From the Ground Up

The Soul of Soil: A Soil-Building Guide for Master Gardeners and Farmers presents a solid and tested approach focused on helping gardeners and farmers educate themselves about basic sustainable soil management practices. As the authors note, we must remember that “we are all part of the soil ecosystem.”

First published in 1983, The Soul of Soil is a classic guide for readers who want to create a healthy ecosystem of fertile soil for the garden and farm.

Authors Grace Gershuny and Joe Smillie provide detailed information on basic soil-building techniques, such as composting, soil testing, and weed control, and feature tables illustrating various concepts from environmental influences on soil to fertilization practices.

The authors’ extensive experience in alternative agriculture and organic certification practices and programs and their background in sustainability is what drives their methods for achieving soil fertility. The overarching philosophy is to treat your farm “as a living organism.”

Samantha Prust

Samantha Prust is a freelance writer, editor, and owner of Your Editor On Call in Fort Collins, Colorado. She can be contacted at

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