FreeSoil enables farmers and horticulturalists to produce healthier food from healthy living soil. An essential ingredient for a living soil is the organic material: the humus that feeds the symbiosis between plant and soil life. Growers are working towards more sustainable agriculture and horticulture by focusing on the wide diversity of valuable microbes and by stopping their use of artificial fertiliser and crop protection products.
A large proportion of the soil used for food production around the globe is in a poor condition. Since the Second World War the nutrient-rich humus layer in agricultural soil has been broken down by the large-scale use of artificial fertiliser and intensive tillage. The diversity and quantity of micro-organisms has declined in many soils as a result. The soil fungi and multicellular organisms (nematodes, arthropods) have been hit particularly hard. As a result, plants have become more vulnerable to diseases, take up fewer constituent elements and are suffering from declining flavour. The soil is deteriorating and requires ever more intervention.
FreeSoil offers multiple benefits for growers. A living soil produces healthier products. Healthier crops have a higher nutritional value because they contain a higher percentage of dry matter and more constituent elements. They are more resilient/stress-resistant and cope more flexibly with climatological and ecological changes, such as drought or excess water, so that farmers needed to intervene less (and therefore also save money). Healthier (natural) soils contain a higher percentage of humus, capture more CO2, emit less nitrous oxide and contribute to cleaner surface water. And yet growers will pay significantly less for FreeSoil for virtually all crops than they pay for the artificial fertiliser and crop protection that they currently use.