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Celebrating Earth Day: The Humble Earthworms Impact on Our Farm Soil Health

As we celebrate Earth Day, it's crucial to reflect on our relationship with the planet and how we can adapt to the challenges posed by a changing climate.

At Solsgirth Home Farm, we are committed to sustainability and education. This means that we recognise the urgent need to evolve our practices in response to shifting weather patterns and environmental conditions.

Climate change predictions paint a picture of wetter winters and more extreme weather events. These changes have profound implications for agriculture, requiring us to rethink traditional farming approaches. Over the past few years, we've experienced firsthand the impact of erratic weather, from prolonged droughts in May and June to excessively wet summers and autumns. Many farmers across Scotland have faced significant losses due to poor crop yields, highlighting the necessity for adaptive strategies.

Rainfall Statistics of the Saline Area displayed in a bar graph

At Solsgirth, our focus has been on improving the health of our soils. In 2020, our soil health was far from optimal. Planting 600 apple trees revealed the stark reality of depleted earth, with scarcely an earthworm to be found in the damp soil. Fast forward to 2024, and the transformation is remarkable. Every hole we dig now teems with approximately 25 earthworms—a testament to the efficacy of our soil regeneration efforts.

Hole dug into ground to test soil health, looks healthy, warm brown colour, with worms found inside.
Hole dug into ground to test soil health, looks unhealthy, clay like consistency

(February 2020) (February 2022)

Why the earthworm, you might ask? These seemingly humble creatures are among our most valuable allies on the farm. They toil tirelessly, recycling nutrients, aerating the soil, and bolstering its resilience. Unlike human workers, earthworms don't demand overtime pay; they simply go about their vital work, quietly enriching the very earth beneath our feet.

Close up picture of a worm on the ground

So, what's our secret to a thriving earthworm population? It's all about mindful land management practices. We've learned that driving heavy machinery over wet fields or overstocking them can wreak havoc on soil health. Instead, we prioritise rotational grazing and give our fields ample time to rest and rejuvenate. By carefully monitoring and managing grazing impact, we're fostering a symbiotic relationship between livestock and soil.

Our journey towards sustainable farming is ongoing, and it's not without its challenges. But as we mark Earth Day, we invite you to join us in celebrating the resilience of the earth and the remarkable creatures, like the earthworm, that call it home.

Watch this space as we continue to innovate and evolve in our quest for a greener, more sustainable tomorrow.

To find out more about our farm and the work we do, check out our page where we tell the story about the Farm.

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