According to the FAO 90% of our food comes from our soil and 25% of this soil has already been degraded to the level where it can no longer support food production. We are losing 10 million hectares of fertile soil each year - that is 30 soccer fields per minute. Agriculture is responsible for 75% of soil degradation. The FAO, European Commission and others recognise the importance of soil and warn of the negative influence of unsustainable agricultural and soil management practices on the health of our soils and food security.
Inspired by this urgency, Imagineers Sweden AB is organising the Summer of Soil from 7 July - August 9, 2013 in Järna, Sweden. Summer of Soil is a 5-week, multi-disciplinary accelerator program designed to awaken and inspire a collaborative movement to rebuild and maintain living soils. The program will include a series of hands-on soil-related courses, an exhibition of regenerative growing practices and the 5-day Living Soil Forum for bringing conversation to action.
The courses offer a variety of opportunities to explore and experience different aspects and ways of working with soil and food production. In addition there will be keynote events, excursions and film screenings to deepen the understanding and for building capacity to become active stewards of the soil. Current course topics include Cooking a “Diet for a Small Planet”, Preserving, Wild Food Harvesting, Introduction to Organic Agriculture, Introduction to Biodynamic Agriculture, Forest Gardening, Permaculture Introduction & Design Course, Regenerative Agriculture, Seed saving, Ecological Recycling Agriculture, Urban Gardening, Aquaponics & Beekeeping (subject to change)
The exhibition aims to give insight into the amazing substance soil really is, as well as showcasing and illustrating different growing practices which promote soil regeneration in both rural and urban environments. It includes a pavilion with small scale “Do It Yourself” solutions, Ekoleden - an eco-tour around the local sustainable food society, a “2000 square meter project” - showing our food-footprint per person on the planet, and more!
The Living Soil Forum is a 5 day conference, aiming to accelerate the international collaborative movement to steward our soils by bringing together farmers, retail, government, academia, civil society & youth from 22 July - 26 July in Kulturhuset i Ytterjärna, Sweden. Confirmed contributors are Prof. Håkan Wallander (Lund University), Dr. Regine Andersen (Oikos Norway), CEO Patrick Holden (Sustainable Food Trust), CEO Volkert Engelsman (Eosta BV & IFOAM World Board), CEO Helmy Abouleish (SEKEM), John D. Liu (Environmental Education Media Project), Dr. Vandana Shiva (Navdanya), Dr. Artur Grandstedt (BERAS), CEO Johan Ununger (Saltå Kvarn), Ronald Vargas (FAO) & more.
The Living Soil Forum objectives are to:
● Inspire concerned consumers and especially youth to become active soil stewards
● Build an inclusive, global soil movement
● Promote soil awareness throughout the entire food system
● Exchange ideas and initiate real projects and campaigns to leverage soil acupuncture points across the globe.
● Showcase inspirational centres of agricultural production, living soil conservation and regeneration.
Summer of Soil is organised in collaboration with local partners Kulturcentrum Järna, Skillebyholm and Kulturforum AB in association with BERAS Implementation, Saltå Kvarn, Nature & More, Global Soil Partnership (FAO), UNCCD, European Commission, NEXUS Foundation, Sustainable Food Trust, Sweden International Agriculture Network Initiative (SIANI), Slow Food Youth Network, SEKEM, CEMUS, Heliopolis University, International Youth Initiative Program (YIP), Navdanya, Soil & More, Eosta BV, Small Planet Institute, Skilleby Trädgård, Biodynamiska Föreningen, Omställning (Transition) Järna, Permakultur
Stjärnsund, Youth Future Project, Young Organics, Bauckhof and a growing list of other partners.