Is Soil Health Important?

Is Soil Health Important?

It’s time to let folks know why soil is important to us! Share with your family, friends, neighbors, social networks, and heck, anyone who will listen, why you rely on healthy soil every day. What is one way we can do this?

This summer, ten prominent farm women planted a pair of underwear in one of the fields they farm in. These large cotton “Tighty Whities” have been planted in hazelnuts, hops, hemp and pasture fields.

The women are participating in “Soil Your Undies” test that shows just how biologically active their soil is. After a couple months buried, there shouldn’t be much left of these undies, if there is abundant life in soil.

Nationally, farmers soiled many pairs of Tighty Whities from coast-to-coast over the last year, under a program sponsored by the USDA’s National Resource and Conservation Service (NRCS).  Here in Marion County, NRCS has partnered with Marion Soil and Water Conservation District to carry out the project. “Healthy soils are critical to sustainable food production as well as enhanced biodiversity” according to Jane Keppinger, Marion SWCD District Manager. “We are excited to see what kind of results we have with the diversity of soil types and crops involved” she said.

Are you concerned about soil health? Take the challenge, just go to the NRCS website  and get started.  If you have questions about soil health, we will be glad to help you.  Reach us at or call Marion SWCD at 503.291.9927. Save the date for the Soil Health Workshop at Eola Hills on November 6, 2019.