The Hidden Power Beneath Our Feet
Join Wild Idea on a journey to uncover the hidden power of healthy soil and its profound impact on our planet. In this blog post, we'll explore the passionate work of General Manager Jilian Jones and her husband, Sourcing Manager Colton Jones, as they work to improve soil health at their home—Wild Idea’s Cheyenne River Buffalo Ranch.
Discover the importance of beneficial nematodes, the transformative effects of compost tea on soil ecology, and the crucial role of soil in combating climate change. Let's learn how building healthy soil paves the way for a brighter future.
Soil is Life
Soil is vital for sustaining life on Earth. It supports plant growth, regulates water resources, hosts diverse ecosystems, contributes to carbon storage, and plays a crucial role in food production and ecosystem health. Protecting and maintaining healthy soils is essential for the long-term well-being of our planet and future generations.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 90 percent of the Earth’s precious topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050. Numerous peer-reviewed studies show the alarming rate at which unsustainable agricultural practices are depleting topsoil, emphasizing the need for regenerative approaches to ensure we leave soil for future generations.
The Jones's Quest for Healthy Soil
Jilian recently took dozens of online courses about soil health, often waking at 4:00 AM, and recently achieved the milestone of becoming a Soil Food Web Laboratory Technician. To put the soil health theory into practice, Jilian and Colton have invested in a compost tea system. Through a carefully crafted biological blend of wood chips, hay, manure, fish, and beneficial plants, this system promotes a thriving and diverse soil ecosystem. Colton, while not fixing fences and coordinating Wild Idea’s humane field harvests, deployed his mechanical skills to build a pickup truck-mounted boom sprayer to distribute the compost tea across the ranch.
Shortly after a Wild Idea board meeting at the ranch, Jilian summoned CEO Phil Graves to "Come check out the lips on this one!" While examining a soil sample in her microscope, Jilian had found a beneficial nematode with lips like Steven Tyler. Beneficial nematodes, often overlooked but incredibly important, play a vital role in pest control and soil fertility. These tiny warriors contribute to a thriving ecosystem by combating pests and enhancing soil health.
Jilian and Colton's commitment to understanding and improving soil biology drives our efforts to prioritize regenerative practices and nurture healthy soil across the Great Plains.
Thank you for joining Wild Idea on the journey towards resilient soil ecosystems. Embrace regenerative practices, nurture biodiversity, and harness the vital role of soil in combating climate change. Together, let's unlock the potential of healthy soil for a brighter future.