Older readers may remember a radio comedy called 'Beyond our Ken', starring Kenneth Horne with Hugh Paddick, Betty Marsden and Bill Pertwee. One of the characters in it was Arthur Fallowfield, played by Kenneth Williams, a gardening expert whose answer to any question was, "I believe the answer lies in the soil". I think of that often whenever I hear my son Nathan waxing lyrical about soil and its quality.
What's not funny is a general decline in soil fertility internationally due to intensive farming methods. It's no longer acceptable to apply masses of nitrate fertilisers and pesticides to boost yields, as has happened since the post-war years. They run off into waterways, pollute, and don't improve soil quality. Why should this matter to you? It matters to everyone, though most people don't think about soil, except as dirty, muddy stuff that sticks to your shoes. If soil quality is poor, crops fail, fields flood, and there isn't enough food to feed an increasing population. Millions of people are already going hungry, and the effects of climate change are making things worse.