Will Brinton, Ph.D.
Woods End Soil Labs
Faculty Associate, University of Maine
For those of us who have worked so hard to get the Soil Health movement off the ground, we know its about good and better soil. Imagine a proposal to take the soil back out of it, and go back to only nutrients!
That's what many of us think is at stake with the proposals afoot to allow "organic hydroponics" for imported crops.
My view about hydroponics in general is that, we may need it when we set up colonies on Mars. On Earth, there's lots of worthwhile soil to go around. Even so, on Mars, I'd be one to want to get to know the soil growing potential as fast as possible! My view is that plants build soil to make a better environment for themselves - niche construction.
Organic growers are definitely not the only ones who care about soil, and if they think so, well now know this differently. Simply put, the cause is soil as the primary cornerstone of growing plants.