Summer of Soil

The Summer of Soil is a summer long programme hosted by Common Soil about the importance of life in the soil! Various events will take place from 31st May til 31st October at the Fruittuin van West in Amsterdam.

We start by inviting you to a summer long free exhibition “The Living Soil” located in the orchid of the Fruittuin van West. Summer of Soil will also host Friday night “Soil Series” evenings, where influential speakers will join us round the campfire at the Fruittuin to discuss issues around regenerative agriculture and eat homemade organic pizza. As the summer draws to an end, we end with a soil congress.

The Summer of Soil welcomes you to numerous possibilities to join a growing group of “soil-conscious” consumers and pioneers. We will delve into specific soil-improving techniques and together speed up the transition to a regenerative agriculture! Check out the programme page for more information! 

Who is Common Soil?

Common Soil is an international group of young activists that are positive that through education and awareness we can be pioneers to make a change in soil. In 2013 the first Summer of Soil took place in Järna, Sweden. Here we organised an exhibition, course series and conference on living soil in the run-up to the International Year of Soil in 2015. Since then, attention to soil has grown considerably, both globally and in the Netherlands. Four years later we ask ourselves how this movement can now be accelerated and strengthened, since the urgency is if not greater!

Current Team 2019
Pieter Ploeg
Nakyta Grimm
Louisa Ellerker
Evi Willams

Contact us at

Summer of Soil Tentoonstelling 2013

Why “Soil”?

Relegation & Urgency

More than 90% of our food comes from the soil! The soil is crucial for filtering drinking water and nutrients, storing carbon and a basis for medicines. However, our current farming method has degraded 30% of agricultural land in such a way that it can no longer support food production. This degradation continues today at a rate of around 10 million hectares per year worldwide. This is 30 football fields per minute! Current agriculture also contributes to 30% to of global warming effects and is the main cause of biodiversity loss. Agriculture and soil present one of the most critical challenges of our time, and we need to make a change!


Soil-agriculture-food-human cycle

In addition to ecosystem services, the soil functions as the plant’s digestive system. The microorganisms in the soil break down raw and complex materials (both organic and mineral) into simpler forms that can be absorbed and metabolized by the plants. There are approximately 50 billion microbes in 1 tablespoon of soil. This microbial life forms the ‘link’ between nutrition and digestion in the soil, thereby laying the foundation for the growth of plants (both naturally and in agriculture). Plants are the basis of our nutrition, and with that animals and people become the mirror of this link. Our digestive system closes the cycle when our fertilizers are returned to the soil. From this perspective, man, as a globally dominant actor / consumer, is guarding the health of this cycle and therefore of the soil.

Onze bodem; voeding voor leven

Soil Regeneration and Recovery

In the past decade climate change, loss of biodiversity and soil degradation have been prominent in the soil debate. Solutions such as sustainable and regenerative landscaping is a way to bring back life into the soil. There are now countless scientific publications that show that regenerative ecological farming is possible and what it might look like (crop rotation, green manure, forestry, composting, meadow management, permaculture etc). So the knowledge is already there, and also the initiative. Now we need the large-scale momentum that leads to large-scale transition!

Regeneratieve Landbouw

Common Soil

Summer of Soil is a programme of Common Soil.

What if we would learn and work together like never before to restore soil and land for the benefit of biodiversity, human health and long term food security?

The primary purpose of Common Soil is to regenerate land and ecosystems through ecological agricultural practices that build soil fertility and biodiversity. Through restoration, education and experimentation, Common Soil and its land-based learning centre exist to reverse the trend of land degradation and accelerate the global transition of food and farming systems towards sustainability and resilience. Our mission is to accelerate the restoration of degraded soils, land and ecosystems through regenerative agriculture and land stewardship. Through our programs, campaigns and stories we aim to inspire people about the importance and beauty of living soil, and awaken a sense of stewardship in their daily lives.