Soil: The incredible story of what keeps the earth, and us, healthy
By Matthew Evans
Review by Charlotte Nicholl
from Scorpio Books

Soil The incredible Story of what keeps the earth, and us, healthy

What we do to the soil, we do to ourselves.

Soil is a joyful, magical book by farmer, cook and environmental warrior Matthew Evans. It tells the unlikely story of our most maligned resource as swashbuckling hero.

Evans writes a passionate plea for us to consider the very earth we stand on.

This engaging and intelligent book encompasses the science and history behind the current health of the planet, and investigates the future of our food. It’s a story of how dirt makes us and can break us, and how we are all responsible for our share in protecting this precious resource.

Soil is a life-changing read - part warning, part lament and part manual full of hope and optimism. It provides a global perspective on the earth’s life-giving thin veneer - from the Arctic to New Zealand - explaining how we’ve stripped 92 percent of the nutrient that enables ecosystems to function naturally.

New Zealand features, sadly, in Chapter 3: ‘The Earth’s Kidneys: when good soil turns bad’. Like all countries around the world, New Zealand has poisoned its soil. In our case it’s with cadmium in phosphate fertilisers on dairy farms. Now two thirds of all our rivers are un-swimmable and three quarters of native fresh water fish species are under threat of extinction due to the run-off from dairy farms.

Highly recommended for gardener, farmer, conservationist, grocery shopper and food enthusiast, it is an essential addition to your bookshelf, school, local library and university. This book has been compared to the best works of Simon Winchester for its diverting side tangents that can bring the reader up short in amazement. It’s teeming with revelations and facts you’ll want to share, such as ‘there are more living things in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are humans on Earth’.

A thoroughly enjoyable, informative and thought-provoking read.

‘A love letter to Mother Earth and entertaining must-read that goes to the heart of our survival’ – Charles Massy, author of Call of the Reed Warbler.