I was surprised to learn that Charles Darwin was the first scientist to study worms and soil. BBC Radio 4’s Shared Planet program has produced a program on soil and the importance of keeping it healthy, not through the use of fertilizer, but through organic matter. The first ten minutes discusses the importance of worms and how their presence enriches the soil and reveals soil health. This is one of the most succinct discussions on why worms are an important symbiotic element of soil. The presenters call worms the “leviathon of soil,” due to their size difference in comparison to the other microbiotic life in soil. I like to think of worms and soils like this, “Build a healthy soil (through adding organic matter) and the worms will come!” This is why adding compost to your soil annually is so important.
The second part of the program discusses the importance of soil globally and what needs to be done as well as what is being done to prevent soil erosion. This includes how soil is important to having drinkable water. I like this part because it talks about what can be done practically to ensure healthy soil. It also covers how soil science is developing & considers the implications to agriculture.
I highly recommend taking the time to listen to this program. I’d like to know what you think. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03cmt4t