of regenerative agriculture on Eversfield Organic farm. 

Soil Policies

  • The new report ‘Saving our Soils’ by the Soil Association is out, which includes an updated assessment of current UK soil policy. It builds on the previous report named ‘Seven Ways to Save our Soils’. The new report proposes seven ways to restore and improve soil health, with advice and options for farmers and the government.